8 Environmental Controls to Help You Monitor Your Greenhouse Environment
Suppliers of greenhouse environmental controls systems have developed new tools that offer flexibility, remote monitoring capabilities, and an easy user experience. Check out some of their latest innovations (photos of each product are in the slideshow above).
Titan Omni-Sensor v4.0 (Argus Controls)
The advanced electronics and instrumentation on board the Omni-Sensor from Argus Controls make it suitable for a wide range of applications, including greenhouses, growth chambers, produce coolers, high humidity propagation houses, and other clean ambient air sampling environments. Use wherever combined temperature and humidity measurements are required. The integrated light sensor is suitable for confirmation of lighting and shade system operations as well as quantitative light measurement. The SEN-OSM/CO2 includes an on-board CO2 sensor that can be used for both CO2 monitoring and control applications. Other versions of Titan Omni Sensors are available.
• Dimensions 4.9 inches x 3.3 inches x 2.1 inches
• Display: two-line, 16 characters reflective
• Temperature Sensors: Two solid-state digital sensors. Typical Accuracy: +/-0.3°C Range: -10ºC to +85ºC.
• Humidity Sensor Range: 10% to 100% non-condensing Typical Accuracy: 0 – 80%RH: +/- 2%
• Light Sensor Lux illumination with conversions to generate PAR (Photosynthetically Active Radiation) in µmols and light energy in W/m3
• CO2 (SEN-OMNI/CO2 only) 0-2000 ppm dual element NDIR (Non-Dispersive Infra-Red) sensor with an accuracy of +/- 100 ppm + 2 % of measuring value.
• Max Operating Range 0 ºC to +50 ºC Note: Aspiration Fan turns off below -10ºC or >98%RH.
Argus Multi-Feed RM Nutrient Injection System (Argus Controls)
The Multi-Feed RM nutrient injector is designed as a turn-key injection system for applications where concentrated fertilizer solutions must be injected and mixed simultaneously. Dual manifolds and sequential micro-injection ensure separation of incompatible fertilizer concentrates while achieving precision accuracy. The injector is suitable for nutrient management in greenhouse vegetables, cannabis, flower crops, research facilities, and outdoor nurseries. As an all-in-one injection solution, it can be used for in-line injection and for filling and maintaining dilute storage tanks. The Multi-Feed RM uses the advanced nutrient control technology of the Argus Titan control system, enabling users to simply dial in fertilizer recipes as part of irrigation scheduling. Feed formula constituents and overall feed strengths can be automatically adjusted to match local conditions and cropping objectives.
• Dimensions 80 inches x 64 inches x 32 inches
• Number of Injectors: 2 x Mazzie injectors
• Number of Stock Solution Valves: 2-8
• Maximum Flow: 264 US GPM (1000 liters)
• Minimum Flow: 0.28 US GPM (1 liters)
• Minimum Supply Pressure: 20 psi
• Maximum Supply Pressure: 80 psi
• Maximum Fertilizer Injection Rate: 1.32 US GPM (5.0 LPM) per injector valve
• Inlet/Outlet Pipe Connections: 1-1/2” PVC unions
Autogrow’s MultiGrow is a flexible greenhouse automation system that can scale as the business grows. It features an eight-zone controller that can be fully customized to climate, irrigation, and monitoring needs. When working with multiple crops or growing areas, the controller is capable of handling each zone individually, but with one user interface. Growers only need to pay for what is needed.
AG-Insights is a cloud-based platform that supports Autogrow’s MultiGrow controller. The crop environment data is visualized on one comprehensive dashboard. The subscription also includes My.Autogrow, a remote access solution that allows control from off-site and risk mitigation through SMS and email alerts. AG-Insights is available in three subscription plans. Check out this video that shows how the system works.
Seed Integrated Environmental Controller (Wadsworth Control Systems)
Seed is Wadsworth Control Systems’ innovative control with touchscreen technology. The user interface provides access to extensive information at a glance, including the status of multiple zones, an overview of each zone’s current equipment status, and an explanation of equipment responses. It is easy to navigate from global to detailed views with a swipe of the screen. Seed tracks vapor pressure deficit and accumulated solar intensity so supplemental lighting and irrigation respond in kind. Graphing and charting offer unlimited combinations of sensor and equipment tracking.
Seed 16 (Wadsworth Control Systems)
Seed 16 has all the capabilities and technology of Wadsworth’s Seed control, trimmed down for smaller operations. With 16-outputs and 16-inputs, configured to suit each project, Seed 16 allows access to a sophisticated integrated control at a lower price. Its expandable design allows the control to grow with as businesses expand. It has the same touchscreen technology and popular user interface as Seed, and can be configured as a single or multiple zones.
STEP Up (Wadsworth Controls)
STEP Up is a simple, flexible climate control that stages heating and cooling equipment and can manage a curtain system. STEP Up comes preprogrammed with three periods, and six stages: two heating and four cooling. Equipment activates in stages based on setpoints saving on energy costs and wear and tear. STEP Up comes with a solar-guarded aspirated temperature sensor and cable. Compass, STEP Ups companion software, allows growers to track a single control or integrate readings from multiple controls remotely.
Headgrower App (Bartlett Instruments)
Bartlett Instrument Company recently introduced their latest mobile app, Headgrower. The app is designed for greenhouse growers and builds on the features of Bartlett controllers. It allows users to control their greenhouse controllers from their phones, get real-time alerts about greenhouse status, and control user access (view only, edit, or admin), while providing a user friendly display.