Ever wondered what it's like to run your own plantation? It's always been something of interest to me to see how it would be to create my own controlled environment to be able to experiment around with. This project does just that. Basically it is a smaller-scale "Smart" green house that is able to house up to four plants in a condensed space. The project took approximately two and a half weeks to create. I hope to be able to come up with something on a larger scale once I fully grasp the concept.
Right now as is, the project runs on arduino modules, one assigned to be the slave and the other programmed as master control. The master module is responsible for analyzing indoor and outdoor temperatures, humidity, soil moisture and the incoming light. Using sensors for temp and humidity, I'll be able to optimize the perfect conditions for the plants to thrive once I'm able to figure out the growth rate. A small humidifier is used to provide moisture in case things turn dry. I have two mini fans installed which I salvaged from old laptops in order to keep the air circulating and to prevent the mud from staying wet, as well as to get the air out in order to control the temperature. The relay is WiFI controlled which essentially means that this is an IoT project. With an LM7804 they heat up very quickly so a 5v regulator or a large heatsink for the 7804 would be needed.
Using a TFT, I am able to visualize the data that is being read by the modules. The fan's running intervals can be set using the monitor as well. By receiving sensor data, the slave module sends them to an instance of SQL. Reliability is okay so far but I will replace it if I can find something better. The program has the ability to take in targets and optimize the internal environment to meet the criteria. Targets such as humidity, temperature and soil moisture are monitored, with a series of fans and alerts to control each variable.The LED drivers are there to drive a series of LEDs to initiate photosynthesis. The Arduino on the upper right hand side handles SQL communication, with the indicator light showing connection status. The external DHT temp/humidity sensor is below that.Driven well below the max, for example, you the lights are very intense. The heat sinks which act as a roof provide more than ample dissipation. Internal temperatures hardly ever float above outside temperatures.
I’m a little concerned I haven’t really nailed the moisture part of the equation in my greenhouse. Reason being, I’m not noticing much variance in the soil moisture readout days after I water the plant. I’d expect moisture to rise to near 100% after watering, and slowly taper off to about 20-30%, signaling a new water cycle to begin. I need to be able to rely on this cycle if I’m going to integrate watering into the system. I premeditated parts of this issue and tried to code around it. I know that these sensors are cheap, but regardless of price, water and electrical current will cause oxidation. As oxidation rises on the sensor the readings vary widely. To combat this, I used common sense, only powering the sensor milliseconds before the readings were triggered, and powered them down immediately after.
digitalWrite(soilPower,HIGH); soilMoisture1=map(analogRead(soilPin1),0,1024,0,100); soilMoisture2=map(analogRead(soilPin2),0,1024,0,100); digitalWrite(soilPower,LOW);
At this stage, nothing is permanent and will remain relatively dynamic even if things are perfectly in sync as of the moment. I'll be cleaning up some of the wiring very soon and will be testing my first seeds very soon.
I need to incorporate more data into the model to improve it’s predictive abilities. A chief concern would be the number of LED’s vs. inside temp, and intensity (as measured by amperage), vs inside temp. Adding these two predictors to the model would help me prepare for expansion during summer months, and develop ways around issues. I could develop a louver system to be integrated and used in times of extreme heat. I could also program the lights to dim to a certain % of full power in times of high outdoor heat to compensate for the additional cooling needs.
- Environmental Parameter Monitoring (Humidity, Moisture, Temp, Light, CO2 Content)
- In-built lighting module
- Automatic humidifierWater timer and display notification via Analytics from PC