With a technology that does not need to be connected to the electrical grid, greenhouse activities can be managed, monitored and programmed. This is possible thanks to LoRaWAN, a wireless radio system that communicates data over long distances without the need for an Internet connection.
Luca Occhipinti showing a solar panel for energy storage connected to a Lualtek sensor
Lualtek, a Sicilian company based in Comiso and led by brothers Alessio and Luca Occhipinti, is responsible for developing the systems for agricultural and horticultural farms. The interview describes a company who grows soft fruits and has been successfully using Lualtek technology for some time.
Video interview with Luca Occhipinti
“We install very innovative sensors in the greenhouse that is made in-house. These are low consumption devices and are not connected to the electricity grid, but to a battery system with a life of at least 10 years. So, the system is always working and allows us to guarantee a constant monitoring of the crops,” said Luca Occhipinti.
Tensiometer, to measure soil water tension
“In addition to the sensors, we added a feature that allows to remotely program and change the conditions of the greenhouse. The grower and the agricultural expert are able to set, among other things, the climate of the greenhouse and the fertigation. When the sensors detect the pre-set temperature, they open or close the doors. The grower can also monitor the data remotely and is always in control of any necessary changes. He can also do all this remotely and at any time.”
Thermo-hygrometer, to measure temperature and humidity
“In the greenhouse we are currently in, we have installed an environmental thermometer, a thermo-hygrometer and some sensors to measure the PH values and the electrical conductivity of the substrate. We also have a tensiometer, a sensor for solar radiation, a sensor for leaf humidification, a mini outdoor weather station and actuators for opening the motorized doors. We also have the ability to determine when the fans are turned on as well as the fertigation system. The grower receives a notification when certain values reach a certain point, a pass/fail notification. All of these functions can be managed from a smartphone and that saves a lot of time and manpower.”
Leaf humidity sensor from Lualtek
Lualtek sensors and actuators are highly innovative and made in-house. They cannot be found elsewhere. They work up to 10 km away, a range that can be extended by installing additional gateways. The sensors are manufactured and modulated depending on the parameters that need to be monitored.
Screenshot of the Lualtek app showing substrate thermo-hygrometer information
It is known that the same greenhouse can have different climate areas. The Lualtek system can target microareas of the environment and take different measurements based on the conditions of that particular plant or area.
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