Funding entity Universidad Ramón Llull, Universidad de Deusto
Participated by INEA
In this project, we want to build a small prototype that allows demonstrating that it is possible to improve the economic performance of various agricultural activities. To do this, it will focus on improving the efficiency of energy, water, and time spent. A solution especially suitable for areas of extensive irrigation, livestock and greenhouse crops, where communications have little or no coverage. That it covers from beginning to end the needs suffered by large areas of land, in poor areas from the economic point of view. A cheap solution, without fixed maintenance costs (such as a telephone communication may suppose), which makes it accessible to the small farmer or producer, on a personal basis. A solution that can serve multiple points scattered throughout a large area of ??land, avoiding the movement of people.
The project, for the agricultural scenario, offers water and energy savings, by being able to irrigate in a controlled way thanks to the use of sensors, with the necessary water, in the lowest hours of energy cost, including obtaining energy in a renewable (solar or wind). Not forgetting that accurate and adequate irrigation affects the quantity and quality of production. In other scenarios, such as farms or greenhouses, the implementation of this system results in cost savings.
To demonstrate the feasibility of improving economic performance, it is necessary to build a prototype consisting of three parts:
1) The minimum elements to control, provided by INEA will be 1 solenoid valve, 1 irrigation motor, and 1 door. They provide knowledge about the operation of crops and farms, the management and supervision of the installed prototype, and the analysis of the collected data.
2) The control and sensor electronics (temperature, humidity, pressure), which will be designed and built by ICAI, using low-cost components. It will be in charge of the assembly and tests in the laboratory and in the field.
3) The totally autonomous electrical supply (solar panels and batteries) of the previous parts, which will be designed and built by the URL-IQS electrotechnical laboratory. They will be in charge of the assembly and laboratory tests.
Layman's summary: Study and prototyping of an automatic control system for agricultural and livestock processes, which uses a communication network with free, cheap technology, and which covers large areas of land, including dark areas where mobile telephony does not reach.