Arduino PLC use: Greenhouse microclimate control with Ardbox Open source hardware

Arduino PLC use: Greenhouse microclimate control with Ardbox Open source hardware

Abstract

The main objective of greenhouses has always been to achieve an optimal growing environment. Greenhouses apply microclimate control, usually with microcontrollers or PLCs. Due to its advantages, in recent years, many farmers have begun installing devices that allow automation of windows, sensing climate conditions as luminosity or temperature. In this post Opiron will make a simple automation project to optimize the production of a greenhouse using an Arduino based PLC: the Ardbox PLC from IndustrialShields.  

Hardware

Our system will do the control inside the greenhouse of soil moisture and air temperature, and it will activate the irrigation system and open / close windows depending on the climate conditions. The hardware used will be:

  1. Soil Moisture Sensor:  The sensor includes a humidity / temperature sensor module.
  2. Ardbox PLC from IndustrialShields. (SEE PRICES).
  3. A pump plus a driver (the driver will be used to provide enough current for the pump).
  4. A relay to activate the pump.
  5. A servo to open windows.   The main objective of our system will be to maintain a microclimate at optimal level.

    control1 Software and code

From the software point of view, the key points of the code are the humidity and temperature thresholds defined:

  • Irrigation system: The moisture sensor detects the humidity in the ground all the time. When the measured value is below the minimal, the irrigation system is activated.
  • Air ventilation: The temperature sensor detects the temperature inside the greenhouse. Assuming that the external temperature is below the internal temperature, we will open and close the windows depending on the minimal and maximal threshold temperature defined.

Furthermore, greenhouse ventilation will help to control CO2 levels. We will have to install, additionally the Arduino ide, the library for the soil moisture sensor that you can download here. You can download the code in the following link: 2014111_arduino_code Going Further and key benefits

A Green house is a complex system where a lot of automation can be developed. For instance, relative humidity, light or CO2 are other typical vairables to be measured. Of course, not only inside conditions can be measured, so outside conditions too (solar radiation, wind speed, wind direction and rainfall rate). The key benefits of the developed system are:

  1. Optimal production conditions significantly increased.
  2. Efficient and cheap solution.
  3. Open source based, which means a system easy to maintain which allows customizability.
  4. Easy to expand, so you can easily add CO2 sensors, wind detectors, etc.
Contact us!

Do you have a process to be automated? Contact Industrialshields to buy the proper hardware and Opiron to implement the entire solution.

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