1. What are the primary benefits of a mobile cultivation system?
There is a lot of talk in the industry about vertical farming but not so much about horizontal farming. And this is where Montel’s high-density mobile grow systems come into play. We optimize space vertically and horizontally thereby maximizing cubic footage while at the same time saving land space. Montel’s single-tier mobile benches will double the grow area at the horizontal level, and provide even more space when going vertical. As you increase tiers, that space expands—you can get 10 times more grow area with a five-tier system, or grow by 900 percent compared to single-tier static benches.
2. What are the ideal environmental conditions (temperature, humidity, ventilation) when using mobile shelving systems?
A vertical, multitiered, high-density mobile cultivation system is best suited for LED lights as opposed to HPS lights. Your biggest challenge is to have the exact same temperature, humidity and ventilation for each level, whether you have a two- or five-tier system. Montel can help with designing the ventilation ducts under the shelves and running the full length of each tier on each mobile unit for optimal horizontal airflow between layers.
3. What irrigation/fertigation system is best suited for mobile shelving systems?
We recommend a simple irrigation system, such as automated drip lines, and we suggest not hand-watering. But there is no limitation when it comes to mobile grow rack systems and the type of culture, whether it is soil, aeroponic, aquaponic, hydroponic, etc. We highly recommend our powered electrical mobile shelving systems if you choose a more complex hydroponic or aquaponic irrigation system, as moving water is not optimal if using a manual or mechanical-assist mobile racking system. You want programmable speeds with your Montel powered electrical mobile system so you can adjust the startup, cruising and braking speed to create a slow, very smooth movement between each transition. This can be programmed remotely with your smartphone or computer using Montel’s ePulse Remote Monitoring application. You can also program the speed right from the main menu of the master control.
4. What are the infrastructure requirements for a mobile shelving unit?
You need to invest in performing temperature and humidity sensors and an HVAC system. The location and design of your HVAC system in your grow room is crucial. Factors such as the alignment of the ducts versus the mobile system, each aisle and each tier must be taken into consideration. It can save a huge amount of money and also ensure that you produce quality crops. It is recommended to hire a consultant with experience in design and building.
5. What added considerations come with tiered mobile shelving systems?
A flat floor is essential if you are considering using a mobile shelving unit. Montel can assist in making sure your floor is suitable for a mobile shelving system. You also must consider an electrical lift to access upper tiers or safe ladders, approved by OSHA. Montel also offers many safety devices for both the mechanical-assist or electrical-powered mobile systems. If security is important, you could opt for pin code controls versus hand cranks, or set alerts on your smartphone if someone opens an aisle after hours.
There also is a variety of standard safety features, including an aisle-entry people counter and infrared foot-level safety beams in the aisles.