P17420: Seedfolk City Farm Greenhouse Heating
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Project Summary Project Information

Project Description

Currently, Rochester is ranked the 5th poorest city in the country with approximately 135,000 residents struggling with food insecurity. As a result, issues of food access and education are critically important to Seedfolk. In order to bridge the disconnect between the lack of food access in our city with those who need it most, Seedfolk believes that our communities must transform the way they relate to the food that they eat. Therefore, the desire for a four season greenhouse was born.

Seedfolk City Farm has a 24’x24’ greenhouse at The Gandhi Institute, located on South Plymouth Avenue. They grow a number of various vegetables, and provide educational opportunities for kids in the neighborhood to learn about leadership and farming. Presently, however, it is not optimized for use during the winter months. The main reasons for this to this point have been design challenges in designing a system that can heat the greenhouse throughout the harsh Rochester winters without taxing the electrical grid too severely, if at all, and a relatively low operational budget. However, the ultimate goal of Seedfolk, and our project, is to have a greenhouse that is operational year round.

Some of the other attributes that Seedfolk would like to see accomplished include providing a heating system that utilizes bio-thermal heat, particularly compost in this instance. A system that is easily regulated and needs minimal follow-up/maintenance once put into place is another attribute Seedfolk would like to see implemented. Doing this would provide kids in the Seedfolk program a great opportunity to learn about indoor growing, and the process that goes into it.

Visit the Seedfolk website here: http://seedfolkcityfarm.org/about/

Link to: Project Readiness Package

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Project Name
Seedfolk City Farm Greenhouse Heating
Project Number
P17420
Project Family
Sustainable Track
Start Term
Spring 2017
End Term
Fall 2017
Faculty Guide
John Kaemmerlen, jxkpdm@rit.edu, 475-2767
Primary Customer
Seedfolk City Farms
Sponsor (financial support)
ASHRAE® Rochester Chapter

Team Members

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Member Role Contact
Fintan McManus Electrical Engineer fcm6165@g.rit.edu
Carson Pratt Electrical Engineer cwp6071@g.rit.edu
Brett Kajganich Industrial Engineer bck8444@g.rit.edu
Neil Asrani Mechanical Engineer nna7131@g.rit.edu
Devash Dedhia Mechanical Engineer dcd5678@g.rit.edu
Siddharth Kini Mechanical Engineer srk4408@g.rit.edu

Project Phase by Phase Summary

Problem Definition

Systems Design

Preliminary Detailed Design

Detailed Design

Build and test prep

Subsystem Build and Test

Table of Contents

MSD I & II MSD I MSD II

Planning & Execution

Project Photos and Videos

Imagine RIT

Problem Definition

Systems Design

Preliminary Detailed Design

Detailed Design

Build & Test Prep

Subsystem Build & Test

Integrated System Build & Test

Integrated System Build & Test with Customer Demo

Customer Handoff & Final Project Documentation

Acknowledgements