Garden Watering Scenario Implementation at the HOBNET site in Patras

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Soil humidity sensor (EC-5 by Decagon) connected to the digital I/O pin of a smart mote (TelosB)Imagine a futuristic smart/green building having an outdoor flourish garden with a grand variety of plants such as flowers, vegetables and herbs. In order to maintain such a garden while being eco-friendly, the building uses all of its “intelligence” in order to preserve resources.

To date, typical irrigation automations include electromechanical programmers that can control the watering procedure. These systems are programmed to irrigate at regular time intervals for predefined periods of time; e.g. once a day for half an hour. The programming of these automated systems is heuristically based on experience and is poorly adaptable to changes in weather conditions, as well as the existence of different water needs by different kind of plants. As a result, water resources are poorly used, plantation is over- or under-irrigated and increased costs of garden maintenance are introduced.

The use of future technologies allows us to implement smart irrigation systems that are highly adaptable to weather conditions, type of soil and specific water loadneeds of each pla ntation.Specialised sensors constantly monitor the levels of soil humidity of each plantation and wirelessly communicate with smart electrovalves that control the irrigatio n process. If soil humidity reaches low levels, then w ater flow is turned on before the soil gets completely dried out.

The water flow is turned off when soil humidity reaches its normal levels. Furthermore, based on the temperature and light measurements, irrigation may be avoided during the hottest hours of a day in order to prevent water vaporization. This way, plantations are always maintained in perfect condition with minimal water waste.

All this smart equipment is wirelessly connected with the Building Management System, allowing remote monitoring, control and logging of the state of the garden and of the irrigation process. For instance, one could keep track of how many liters of water are needed every week during summertime in order to maintain the garden.

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