Friday, 19 June 2015

Smart Greenhouse - A ROI (Return on Investment) figure

Yuktix Smart Greenhouse Solution - Effectiveness and ROI

Agriculture is backbone of any country and India rank 2nd in farm output, 50% of total workforce is in Agriculture and it add up 13.7% in India GDP. Still Agriculture is demographically the broadest economy sector and play a significant role in overall socio-economic fabric of India. With increasing burden of population, the pressure on land producing more output have increased and so as the pressure on the natural resources. In scenario like this, precision agriculture play a important role. And when the same precision agriculture is implemented in a confined area with controller environment, that practice is termed as greenhouse cultivation.

So if i have to explain what Greenhouse cultivation is in simple words, it is "cultivation of vegetation in controlled environment, providing them artificial environment that facilitate their growth". Variable like Temperature, humidity, amount of light, CO2, soil moisture, nutrients are measured and controlled inside a greenhouse. Generally in Indian scenario, the average budget for a 1 hectare greenhouse is approx 60 lakhs which include infrastructure cost, plantation, storage, labour etc. Using high end technology is difficult for any farmer considering this budget. Yuktix has came up with a innovative solution that is totally frugal and indigenous and is build keeping Indian conditions in mind.



Yuktix Smart greenhouse is a solution that let you access real time data from anywhere in the world on your phone as well on a web-app and let you control local environment with a click of the button. Local display is also possible on a big LCD screen.

So now the next big question is why? Why would some one even use sensor based smart device for a greenhouse when everything is working fine with the manual labour and production is good? Data always play a important role in every field. What happen now days in typical greenhouse, all the manual automation is done based on guess work which lead to  lower production, wastage of resources like water and power etc and all this turn out to be a loss in net profit!.

Lets take a example here of a 1 hectare greenhouse with chrysanthemum as the cash crop. Chrysanthemum are light sensitive plants and they grow in different stages with multiple requirements like pulses of light when flowers are coming up, high humidity when they are in early grow stage etc.

(1) High Humidity - When chrysanthemum are in their early stage, right amount of humidity is required for the plants - called as "mums". Humidity range should be 80 - 95% for the whole day and the period of "mums" stage is some what 15 -20 days. Right now, humidity is controlled with guess work or timer mode i.e. turn on Mystifier after every 2 hour for 5 minute irrespective of real time conditions. Also some time due to excess water on the leaves, some of the plants die. Generally, the output here is 85 of 100 plants.









(2) Right amount of light -  chrysanthemum is a flower use for decorative purpose and is exported to countries like Holland, Germany, Singapore, America(USA). The Main condition for export is that the diameter of flower should be 12-14 cm and this diameter can only be reached when pulses of white light(Blue + red) is given for specific interval of time and in specific duration of a day.



How Yuktix Smart Greenhouse Work and how effective it is. 
Yuktix Smart greenhouse has multiple sensing units both wired and wireless. With multiple sensor deployed in different chambers, real time values of temperature, humidity, lux , CO2, soil moisture are recorded and send to the central controller. Central control control the equipment like Mystifier(which in turn control the humidity keeping constraints like power consumption, frequency of mysting in consideration. ), Lights (for flower bud growth keeping constraints in consideration). A local big display is also used to show real time readings to the manager or owner of greenhouse. The same values can also be accessed from anywhere in the world using Smart phone or Yuktix App. Ranges like Humidity range or duration of light pulse can also be changed using the smart phone and manual override is also possible. Diagram below explain clearly the whole functionality of "Smart Greenhouse"



