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Sole Source

Justification for Sole Source Procurement of MM432 Microgreens Maker kit for Controlled EnvironmentAgriculture (CEA)

Our MM432 Microgreens Maker is only available from a sole source. Arent Fox in San Francisco, CA filed our provisional patent on November 10, 2017, and our non-provisional patent on November 9, 2018: U.S. Patent Application No.:16/186,447 APPARATUS AND METHODS FOR A HYDROPONICS SYSTEM WITH ENHANCED HEAT TRANSFER.

MM432 Microgreens Maker combines systems for water cooling of the LEDs and for hydroponics into a single modular and scalable system with a more efficient design for heat transfer. We reduced lighting costs by replacing a 100W LED system that cost $200 with a $27 LED array that is a monolithic semiconductor the size of a large coin, and eliminated the competitor’s extruded aluminum heat sink, fan, power supply, and large steel chassis.

That enhanced heat transfer further reduces lighting costs by keeping the case temperature below the manufacturer’s specification for safely operating the LED array at a higher current. Our LED array operates at 50V with 2.1A for 105W from a single chip. The 100W LED system we replaced operates at 36V with 1.4A for 50W from a single chip, and requires twice as many chips for the same amount of power delivered from the LED.

Given that a farmer is able to grow microgreens in a 1020 tray, and get a couple of pounds yield from each tray every week, the farmer may pack 3 of those trays into one layer, stack 4 layers in one rack, and yield 24 pounds per system per week of cilantro microgreens that currently sell for $80 per pound. That’s $2,000 per week revenue from a $4,000 system that draws less than 500W, and that fits into a 32” space.