Hydroponic

HYDROPONICS USING IoT

By
Vinay Dandamraju,Project Manager(IoT)
Shravya Sugali,IoT Engineer
Scottline

Introduction:

Current agriculture advancement is being challenged like never before with sustainable food production and security in a demographically obese world. Climate change is another major challenge that contemporary farming practice tries to overcome. Conventional soil dependent farming practices make farmers vulnerable to various manifestations of climate change. Different technologies were employed to enable farming practices to adapt and build resilience against irregular microclimate shifts. It is imperative that modern farmers need to be equipped with precise management and monitoring of the crop system with access to the scientific data about the field environment to execute intelligent and informed decisions in time. Alternate farming technology like hydroponic culture technique and integration of smart IoT system are deemed promising solutions to the aforementioned problems. In this study, we have developed a smart hydroponic system with technology enabled by IoT system. Plants were hydroponically cultured under various treatments and morphological parameters were measured and characterized.

Why Hydroponics?

  • Hydroponic farming is a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions, in water, without soil. The hydroponic gardener controls the growing environment of the plants. The system is highly automated of course but still requires to be well managed. Both water and nutrients are feed directly to the root structure of the plants and recycled through the hydroponic system. This also eliminates the typical land and water pollution possibilities due to overland flow and runoff.
  • Plants need food, water and air. When you break it down to those three things, it becomes simple to give plants only what they need. Hydroponics is the science of growing plants without soil. The plants thrive on the nutrient solution alone; the medium merely acts as a support for the plants and their root systems.

Why IoT?

  • IOT is a Device with built in sensors to collect and transfer data over a network without manual intervention. IoT is a concept that connects all the devices to the internet and let them communicate with each other over the internet. IoT is trying to Expand interact, contribute and collaborate.
  • IoT has helped a lot in improving technologies and making them better. The manufacturer can collect data from different car sensors and analyze them to improve their design and make them much more efficient.

What can we achieve?:

These are the important functional aspects which are to be taken care of in hydroponics:

  • Maintain Proper Nutrient Solution Temperature:

 It’s important to keep your nutrient solution at between 65-75 degrees. When temperatures get too high, dissolved oxygen levels go down and create an environment ripe for root rot. Temperatures that get too low will slow down plant growth.  For small reservoirs, aquarium heaters are usually enough to warm up a nutrient solution that is too cold.

  • Top off Your Hydroponic Reservoir:

 In circulating systems, you may need to top off the reservoir in between reservoir changes. Water is lost due to evaporation and plant processes and may need to be replaced to keep the system running properly. Smaller reservoirs will need to be topped off more often.

  • Provide Proper Aeration:

 A well-oxygenated nutrient solution is important for healthy root growth. It’s necessary for plant process and stimulates the growth of the beneficial organism that strengthens the root system. It’s never a bad idea to add an extra air stone to maintain a high amount of dissolved oxygen.

  • Clean The Filter:

 If you don’t have a filter somewhere on your hydroponic system it’s a good idea to add one. This will prevent plant matter and debris from getting into your nutrient reservoir. Clean the filter often to reduce the build-up that pests love.  Deep water culture systems do not need a filter but its good to clean floating debris out of the nutrient solution.

  • Do Regular pH and EC Checks:

 Maintaining proper pH and EC levels are important tasks when maintaining your hydroponic reservoir. pH ranges should be kept in the 5.5-6.5 range. Make sure to do some research on the variety of plants you’re growing to determine the proper EC levels for your hydroponic garden.

  • Check Your Equipment:

 It’s a good idea to check over the equipment in the hydroponic reservoir on a regular basis. Broken pumps, aerators, and connections can go unnoticed for a short time before your garden shows signs.

Advantages:

To define the purpose of this topic it is essential to know about the outcomes and benefits of Hydroponics.

  • No soils needed
  • Make better use of space and location
  • Climate control
  • Hydroponics is water-saving
  • Effective use of nutrients
  • pH control of the solution
  • Better growth rate
  • No weeds
  • Fewer pests & diseases
  • Less use of insecticide, and herbicides
  • Labour and time savers
  • Hydroponics is a stress-relieving hobby

Conclusion:

The proposed hydroponic system hence implements the integration of different varieties of crops. The short comings of the existing system like growth of a single type of crop in the entire system have been overcome. A methodological approach has been taken forth to regulate the working of the system. The plants grown under this system is analyzed with traditionally grown ones and has been found that these plants grow a lot quicker with minimum requirement of nutrients. They are much cleaner with minimum organic constituents using up only required water, preventing loss of water.Also the cost for cropping is nominal on consideration of its advantages. Hence this model encourages practicing of an alternate approach towards farming that is eco-friendly and efficient on comparison with upcoming techniques.

About Authors:

Vinay is working as a Project Manager with Scottline and has successfully delivered several projects in AI and IoT Space. He is an Engineer by qualification and passionate about making an impact on a social cause. He is vocal about agriculture and farmers.

Shravya is working as IoT Engineer with Scottline and has pitched in the idea of developing an IoT application that can close the gap between technology and Agriculture. Her current effort lies in the same area, and she has been designing the solution for Hydroponics.

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