“Evie” is an evolution of our Greenhouse for Good research project that began in 2016. When we found her, she was an old Shasta, forgotten and in disrepair. Evie was reborn on March 31, 2017 as a completely retrofitted mobile greenhouse.
Now, Evie joins the Hunt Institute and Lyle School of Engineering as the embodiment of our interdisciplinary approach to student-led research and innovations in urban agriculture that we hope will impact for good.
The Hunt Institute is joining with Big Tex Urban Farms to debut Evie at Earth Day TX 2017. As a result, the Texas State Fair asked the Hunt Institute to exhibit Evie at the Fair opening September 28, 2017 running until October 21, 2017.
PHASE I was completed in time for Earth Day TX 2017. It consisted of retrofitting the trailer and converting it into a mobile greenhouse. Over the summer, the plants inside were unable to live due to water issues. The take-away for the design team was to incorporate automated systems into Phase II that will control the watering of the plants.
PHASE II begins Fall of 2017 at the Hunt Institute in Lyle School of Engineering. This phase is focused on optimization of the cooling system, watering system, and interior growing systems.
For the cooling research, a Senior Design team of interdisciplinary engineers are working on using absorption refrigeration cycle for cooling which is more energy efficient than the standard A.C. unit.
For the growing research, students are problem solving the issues facing urban agriculture like growing space, water usage, and soil constraints. Evie is an educational trailer so we are working to represent different types of growing systems that solve the problem of these constraints. We will also address mobility (stabilizing the systems inside for movement) and automated watering to reduce labor intensity or time required for maintenance.
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