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Placed on – August 2, 2022

From seedlings to harvest-ready crops: implementing advanced IoT control systems in hydroponics

Hydroponics

More than an art, high-yielding efficient hydroponics for commercial sales is kind of a science. Each crop and flower are different, which makes the task of finding the right feeding recipe a complicated and time-consuming process.

Not only is finding the recipe hard, but (according to experts in hydroponics) some hydroponic systems fit the climate of the place you live in better than others, and the choice of equipment also depends on each specific growing phase. Thankfully there are enterprises developing and offering hydroponic systems and advising on what suits your situation best.

Still, to address the main challenges of finding the right feeding recipe and the precise greenhouse conditions for improved growth and accelerated value —instead of settling for baseline conditions— the Internet of Things (IoT) and automation are the best allies.

Ready to change the game

Companies offering hydroponic systems or hydroponic growers themselves are aware that there comes a moment in a producer’s life when things cannot be left to chance.  Experience and feeling can only go so far. This realization shows that they are ready to take their game to the next level with IoT and automation.

As a leader in IoT technology, Evalan helps its clients (may them be hydroponic systems providers or hydroponic farmers themselves) to drastically change their farming game. Adding IoT technology gives them the confidence to know that even if they are not physically there, there won’t be any disasters in their greenhouse or indoor farms.

With the help of an IoT system they can practice precision agriculture. This means that they will be able to supply the exact recipe and climate that each plant needs to grow to its full potential. Other than that, they will realize that there is a lot of cost-saving in manpower and nutrition materials, among other benefits.

How it works

With Evalan, there is no need for the usual complication. We can supply a suitable and scalable IoT solution, to achieve specific goals, for any hydroponic system. How? It all starts with wireless sensors (don’t worry if you already have those provided by a third party, as our IoT gateway BACE will be able to connect to all of them through one of its many standard protocols).

Once the sensors are installed throughout the hydroponic system, BACE will start bringing the collected data to a cloud application through a secure API (Application Programming Interface) for its analysis and delivery to a user facing dashboard or application.

Let’s take, for example, one of our use cases. Picture a Deep Water Culture hydroponic system that uses floating platforms to cultivate crops (just like in the picture of this article), for which the client wanted to gather real-time and uninterrupted information to optimize quality and growing conditions.

The two main challenges they wanted to address were the following: 1) ensuring the homogeneity of the ideal growing conditions regardless of the plant’s location inside of the greenhouse; and 2) being able to track individual plants to figure out the most desirable growing path and profile.

For them, Evalan installed the BACE gateway in the greenhouse and sensors on the floating platforms to gather information about above-water conditions in the greenhouse such as temperature, humidity, CO2 concentration and leaf wetness throughout the plant’s journey from seedling to harvest-ready. Now, our client is optimizing its production processes by making accurate data-driven decisions. And they already see the results!

The next phase will install a second group of sensors, this time, to measure under-water data, including the nutrition value (via the electrical conductivity), PH and dissolved oxygen. This comprehensive IoT solution will allow the client to get a complete profile of the plants’ experience to further assess and optimize their journey.

Evalan as a partner

Partnership and collaboration are key for effective solutions in the agriculture sector. In that sense, choosing the right IoT partner company is essential to have a well-enabled and robust IoT solution that accelerates the time to value of your business.

At Evalan, we believe in working together towards reliable and accurate solutions, as you bring the domain knowledge and we the technology expertise.

Does the vision of increasing the volume and perfecting the quality of your yields by optimizing key conditions resonate with you? Contact us to set up a robust condition monitoring system with IoT.

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