Photo: Tomatoes growing in the AutoPot® 10" Double Module
The AutoPot® Smart-valve
The Smart-valve is the heart of AutoPot® Systems - this unit controls the water level in a module (or your own tray) to give your plants the wet-dry cycle. Over thirty years of trials, refinement and development have resulted in today’s Smart-valve.
The Smart-valve and AutoPot® Systems have won a number of awards including the Inventors Association of Victoria, Australia, First Prize in 1992 and the best Victorian invention at the Royal Melbourne Show of that same year.
How does the Smart-valve work?
Unlike a conventional ball cock type float valve, the Smart-valve allows total reduction of the fluid level before it refills. When connected to a low pressure water supply (which can be from either pressure reduced mains, pressure pump (like the AutoPot® Smart Pump Set) or gravity tank, the Smart-valve opens to allow water to enter the bottom of the growing container to a set depth (approx 35mm).
The Smart-valve then closes and will not permit further water to enter the container until all the original supply has been used up by the pot. This absorption is achieved by capillary action that occurs in the growing medium. Once the water has been absorbed to the extent that the film of water under the Smart-valve has gone, the Smart-valve re-opens and another supply of water enters the growing container, thus we have wet-dry cycles dictated by the pot's own rate of consumption.