How does SOLAR-ALGA compare to other hydroponic or aeroponic systems? 

The SOLAR-ALGA organic nutrient system stands out from other hydroponic set-ups as an all-in-one high-density organic nutrient system- a soil mimic with all beneficial microorganisms for healthy roots and healthy produce,  a product of our collaboration with a leading agricultural research and development centre. The nutrients developed by our Agro technology team qualify for organic certification, versus synthetic commercial hydroponic solutions. The latter have a significant environmental impact with toxic runoff, and uncertain health impact with synthetic nitrates in chemical fertilisers.*

Amongst commercially available home tower systems, the SOLAR-ALGA occupies the smallest footprint, at just 0.14 square metres housing 45 different crops, 1/10th the footprint of average vertical tower systems. It is designed for both indoor* and outdoor use, a small patio or balcony with full sun is all that is required! No need for gardens or backyards in this case! 

All home hydroponic systems currently available commercially require an electrical connection. The SOLAR-ALGA Urban Organic Tower Farm is the first home farming system fully powered by renewable solar energy. 

*Ward MH Too much of a good thing? Nitrate from nitrogen fertilizers and cancer. Reviews on Environmental Health, 01 Oct 2009, 24(4):357-363

Why should I choose SOLAR-ALGA?

The SOLAR-ALGA is based off 100% soil-less farming principles, while retaining the natural microbiological activities of soil-grown organic produce. It has been proven to have up to 30% higher yield in head-to head studies with soil gardening and regular hydroponic gardening systems. 

An efficient, quick growing and high-yield home system with the smallest footprint compared to existing home hydroponic/aeroponic tower systems available on the commercial market. Its minimalist sleek design stands out from bulky hydroponic systems or vertical towers— every feature of the SOLAR-ALGA  is specifically tailored for urban home-dwellers in Singapore—perfect for apartments! 

Why are plants grown in the SOLAR-ALGA System stronger and more resilient to pests and diseases?

We get to the Roots…. 

With the SOLAR-ALGA Urban Organic Tower Farm System, there is no more reason to have a brown thumb. We have discovered that the secret behind successful and rapid crop growth is in the plant roots. In our system, roots grow deep and quickly, and plants are more resilient to diseases because of the biological activators from our star SOLAR-ALGA seaweed extract. 

Optimal Root-Zone Temperatures and Flow Rates for Perfect Root Oxygenation for Micronutrient Absorption 

Did you know that overheating of plant roots is a common cause of root suffocation (asphyxiation) that causes both soil and soil-less(hydroponic) gardens to fail? We engineered the SOLAR-ALGA internal brushless pump system (with a flow rate of 240L/hour) to feed all 45 plants at optimal root zone temperatures for Singapore’s hot and humid climate, while the constant flow of water oxygenates the plant roots, a key distinction from traditional hydroponic systems (nutrient film, deep water culture techniques). 

What are common problems with hydroponic gardening and how is the SOLAR-ALGA different?

Is hydroponic gardening foolproof? No. A quick search on the internet will show the commonest problems facing hydroponic gardeners- nutrient deficiencies and yellowing leaves. Even with the optimally dosed nutrient solutions, nutrient deficiencies are common in hydroponic systems ( deep water culture, nutrient film techniques) because of root suffocation or overheated root zone temperatures. Agricultural research shows that lack of oxygen and overheated root temperatures impair the absorption of key nutrients such as potassium. Hydroponic crops have also been found to be laden with toxic chemicals, herbicides and pesticides. So no, hydroponic does not mean organic produce at all. The home systems you see are all based off synthetic hydroponic fertilisers which are derived from the petrochemical industry.

Our SOLAR-ALGA aeroponic tower is powered by a nutrient solution that is an all-rounded soil substitute. It has the same organic nutrients from 100% vegetal extracts and has a positive environmental impact by encouraging beneficial microorganism growth. It  is designed specifically to overcome problems of traditional hydroponic systems such as root rot and suffocation, providing ideal root zone cooling and oxygenation levels for perfect plant growth.

Comparison of SOLAR-ALGA with other Home Hydroponic Systems SOLAR-ALGA System 

No Soil-Borne DiseasesMinimal Pests Optimal yield per tower Cost-Effective 
Other Vertical Tower Systems/Traditional Hydroponics 

Number of Plants Grown 
Fully vertical with minimal footprint for water reservoir at 1/10th that of traditional tower gardens 

45 different plants grown in 27 litre reservoir.
Typical footprint of at least 1 square metre. Requires large outdoor balcony or patio.

Average 25, maximum at 36 plant holes for 75 litre reservoir 
WheelsIn-built wheels for all towersWithout wheels, bulky and expensive wheel system needs to be customised for traditional water reservoir tank at > 70 Litres
Nutrient Solution
100% Organic, ISO 14000 certified 

Single All-purpose High-density Nutrient Solution for leafy greens, herbs and vegetables. 100% plant derived vegetal extracts.
Easy standard dosing and titration 
Synthetic nutrients with toxic runoff associated with nitrates. Nutrients derived from the petrochemical industry. 

Requiring A, B ( and even C) nutrient solutions for complex fruiting and leafy greens
Some experience required for dosing according to plant growth stages. Common nutrient toxicity or deficiencies.
Root Oxygenation and Temperatures to Ensure Optimal Nutrient UptakeCompact reservoir system with energy-efficient high flow rate pump engineered for optimal root oxygen update and temperatures.

Bulky reservoir systems required to maintain optimal flow rate and oxygenation for competitor tower gardens. 
Hydroponic gardens based on nutrient film and deep water culture techniques lack root oxygenation, common cause of nutrient deficiency and crop failure.

Minimalist, Sleek and Efficient Design backed by Agricultural Science 
MiraFoam sponges are anti-microbial, algae and mold-resistant, reusable and long-lasting

No net pots are additional components required.
Uses rockwool – easy growth of algae and mold, need for replacement regularly 

Multi-Component system requires assembly, as well as use of net pots which are prone to UV degradation and breakage.

Dr.TWL Biomaterials is a Singapore based division of cosmeceutical research company Dr.TWL Dermaceuticals, specialising in plant anti-oxidants and bioactivators. The biomaterials arm specialises in novel materials engineering— for health, eco-consciousness and sustainability.