BLOG# 11 - Edible Algae System - (Growing Spirulina in space)
Conclusions and Enhancements for future systems
This is my FINAL blog post in a series of blog post for the Design Challenge 1 Meter of Pi
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This is my last blog for the Design Challenge "1 Meter of PI". It was an interesting journey for me. I gained a tremendous amount of knowledge about the Raspberry PI softeware development platform, and I will continue experimenting with this technology after the challenge is complete. I am fairly new to MCU's (I've experimented with the PI, Azure Sphere and a Dragonboard). This was a real challenge for me. Up until this challenge, I had never designed a circuit on my own before. I have always relied on projects from others members here and on "hasckster.io". I was intrigued with the capabilities of the PI 4. I needed to dig deep to learn more about GPIO interface to connect the 2 hats to one PI. With the help of another sponsored challengers blog post, I was able to figure it out.
The experience has been a rewarding experience for me. Thank you again Element14 for the opportunity to compete in this design challenge.
In my design, I was able to meet the challenge by using all the gear supplied in the challenger kit. However, I did not design for Zero gravity. I also cut back on the size of the ! cubic meter containment space. The result of my design, is a Phase One proof of concept prototype, I intend to upgrade this design and implement said design with a Phase 2 rewrite.
- In this blog I will:
- Show Pictures and Videos of the operation of my design actually working.
- I will list some Conclusions that were reached during this challenge..
- And lastly, I will list some enhancements that could be added to my design in Phase 2..
- These enhancements should make the growing of spirulina more hands free and automated.
- Here is a pictorial of my prototype, that I implemented based on my design..
- I had to cut up the original video into these pieces, because it was too large.
- It is running the 6 Python scripts that were used to implement my design. These scripts are described in more detail in the previous blog.
- They are each running in a terminal window on the PI.
- The Breadboard next to the PI, is handling the Waterproof sensor, located in the Glass container
- The other Breadboard, is used for the Automation Hat Output channels, for the Heating Pad, Light source, and Water Pump
- The Glass container contains the spirulina culture used to grow the algae.
- It also contains the hose and air stone attached to the pump, for Oxidization.
- And, the waterproof Temperature sensor.
The 6 scripts running
What's underneath the Green storage Bin?
It's the Growing house. I decided to shroud it with black peice of fabric.
The next group of video's will show what is under the storage bim
Ok , here is what is under the storage bin.
Since I'm planning on using the Lamp as the only source of light in my basement, I wanted to cover the entire thing with something. This way, the growing environment is totally self contained.
The Monitor will be used now so I can experiment with everything, but eventually, a headless PI , ould be accessed remotely using VNC or @PuTTy from a PC. or another PI.
- some collusions:
- The Element14 community is a great place to learn. Everyone is so helpful and kind. I always get and answer to my questions.
- I need to experiment with the automation HAT a little more, specifically connecting household electronics to the PI
- I need to learn more about resistors and there use.
- I need to learn more about circuit design.
- I need to experiment more with MCU to MCU wireless communication.
- Some of the many new things that I've learned during the challenge:
- Circuit Design
- The Water Sensor I used for the challenge
- The Environ HAT
- The Automation HAT Mini
- Enhancements that could be added to my design, to make the growing of spirulina more hands free and automated.
- Using two PI's and one PI zero W to communicate with each other over MQTT
- Use the Hats on there own PI
- Use the Display screens of each hat to present status values.
- Putting a MongoDB server on a PI with a 64 bit OS.
- Refactoring the Classes that are in my design.
- Add error code and severity logging to the Classes and scripts.
- Design Concepts that I didn't have time to get implemented. I will implement these as Enhancements in the next release cycle.
- A PH sensor, for use in the growing Container. I was unable to get one in time and cost effective for the Challenge Deadline.
- The In-take and Out-take Fans to control the airflow in the Growing House.
- The Room heater under automation control.
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