Skip navigation
1 2 Previous

Vertical Farming

18 Posts authored by: jmbranco76
Hi vertical farmers,   In the previous post we discussed our lettuce growth.   In this final one, we are going to present the latest achievements and the overall results obtained over the last months. Therefore, this post is intended to be the closure of our participation in the Vertical Farming Challenge. It was really fun to design this system, and everyone learned something along the way.   First of all, we want to show our appreciation to the challenge sponsors for providin ...
Hi vertical farmers,   In the previous post we published our repositories for Silicon Labs firmware and KiCad boards. In this post we will discuss the growth of our lettuces.   This has been a very interesting learning process that lead to some reactive improvements on our setup, mainly related to our lighting system.   Our hydroponic system has two allotments of 40 plants each (top/bottom). We started growing on the top floor with an equal ratio of DeepBlue (DB-450nm), HyperRe ...
Hi vertical farmers,   The purpose of this post is to share our source code. The source code can be accessed through this repository. The repository is composed by the following modules: Grow Sharp Base controller (firmware running on one EZR32WG board to handle the communication with the Raspberry Pi); Grow Sharp Hydroponic Node (firmware running on another EZR32WG board connected to farm sensors and MPPT board); Grow Sharp Maximum Power Point Tracking Node (firmware of photovoltaic ...
Hi vertical farmers,   In the previous post we presented the first experiments with our vision system. In this post we will review our progress.   At the beginning we proposed to do a modular automated hydroponic system with all year production supported on artificial LED lighting, based on renewable power sources and with an artificial intelligence system based on vision.   It was ambitious and the time was scarce. But, besides we still have things to do, a lot of things are a ...
Hi vertical farmers,   In the previous post we did a walkthrough our web application for supervision and control. In this post we will show our first experiments with the vision system introduced on Post 7 - Vision System.   Just to refresh the concept, our vision system is a set of computer vision algorithms capable to detect plant characteristics.   First, we provide photos with characteristics that we want to detect, for example dry leaves, small sized plants or sick plants. ...
Hi vertical farmers,   In the previous post we talked about the germination of our seeds. In this post we will show our web application for supervision and control which development started on Post 8 – Database.   In the following video we make a walkthrough on our web application showing: The login page. The main page where we can select a farm and then monitor and control it. The events occurred in each farm (e.g. warnings and errors). The sensor readings page that allows ...
Hi vertical farmers,   In the previous post we showed our Automatic Nutrient Dispenser functioning properly and how we controlled it.   In this post we will talk about the germination of our seeds.   Germination We followed the germination process described here:   We filled a plastic bag with distilled water and placed the seeds of Adriana lettuce on it during one hour. We placed one seed in each one of our rock wool substrate cubes. The rock wool cubes were disposed o ...
Hi vertical farmers,   In the previous post we discussed our power source and energy storage system and how we intend to supply our Modular Farm taking the most energy out of a solar panel while keeping the battery charge under control.   We will go back in time now to complete our Automatic Nutrient Dispenser topic (discussed on post 3 and post 4). Just to recapitulate, we discussed different possible implementations for our nutrient doser and decided to use a magnetic based impleme ...
Hi vertical farmers,   In the previous post we presented our Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) solar module converter hardware. We described the circuitry, the measured variables and the sensors used.   On this post we will go deeper into the algorithmic approach to extract the maximum available power from the solar panel keeping an eye on the battery charge condition to avoid stress factors that can reduce battery lifetime and lead to premature battery failure.   MPPT Topolog ...
Hi vertical farmers,   In the previous post we presented the database structure and implementation that we will be using to store multiple data from our sensors and actuators.   Moreover, we also posted some images of the work under development that we will detail in the current post: the solar module converter used to charge the battery from a solar panel.   Why solar energy? Our goal to have a sustainable energy system lead us to the use of renewable energy sources. Initially ...
Hi vertical farmers,   In the previous post we presented our vision system capable of detecting plant illness, disorders and development stages. In this post we talk about the database we will use to store measurements, production figures and support decision.   Database Requirements The database should keep track of: Measurements, sensors and boards that originated them. Actuators commands history. Multi-crop records comprising history, productivity, species and location (allotme ...
Hi vertical farmers,   In the previous post we presented our image acquisition system capable of acquiring crop images and transmit them to our vision system. In this post we discuss the vision system at our current stage: the project stage. The system database description intended to be addressed in this post will be postponed to the next one due to its early stage.   Vision System Our vision system is a set of computer vision algorithms capable to detect plant characteristics for ...
Hi vertical farmers,   In the previous post we presented the key issues related to our Artificial LED lighting system. In this post we will talk about our image acquisition system to monitor and control plant growth, introducing the image acquisition management. This system is of particular importance because it will be the base of our artificial intelligence system. In the next post, we will proceed explaining the artificial intelligence tasks of reasoning and decision.   Hardware ...
Hi vertical farmers,   In the previous post we presented the key issues of our nutrient doser prototype and showed our magnetic liquid level detector. We are still waiting for the delivery of solenoid valves to complete that prototype. In this post we will talk about our controllable grow lights tailored to plant needs.   Grow Light System Besides warmth, water and nutrients the light is a key factor for plant growth. To control this parameter we built an artificial lighting system ...
Hi vertical farmers,   In the previous post we discussed ways to implement our nutrient doser prototype and simulated its operation while waiting for the delivery of solenoid valves. In this post we will talk about the nutrient doser prototype, the challenges in its implementation and the solutions found.   The Implementation We decided to make a magnetic based implementation of the doser because our attempt with an optical solution revealed susceptibility to ambient light. So we at ...