4 min reading
16 December 2021
16 December 2021
How to Improve Monitoring of Greenhouse Environment Using IoT?
TEKTELIC provides IoT solutions for greenhouse environment monitoring. We offer an easy-to-use cloud-based monitoring platform for greenhouse environment control systems.
Monitoring the greenhouse environment is necessary to maintain the optimal conditions for plant growth. Using wireless sensor networks, the monitoring of the greenhouse environment can be not only simplified but can also contribute to production efficiency increase. We can use monitoring and control sensors for different purposes in agriculture. Aside from controlling irrigation and water valves, they can also control sprinkler systems. The main benefit of these control devices is low power consumption and cloud storage that allows constant monitoring without excessive power use.
What is a Greenhouse Environment?
The greenhouse environment is a complex system that influences plant growth and development. The temperature of the soil is important for the development of many crops, and providing the correct amount of water is critical for the health of the plants, that is why there is a huge need for reliable control applications. Not enough moisture, in turn, results in a low yield, while too much moisture can lead to root diseases and water wastage. Fortunately, there are various controls for the moisture levels in a greenhouse, and the temperature inside the greenhouse can be controlled to provide the best growing conditions for your plants.
As you see, the greenhouse environment is an environment that can directly influence the growth of crops. The optimum climate growth conditions are essential to high yield, high quality, and low environmental load. The temperature of the air, humidity, light intensity, and carbon dioxide concentration are monitored and controlled to ensure that all the elements of the environment are optimal for plant growth. By controlling these variables, farmers can produce a maximum amount of food while reducing environmental impact.
The greenhouse environment is similar to the natural atmosphere. Incoming radiation warms the Earth’s surface, while outgoing radiation cools the air. A greenhouse’s glass walls allow shortwave UV rays to pass through and are absorbed by plants, while longwave IRs are trapped inside. The longwave rays are the most harmful. That is why during the first year of a greenhouse’s operation, the owner should not only read a manual to learn how to operate the greenhouse but also integrate a reliable control system, preferably on the basis of the Internet of Things technology.
The Main Components of Greenhouse Environment
The greenhouse environment is determined by various factors, but the most important four are heat, humidity, light levels, and ventilation. Using the correct combination of these factors can help maximize the yields of plants. The right balance of these variables can help your plants grow and produce a good harvest. For example, the more efficient the air circulation, the more productive the growth of the crops is. In a similar analogy, the more ventilation a greenhouse has, the more sunlight it can absorb. All these factors combined, in turn, guarantee an effective growth of the agricultural crops.
One of the most important components of the greenhouse environment is the amount of light. Different locations give plants different levels of direct or diffuse light, which influence the development of crops and plants. As a rule, a greenhouse located on the southern side receives plenty of direct sunlight, while the northern side is shaded. It should be noted during the environmental monitoring and setting of crop growth environment.
There is also a need to understand from where beams of lights reach the agriculture crop. For example, diffuse light is caused by beams of light passing through translucent glazing. Partial light, in turn, occurs when a plant receives only part of the day’s sunlight, such as the rays from the sun. This understanding will help agricultural production. However, tracking it manually may pose a difficulty, that is why it may be way easier to implement a technology that can sensor data automatically.
Air is also a vital component of a greenhouse environment. The sun is the primary source of greenhouse gasses. The two most prevalent gases in the atmosphere are water vapor and ozone. Neither of these gases is directly emitted by humans, but they are often absorbed into the air. They are the main causes of global warming, and therefore, must be monitored closely to prevent it from causing harm to the ecosystem and agriculture.
A greenhouse can have many different types of air pollution. Most greenhouses are required to manage storm and irrigation runoff. These runoffs must be managed for pesticides, as well as water pH. In addition, the greenhouse must keep a constant temperature throughout the growing season. There are also requirements for the disposal of pollutants and chemicals, such as fertilizers, and other chemicals.
Proper ventilation is another key factor. A greenhouse must be able to regulate temperature, and it needs to move air in and out of the greenhouse to ensure a favorable agricultural production environment. Without proper ventilation, plants will not be able to absorb the heat. Thus, proper ventilation is essential to the health of the crops. There are a number of ways to achieve this and a smart agriculture monitoring system based on the Internet of Things technology can help with this.
How Can IoT Help in Greenhouse Control?
