Greenhouse sensors are important components of greenhouse monitoring systems. To grow plants and other vegetation over extended periods of time, greenhouses need to maintain specific conditions. This requires keeping a close eye on both the environment and the equipment to make sure everything is within the desired parameters.
Greenhouse monitoring systems are a useful tool for this job. By using sensors, they can continuously collect data on various factors like temperature, humidity, CO2 levels, and electrical usage. This data is then sent in real-time to a control room or smart device, where it can be analyzed and used to make adjustments.
If the system detects any issues, it will trigger alarms to alert operators to the problem. This helps ensure that the greenhouse remains in optimal condition, even when no one is physically present to monitor it.
The Value of Greenhouse Sensors
Maintaining optimal growing conditions is crucial for plant health and productivity, which directly affects profitability. Greenhouse sensors can help ensure that conditions remain within the desired parameters and prevent situations that could result in property loss or facility shutdown. Personnel can use information from sensors to make adjustments to different conditions.
One of the most significant benefits of using greenhouse sensors is that they allow for 24/7 monitoring without the need for staff to be present. Real-time updates and alarms can be sent directly to personnel's phones or other smart devices, enabling them to take immediate action if needed. This is much better than arriving the next day to a disastrous situation.
By providing real-time information on conditions like temperature, humidity, and CO2 levels, greenhouse sensors can prompt adjustments to HVAC and other control equipment. This helps maintain the optimal growing conditions required for plant growth. Sensors can also alert personnel to check on equipment status, preventing issues before they become problems.
In addition to their value in plant growth, greenhouse sensors can also provide an extra layer of security. Sensors on doors and electrical systems can detect unauthorized entry or changes to conditions and alert growers of suspicious activity, even when staff is not present.
When the system detects unauthorized entry or changes to greenhouse conditions, it can send an alarm to growers.
Sensors Monitor Various Parameters
Remote monitoring systems have various sensors types that can gather information about many different aspects of greenhouse operations. Growers can select the sensors that will give them the most useful data, allowing them to better control the facility. Consider those that monitor:
• Humidity and temperature changes
• Poor ventilation
• High CO2 levels
• Frozen or ruptured irrigation lies
• Water leaks
• Heater, fan, or other equipment failures
• Power failures
• Door status
• Soil moisture
Digital Data LoggingKeeping track of greenhouse operations manually is a tedious and error-prone task. It also means that some aspects of the greenhouse may be left unattended for long periods of time. With digital sensors, growers can view real-time data on their preferred device without delay. This data can be downloaded into software programs to identify patterns and trends in environmental conditions within the greenhouse.
By analyzing tens of thousands of data points over specific time periods, growers can gain insights into why certain plants are growing slower or faster and make necessary adjustments to their greenhouse operations in the future.
Best Places to Install SensorsTo monitor different conditions like temperature, humidity, and soil moisture in a greenhouse, sensors can be placed in the ground, on equipment, or mounted on posts or walls. Sensors designed for indoor use have a shorter lifespan when used in greenhouses due to the humidity levels present, so it's important to choose sensors rated for outdoor use that can handle the temperature and humidity.
Here are some suggestions based on the parameters that the sensors will monitor:
• Soil moisture: Moisture sensors can be placed in the soil to measure when the water content is too high. Choose one with a stainless-steel probe that can withstand wet environments.
• Temperature: Temperature and humidity sensors placed just above plants can monitor fluctuating conditions so operators can make necessary adjustments.
• Equipment: Sensors placed on misting and irrigation systems can monitor the performance of pumps and pressure lines. Those mounted on vented roofs, side vents, and fans can provide alerts if equipment stops working outside of set parameters or shuts down entirely.
• Power supplies: Power sensors can monitor power at the facility, room, or outlet level to detect immediate outages that can affect critical equipment including lighting, sprinklers, water wells, heater fans, and humidifiers.
• CO2 levels: For smaller greenhouses, carbon dioxide sensors are ideally installed in the center of the facility to monitor the overall environment. Larger greenhouses typically need two or more devices.
• Water pH levels: pH sensors tapped into existing plumbing can sample water pH as it runs through pipes to determine if acidic levels are too high or too low.
• Regenerate response
Wired vs. Wireless InstallationsWhen it comes to installing sensors for monitoring systems, there are two main options: wired and wireless.
Hard wired sensors transmit data through a wire-based communication platform and connect to the terminal block of a monitoring system base using two wires. Installation is typically straightforward following the owner's manual. Wired sensors can be placed up to 2,000 feet away from the main device and offer highly reliable communications.
In areas where it's too difficult or expensive to wire sensors, a remote monitoring system can include a network of wireless sensors with built-in transmitters that communicate with the base unit. These units can be placed up to 300 feet away from a gateway device or even further if used in a mesh network configuration.
Wireless sensors can operate as part of cloud-based or sensor-to-cloud systems in IoT applications that record, process, and store data in the cloud for secure and privileged access by users.
Some monitoring systems can accommodate a combination of both hardwired and wireless sensors to suit the specific needs of the user.
Greenhouses require specific conditions to grow plants over extended periods, which can be achieved by using greenhouse monitoring systems. The systems use sensors to collect data on various factors such as temperature, humidity, CO2 levels, and electrical usage. The sensors send real-time updates and alarms to a control room or smart device, enabling personnel to take immediate action if needed.
The systems can also prompt adjustments to HVAC and other control equipment and provide an extra layer of security. By analyzing tens of thousands of data points over specific time periods, growers can gain insights into why certain plants are growing slower or faster and make necessary adjustments to their greenhouse operations in the future.
For personal assistance in selecting or installing hardwired or wireless sensors in your greenhouse, call Sensaphone at 877-959-0478!