Automated greenhouse system using wireless sensor network
Agriculture has been among the key contributors to the country Kenya‘s GDP and greenhouse technology has shown the improvement of the deteriorating soil value caused by the extreme weather conditions and continual usage, and also is economical. This is because the greenhouse has fewer requirements for chemical use, manure use and the crops are shielded from direct rainfall and sunlight. Greenhouse maintenance has been a challenge because it requires much of human intervention, still being mostly used here in Kenya. Automating the greenhouse maintenance processes like aeration using Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) will help improve the health of crops and also save time. To come up with a solution, a prototype was developed to collect environmental factors, soil moisture, humidity and temperature from a field and then that data is sent to a central station. Various technologies and standards such as Arduino, ZigBee, XBee were used to form a WSN. A Proteus Professional simulator was used to demonstrate the relay node where the parameters were regulated through acts such as turning the funs on or opening irrigating valve, etc. The prototype was able to collect data from an open field and a greenhouse and a comparison was done to determine how the parameter values changed over time, showing the difference in greenhouse and open field data. The feasibility of the wireless communication module was found to be 99.6% i.e. when the nodes were within the required range. Greenhouse environmental factors‘ values were found to be higher than the normal open field ones. The simulator was able to show how the relay node can be used to regulate greenhouse environmental factors to their desired levels if not found within the required limits. Through the use of the prototype, greenhouse environmental factors values were set within the optimal set threshold levels which in turn promoted optimal plant performance. The system will contribute a great deal to the Kenyan farmers as it saves time, money and energy.
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