Storing Big Data
The Internet of Things (IoT) solution in a greenhouse can help in a number of ways. The sensors are able to collect a large amount of data pertaining to the crops, soil quality, and crop growth process. This data can help farmers make better decisions and improve their productivity. The use of sensors in greenhouses helps increase the yield of crops, decrease the costs and reduce human intervention. It also helps reduce waste and water consumption.
Creating a Network
Another way of using IoT sensors in a greenhouse is to create a smart sensor network. These are devices that detect environmental factors such as temperature, light, and CO2. The sensors also detect when certain conditions are ideal for the plants. These sensors can help greenhouses reduce energy and water consumption, and make the entire process of running a greenhouse more efficient.
The IoT sensor network can help farmers monitor the conditions in their greenhouses located in different places around the country or even around the world. Its wireless technology will enable soil moisture sensors, humidity sensors, temperature sensors, and other sensors to be connected to the internet. In turn, the connected devices will have a web connection and can be remotely controlled to make changes. This is especially useful for large-scale greenhouses which are located in many different zones. In such a control system, the sensors will be connected to a single network that allows for remote greenhouse monitoring.
Monitoring External and Internal Conditions
Additionally, a smart system can be used to monitor the pH level of a fertigation solution. It can also monitor solar radiation and external factors such as climate conditions, including air temperature, relative humidity, and vapor pressure deficit. In the nearest future, these systems will be able to perform other types of climate monitoring.
A smart control system can detect whether a greenhouse is a safe place for plants. A microclimate sensor can monitor soil moisture in a greenhouse and warn of potential issues such as mildew disease or condensation. It can control the amount of sunlight in a greenhouse and monitor the temperature and humidity inside. By monitoring the greenhouse’s CO2 levels, you’ll be able to adjust the temperature and humidity to optimize the growth of your crops. In addition to the above-mentioned benefits, a smart greenhouse monitoring system will also notify you of any changes in the greenhouse’s CO2 levels. IoT-based monitoring systems are really helpful in greenhouse monitoring which is proved by the abovementioned benefits named.
In addition to sensors, a greenhouse environment monitoring system can also scan the flow rate of nutrients and light. It can also track leaf area, pH levels, solar radiation, and other climate conditions. This system can also be used to control the growth of rocket plants. However, the complexity of the network and the resulting data must be understood before the system can be implemented. It is important to keep in mind that an IoT solution is a complex process that requires a lot of research and development.
Automation of Processes
The implementation of IoT sensors in greenhouses will eliminate the need for manual monitoring and will enable automatic adjustments. It will significantly improve the remote control system of multiple greenhouses. Using these devices in greenhouses will provide vital greenhouse environment information. The IoT agriculture sensors and wireless sensor nodes will also help farmers communicate with their customers and improve their crop productivity. As the sensors collect data, they can remotely manage the lights and windows in the greenhouse. They will also monitor temperatures and ventilation in the greenhouse. Such environmental parameters monitoring and control will provide for rapid development of particular greenhouses, and help them to transmit data fastly.
IoT Sensing and Data Sharing in Greenhouse Production
Visual and Audial Data
An example of the potential of the Internet of Things sensing and data sharing in greenhouse production is a greenhouse environment monitoring system that will help farmers monitor their crops. Such systems are based on supplemental LED lighting and are capable of tracking plant growth and respiration. The sensors can be in the form of cameras and are equipped with a microphone. They can collect data about environmental conditions and send this information to a cloud platform for analysis.
Indoor Environment Data
The IoT sensors can be installed on greenhouse systems to provide farmers with real-time data about climate, light exposure, carbon dioxide, and soil properties. The data will then trigger the necessary adjustments in lighting and HVAC settings, ensuring that the plant conditions are ideal. Another use for IoT sensing is in alarms and alerts that will notify growers if a door is left open, which can spoil the necessary level of the air temperature.
How Can IoT Greenhouse Monitoring be Incorporated?
The physical layers, software layers, and sensors can each be incorporated through standard communications protocols to transmit information to the central network. An IoT system in a greenhouse monitors greenhouse conditions. The IoT device will monitor the conditions in a greenhouse using its sensors and send them to the cloud server. It will then send the data back to the grower’s smartphone. Once the system is set up, the information collected from the sensors will be sent to a central server and stored there. This information will then be sent back to the user.