So now talking about ROI, below are some considerable points
(1) Based on Guess work, labour turn on Mystifier after ever 2 hour for 5 minute. That means in 8 hour working duration - 20 minutes. Yuktix Smart greenhouse check temperature , humidity and leaf wetness  after 15 second and turn on mystifier after every 10 minute for 10 seconds. So in a 2 hour 2 minute and in a duration of 8 hours 8 minutes.  So a net savings of 12 minutes.  So a total savings of Rs 3.288  = ~Rs 1000 per month. *(1 unit cost = Rs 6)
And above that, no measurement is done after those 8 hours. That will again cause some loss in production.
(2) Production cycle is of 15-20 days. 2 Sunday there is no work and if you see, after 8 hour in day, no one turn on mystifier at all. So now if 2 Sunday there is no work - that means 13.33 % loss. Now cost of Chrysanthemum one cut stem is = Rs 3. Out of 100 plants - 13 dies = Rs 39 loss and out of 1000, 130 plants die , that means Rs. 390 loss in 15 days and Rs. 780 loss in a month .
(3) No of continuous light hours should not be more than 10.5 hours and dark hour should not be more then 4 hour. If this sequence is taken care of, flowers will reach 12-14 cm in diameter and will qualify for export market. At present, one flower is sold at Rs 16(Maximum) and Rs 4(minimum). Average cost is Rs 10. And at the same point, gerbera flower is sold at Rs 1-4 per flower. So again a loss of Approx Rs 6 per flower. That means if 100 flowers are sold in local market instead of exporting them, a net loss of Rs 600. Generally in a 3-month almost 5000 - 7000 flowers are grown. This means a loss of Rs 36,000 (assuming 6,000 flowers in 3 month). Now in a year a total loss of Rs  Rs 1,44,000 !!.
(4) Convenience and  real time alerts - Even for a production manager, visiting each chamber every day is a difficult and tiring task. And if the same production manager  or greenhouse owner has to visit 3-4 installations in a city in a day ,its almost close to impossible. Yuktix Smart greenhouse give leverage to the manager / owner to access real time data, alerts from his greenhouses on his phone and that too from any where in world.


ROI* sheet



S.No
Component
Per day
Per month
Per year
1
Electric power
Rs 3.228
Rs 1000
Rs 12000
2
Plants (1000 plants-15 days period)

Rs 780*2 = 1560
Rs 18720
3
FLower size (Rs 10 in export market , Rs 4 in local market, 6000 flowers in 3 month)


Rs 1,44,000
4
Convenience and data access - No value.




Total


= Rs. 1,74,720
* approx cost

So, if we remove guess work and use advance technology for greenhouse, considerable amount of money can be saved over a period of time and along with that, it always provide easy access to data from your greenhouse which can be further used to do in-depth analysis of your greenhouse. It also provide a real time override and control on the instruments in your greenhouse which are maintaining indoor environment suitable for plant growth.

A Small view of Yuktix Smart Greenhouse dashboard 


More updates coming soon. Any one who is interested in knowing more about Yuktix Smart Greenhouse solution or want to deploy Yuktix Greenhouse Solution in their greenhouse, please drop mail at Support@yuktix.com.



Sunday, 25 January 2015

Remote Water Pollution monitoring for Bangalore lakes

Remote Water pollution monitoring
A case study on Bangalore lakes.

Bangalore - City of lakes
Bangalore, officially know as Bengaluru is capital of Indian state of Karnataka and is the third most populated city in India. Bangalore is also know as IT capital of India. Bangalore is also famous for its moderate climate all round the year. Reason for the pleasant weather is that it is situated on the Deccan plateau and surrounded by hills from all side. Large amount of lakes in the city also play a important role for the pleasant weather. Lakes in Bangalore were a rich source of bio-diversity attracting lot of birds from outside to come down during seasonal changes making them again a source of attraction. 

Earlier in 1985, there were 51 health lakes(Source : This link ) which were all together a good source of water consumption and they have now reduced to 17. Growing speed of population in Bangalore and encroachment by land builders are some of the main reason's for the reduce number. Along with the reduced number of lakes, earlier their water was used for the daily purpose, but now their water quality has reduced drastically making it not suitable for use. 

So we will mainly concentrate on water quality of these lakes and will use our technology of Low power WSN (Wireless Sensor Network)  to remotely monitor the quality of water in these lakes and thus would be able to analyze the data to do some analysis and take necessary steps to restore the water quality in the lakes and preserve the bio-diversity around these lakes.

