Rowan Greenhouse Technologies, Inc., is developing a wireless network that through its cloud computing control user interface controls and monitors the infrastructure, climate and condition of crops in nurseries and greenhouses. Users will be able to monitor key performance indicators and control greenhouse irrigation and climate from smart phones, tablets and PCs via a website interface.
One example of Rowan’s sensors in action would occur if the Rowan controller turns on a heater and the temperature sensor does not detect an increase in temperature, an alert would be sent. Possibly the pilot light went out, or a fuse blew. Another example: If a solenoid is turned on to irrigate a zone, but a soil moisture sensor in that zone does not detect an increase in soil moisture, an alert would be sent. Possibly a pump motor burned out, or an upstream valve was shut. Alerts are received by the grower within seconds after the error has been detected!
Other applications of Rowan’s sensors include monitoring irrigation systems in greenhouses; determining how much energy is used in the greenhouse or nursery; whether the heaters and coolers are operating on schedule; making sure the equipment draws the right amount of electric current; and, monitoring pressure in pipes so that abnormal pressure can be corrected before the pipes become damaged. Further, logged data can be fed into the greenhouses’ accounting system which enables the greenhouse to better manage its operations.
Such monitoring is crucial since it costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to grow crops and once crops are destroyed, it requires many years to regrow replacement crops. Also, since nurseries do not want to lose customers, they often purchase from competitors to replace their destroyed crops.Remote Greenhouse Control & Real-Time Monitoring,