Smart technology is the key to optimization of environmental parameters control. A smart system enables the monitoring of a greenhouse using a cloud-based backend, so all collected data stays in one place. In the first phase of the connection, the sensors are configured to send their data to the cloud server. In the second phase, the data is collected from the sensors and forwarded to the controller of a greenhouse. An automatic control set, in turn, facilitates data transmission and simplifies data management.
An IoT system can help with greenhouse control. It works by placing wireless sensors throughout a greenhouse, measuring various parameters, and sending these readings to a sink node. Once the system has gathered all of the data it requires, it can remotely adjust the temperature and other parameters, thereby enabling greenhouse owners to maximize yield. If it is too hot or too cold, the IoT system can control it more effectively than even the best human professional.
Which IoT Sensors Can be used for Greenhouse Environment Monitoring?
There are several types of monitoring equipment available to greenhouse operators. These include sensors that measure the temperature and humidity inside the greenhouse, a general platform that sends a signal to a fan controller, and temperature and humidity monitors that are built into the greenhouse itself. The latter is often more convenient for a variety of reasons, including the fact that it allows the operator to limit the retractable roof and close vents when the environment is too warm or too cold.
Some sensors can be hardwired to your greenhouse, but this can be costly and logistically difficult. Other sensors can be wireless and communicate with the base unit via a radio transmitter. Many monitoring and control systems will accommodate both types of sensors. These systems also allow you to monitor multiple areas at one time. A combination of hardwire and wireless sensors can be very effective, enabling you to monitor your entire greenhouse system.
Carbon Dioxide Sensors
One of the most common methods of greenhouse monitoring is through the use of carbon dioxide sensors. These devices monitor the CO2 level in the greenhouse and transmit sensor data to control systems. The technology used to measure the CO2 levels in the greenhouse is also known as infrared thermometers. These CO2 monitors have several advantages, such as providing real-time data that allows growers to make changes to the environment on a spot based on the data collected.
Soil Moisture Sensors
A soil moisture sensor can measure the dielectric constant of soil. The capacitance of a leaf is proportional to its volumetric water content. As a rule, soil moisture sensor uses capacitance technology to measure moisture levels, which is one of the crucial agricultural parameters. The high frequency of this technology of soil monitoring eliminates “noise” and offers high-resolution measurements. The wireless monitoring and control sensors are ideal for monitoring the greenhouse environment and are compatible with both wired and wireless Ethernet connections.
Temperature sensors are one of the most widely used in greenhouse monitoring and control since without proper temperature levels it is impossible to create conditions favorable for the agricultural land. Temperature sensors can be paired with an environmental monitoring platform that stores all the collected raw data. The system is designed to integrate the data from all the sensors and provide managers with real-time access to it, so it will be possible to transmit data if necessary and send control signals. Whether the sensor is a temperature-controlled device or a wireless model, this system is an essential part of a greenhouse management process and makes a great contribution to the global IoT in the agriculture market, in general.
The most common type of greenhouse water sensor is a rain gauge. This sensor is usually installed outside the greenhouse. It measures rainfall. This type of sensor is best for monitoring greenhouses, as it can respond quickly to changes in climate and provides a profound data analysis. The rain gauge is a simple and effective solution for measuring the moisture in the soil. In addition to its effectiveness in monitoring the greenhouse’s environment, it can also help you manage water more efficiently. Based on such sensor readings you may set the automation system of water irrigation.
The use of structured light sensors in agriculture has many applications. These sophisticated devices monitor the amount of sunlight a crop is receiving. This information is used to make important farming decisions. It can be helpful in understanding the impact of different lighting conditions on plant development. It can also be useful to monitor and analyze crop yield. This technology allows farmers to detect whether a specific crop needs more water than another one. It also improves general agricultural processes.
The application of light sensors in agriculture is a great way to improve the yield of a crop. This technology helps farmers predict when the right amount of water and nutrients should be applied. In addition, a light sensor can help farmers to predict how much nitrogen fertilizer they need to apply to the soil to promote optimal plant development.