Low powered WSN (Wireless Sensor Network)
WSN (Wireless Sensor network) being a very broad topic cannot be covered here. But for a reference point of view, a easy to explain definition is talking devices with sensor without wire. We will using help of WSN technology in our research and project. Now when we talk about sensor placed in a remote area where availability of electricity is a bit difficult, 2 things come to our mind


  1. Low power consumption. 
  2. Non-Conventional sources of energy.

Low power consumption mean that device consume lesser power and for this 2 more things need to be considered

  1. Control unit consume/operate at less power - We need to consider a control unit which can operate at 3.3 Volts. 
  2. We make control unit go in sleep mode after doing some work - we will make our control unit go in deep sleep mode for every 30 seconds, then wake up from sleep mode, read sensors, send data and again get to sleep mode. For those who are interested can have a look at this link for more information of sleep modes. 
Control unit means, a micro-controller which can do some processing i.e. read some sensor values and send data via some mean to some other device which in our case will be  another device having more processing power. Now there can be many queries, why to use micro-controllers when micro-processors with low power mode and high processing speed are available. Reasons are clear, we don't require that processing speed for reading some sensor and we are not doing stuff like parallel processing and neither we are going to add 100 sensors to one micro-controller.

why wireless? and which one?
This is a also a important question, when things can be done much more reliably using wired communication, then why to go with wireless communication? Answer depend on which environment you are trying to implement wireless communication. With sensors in between of lake, floating on tyre tube, it is almost very tough job to draw wires. Although in rainy season or very humid seasons, wireless communication may get affected, but there are always fallback startgey's to deal with those type of conditions, like 2 handshake, 3 way communication, delivery notification etc.

Sensors
Water quality sensor's are one of the most important part of this project. We have to choose them very precisely considering their resolution, effectiveness and costing. We cannot afford sensor's worg lakh's of rupees for a single lake until and unless, its government fund but on the same time, we cannot compromise the quality of sensors. Below are the list of sensor's, i came across and they give out-put in 4-20mA which can be fed to any PLC.

Although some of them give wireless transmission also, but their range is quite limited. And the major problem is whatever range wireless devices provider describe in their "datasheets" differ very much from their real time open environment working range. 


Set-up
Water quality remote project have some important parts as
(1) End sensor Nodes.
(2) Central data acquisition node.
(3) Central Server. 

End sensor nodes. 
End sensor node's or in general wireless water quality sensors  will be places on a floating tire, powered by battery and backed up by solar charging at some point in the lake. Similar type of set-up will be placed at 4 different places in same lake and one specifically i an a location which is close to human set-up's. Below pic describe the content of sensor node to be placed in the lake. 

This set-up will be places on a floating tire as illustrated below.

Data transfer between end sensor node and central data acquisition unit will happen like this



Central data Acquisition node
CDA node need to posses high processing power as it will keep on receiving data from each end sensor node after every 15 second or 10 second or even 5 second which is customizable. Reason for making this data sensing time as small as possible is to see the change in water quality during rainy season. CDA will store data in a TS(Time-series database) and after every 5 minute or 3 minute will post data to our central server.

A example set-up will be as depicted in below pic. In this pic, i had considered Madiwala lake. Sensors will be placed at different places in the lakes and CDA will be placed in a reachable place. CDA will also be powered with battery and backed by Solar-power. This will make our project run independent of any power supply.


Central Server
Central Server will be running Yuktix Cloud app. Yuktix Cloud app is able to receive, display and archive data  send from a device. Yuktix cloud app provide a efficient way to manage your devices like making some devices go under one project name, display there location on map or all devices together. Yuktix cloud app also keep data in archive, from where it can be downloaded in future for research and analysis.

Similarly, we can send end sensor node i.e. water quality sensor data to CDA and from CDA to Yuktix central server where it can visualized. Below is set-up explanation with a picture.



With this kind of set-up, one can easily monitor water quality of the lakes form any remote location, with any requirement of visiting the lakes personally and what ever time one save, can invest the same time in doing more in-depth research. Water has always played a important role in everyone life and with this growing population of banaglore, lakes water have been diluted to a extent that now it's not usable for daily purpose. With this effective technique of remote monitoring, water quality can be monitored and same data can be accessed by local NGO's or any individual to ask government to take necessary action. With this, biodiversity existing in the lake or near-by area can be saved. 

Lets together make Bangalore a clean city. 

People who are interested in doing this project or even funding it can contact us at 
Email Id : Support@yuktix.com
                 Shahilendra@yuktix.com

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Yuktix Greenhouse Remote monitoring - A tool for Greenhouse Management

Greenhouse Remote Monitoring 

Remote monitoring , a tool or a service generally used by people sitting some where far away from a place where they have installed their instruments and they want to have a close look to the changing parameters of that place. In this era of development when people are doing a lot of work in wireless communication, low power sensor nodes, WSN(wireless sensor networks), 3G-4G networks, IOT and M2M, it has given a boost to remote monitoring. Some basic examples of remote monitoring
  1. Vehicle tracking system
  2. Ware house monitoring - Measuring the variables of greenhouse.
  3. Patient Monitoring.
So when we talk about greenhouse remote monitoring, lets first see what happen now days in a typical greenhouse, taking a example of Rose Greenhouse. 


