Remote Monitoring and Controlling of Greenhouses

Posted by Chuck Harrell on Mar 17, 2016 11:00:00 AM

For people who live and work in big cities, growing their own fruits and vegetables is a dream which is often difficult to realize.  But, how about renting a greenhouse and being able to remotely plant seeds, spray water, and apply fertilizers through a web page and then watching how your crops are grow via streaming video from an IP camera while you occasionally pay a physical visit to your plants over the weekend or a holiday to harvest and cook your vegetables.  

A group of entrepreneurs are making their own, and other people's, dreams come true by establishing greenhouse plots for rent.  Leveraging the latest technologies and features provided by Advantech's ADAM-6200 series of Ethernet I/O and WebAccess 8.1 HMI/SCADA software, they've created a greenhouse automation and remote monitoring solution from which their customer can control and monitor the environment via a virtual dashboard on a computer, smartphone, or other web-based devices in real-time.  

System Requirements

Larger greenhouses were divided into smaller rental compartments, which meant each section needed an independent set of agro-controller systems including sensors for temperature, humidity, soil pH as well as IP cameras, automatic water sprays, fans, etc.  What was needed from Advantech included relay modules to enable remote control over actuators of equipment such as water sprays and fans; data acquisition modules to read and transmit sensor data; and HMI-SCADA software to help realize remote monitoring and control and produce user interfaces.

System Implementation

About 40 Advantech ADAM-6266's were deployed for relay controls and nearly 20 ADAM-6217's were deployed for reading and collecting data from sensors.  Since each of these modules have multiple channels, each of them is capable of monitoring several compartments each operated by different persons at the same time.  The ADAM-6200 series have integrated Ethernet switches and can connect to each other in a 'daisy chain' topology without the need to connect extra Ethernet switches.   Meanwhile, because this topology, it can save the expense of physical wires.   So that customers can monitor the exact status of their gardens, the latest version of WebAccess HMI/SCADA software, which incorporates Advantech's hardware monitoring and diagnosis firmware/software package SUSIAccess, was installed.

Since the ADAM-6200 series and WebAccess 8.1 support the latest HTML5 web language and RESTful web page architectural style, the customer is able to use the Advantech-designed Widget library and Dashboard Editor to easily customize their desired cross-platform dashboard page to display dynamic data on the end user's device.

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Topics: Automation Software, Remote I/O

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