The use of optical sensors in agriculture can help farmers improve soil and crop quality. There are three main types of optical sensors used in agriculture. They monitor canopy spectral reflectance, chlorophyll fluorescence, and the amount of nitrogen absorbed by plants. This information helps farmers make the necessary adjustments to their crops. This technology is also used to assess the pH and nutrient content of the soil. If the sensor can detect the amount of chlorophyll, it can also detect the presence of specific ions in the soil, making it useful for agricultural scientists.
In the greenhouse environment, a humidity sensor is a necessity. The most widely used humidity sensor is a hygrometer. A hygrometer is a device that measures the humidity of the air in a greenhouse. It can also monitor pressure and air quality. When this sensor is powered with artificial intelligence and can not only transmit collected data to the proposed system storage but also is able to interpret sensor readings, it can enormously contribute to the automation of remote control applications and machine learning.
With the development of the environment monitoring sphere, has emerged a separate section of universal sensors, that can track air quality, soil moisture, and water distribution at once with low energy consumption. A multi-sensors monitoring kit can also monitor light and pH. Such 3-in-one sensors are really comfortable to use as they can cover all the monitoring and control needs in agriculture.
In greenhouse environment monitoring, it is possible to apply quite a wide range of sensors. The main thing here is that sensors have to support wireless communication technology, provide uninterrupted data flow, and have a simple user interface. IoT sensors for agriculture are versatile and that is why you can definitely find the one perfectly suitable for your environmental monitoring needs.
How to Install Environmental Monitoring Sensors in Agriculture?
Greenhouse monitoring and control sensors can be installed in soil, on walls, or on equipment. Some of them can be hardwired or wireless and can be placed anywhere in the greenhouse. The sensors are usually installed up to 2,000 feet away from the main monitoring device. In some cases, the sensor is mounted on a post.
What does TEKTELIC Offer for Greenhouse Environment Monitoring?
TEKTELIC greatly contributes to the global IoT in the agriculture market. Using the latest technologies, TEKTELIC offers smart automation solutions for greenhouse environment monitoring. The TEKTELIC options include a CO2 detector, 3-in-one sensor, temperature sensor, and transceivers. All devices can be paired with previous systems a certain company had before and that is why they can be a perfect choice for your greenhouse.
TEKTELIC’s solutions include an IoT gateway, a wireless sensor network, and a cloud-based application server. These solutions are designed to monitor micro-climatic conditions in greenhouses and control their equipment. CLOVER, for example, provides continuous monitoring of soil moisture and temperature. In addition, the system monitors the condition of greenhouse heating and cooling equipment, so that it can optimize the temperature and humidity of the growing environment.
Agriculture LoRaWAN Sensor has already proven its effectiveness in data analysis and data visualization in La Sapienza Botanical Garden in Rome. This sensor was applied to simplify the collection of key soil and environmental metrics for crops. Besides, the control unit of the device can be accessed from anywhere remotely, making the data acquisition simple and fast.
Additionally, there is a need to mention TEKTELIC BREEZE-D. TEKTELIC BREEZE sensor has advanced instrumentation and electronics that make it an excellent choice for greenhouse monitoring. You can customize the settings and features according to your needs. This sensor allows remote monitoring of data acquisition. What is more, this sensor has light and motion detection. Its wireless technology can be installed in the greenhouse and can be accessed by any number of people.
TEKTELIC’s sensors provide real-time data on important climate factors. They alert growers when the greenhouse normal environment is at risk. A machine learning platform, in turn, helps operators configure the systems and make smarter decisions, reducing costs on manual data acquisition or other human-involving processes. The solutions can also be integrated into existing greenhouse control systems. The benefits of these solutions are clear, they help growers make more effective decisions and support vector machines.
TEKTELIC’s smart greenhouse solutions are ideal for growing plants under controlled microclimates. The solutions are easy to use and allow for monitoring the greenhouse from anywhere in the world. They use sensors to monitor various parameters of the greenhouse and can even execute actions according to the parameters sensed. The maintainer can design the system to meet the needs of the plants and ensure that the plants are growing healthy under optimal conditions.
As you may already see, the application of IoT in smart agriculture is a great step towards being a smart city. TEKTELIC, in turn, offers all the necessary resources for the realization of a successful remote monitoring system. Our sensors, gateways, and control application are high-quality, easy to use, and innovative.
So, if you are interested in the implementation of the Internet of Things in your agricultural company, be sure to discuss the possibilities with us.