In a typical rose greenhouse, generally people use manual thermometer and RH meter which measure real time humidity and moisture existing there and note it down in a copy or register date wise. At-least this is what we had observer in India. After manual measurement, they turn ON/OFF their misting system or exhaust fans to control humidity or temperature. And they pass down the readings to their farm manager. 

Now a typical greenhouse manager or owner will have 2 or 3 greenhouse in different part of city or even country. For example Mr.A is owner of XYZ ltd, which has 5 greenhouse in Bangalore, Hosur, Pune, Delhi and Mumbai. Now he being a single guy (even though he has supervisors in each of his greenhouse) will like to know conditions of his greenhouse. And his greenhouse being in different part of city or country, he is unable to visit them on a regular basis and that is why he is dependent on what data is provided to him from his supervisors. Also if he get the wrong data then it might lead to decrease production or bad quality of flowers. Taking a simple example of chrysanthemum,when it is flowering it require 

(1)light for some specific amount of time 
(2)low humidity.

If above 2 things are not provided to them, flowers quality might degrade and thus no chance to export it. So these data of Humidity, temperature and lux is of uttermost importance to chrysanthemum growers at all their stages and if they have data, they can use the data to analyze what went wrong last time and can take necessary steps to overcome the same. 

So what Mr. A would like is to have a solution by which 
  1. Being in his home, he can see real time data of his different greenhouses. 
  2. See variation of data from last few days, few weeks, few months or even year. 
  3. Save the data in cloud to access it in future to analyze what went wrong in past and take steps to overcome the error. 
  4. Get notifications when things go out of range. 


So here Yuktix Wireless data-logger can help Mr. A with its remote monitoring solution that include 
  • Yuktix Wireless Data logger with precision sensor.
  • Yuktix Cloud.
  • Yuktix Android app.

Yuktix data-logger is a wireless data-logger which can send data to a remote server after a definite interval of time and that interval is customizable. That can be once per 3 minute(opted as of now), once per house or once per day. For more information regarding Yuktix data-logger(technical specifications), please visit www.yuktix.com. For greenhouse, people are mostly interested in knowing 3 parameters 
  1. Temperature
  2. Relative Humidity 
  3. Lux(Light) and some time CO2 also. 
Yuktix data-logger come with all these sensors(factory options). 

Yuktix Cloud provide the service of storing sensor data in NOSQL time series data base and show them visually on Yuktix website which you can see from anywhere. We can also run some complex algorithm on the same data to find out some usefull results like probability of disease happening to plants etc. Also Yuktix cloud service provide the service of notifications through message on mobile and notifications on email and Android app. A small screenshot of Yuktix Cloud app is below. 
yuktix cloud login page

 yuktix cloud landing page


Yuktix android app provide you a better way to have a eye on your greenhouse from your android phone. Yuktix Android app comes bundled with Yuktix data logger. With yuktix android app you can see all the real time data on the run. 

So Yuktix data logger can be efficient solution for greenhouse managers and greenhouse owners. With Yuktix data-logger installed at each of their greenhouse they can remotely monitor what climatic change is happening in their greenhouse and if they find any thing going wrong, they can alert their supervisors at the same time. Yuktix data-logger has following advantages. 

(1) Time saving
(2) Remote monitoring 
(3) Alerts and Notifications on mobile and email
(4) Real time data for analysis and thus can adopt various techniques to increase production like
      (a) Know the disease prediction for your greenhouse
      (b) Know when is the time for spraying pesticide 
      (c) Know when misting is required.
(5) Remove guess work and provide interface to Yuktix control solutions for greenhouse. 

so with all these advantages, greenhouse owners or farm managers don't have to run everytime to their greenhouses situated in different part of city or country, they can simply take out their mobile and can see what is happening. 


For more technical specifications, please visit this link  and for costing please drop us a mail at support@yuktix.com. We can customize our remote monitoring solutions for big greenhouses or as per users requirement.  

Happy Farming.