Although the severity of California’s drought has lessened in this past year, continuing to preserve water in our current climate is of great importance. Green houses are a great way to combat the water crisis, easy to construct and provide an energy efficient option to grow produce. They can promote community gardens, and improve quality of life with access to fresh produce. One of the biggest and common obstacles when working in a greenhouse is maintenance. It is very time consuming for the user to ensure proper care for all the plants.

What it does

We plan on offering a modular solution to these maintenance concerns. This will start with creating moisture/humidity sensors and eventually scaling up the product with temperature sensors, light control, and rainwater collection. The system can estimate water usage and detect probable leaks, while alerting the user promptly. The system will also incorporate a repository of commonly grown plants to aid users in proper maintenance schedules (if needed).

The main goal of this project is to obtain the necessary information to promote a healthy plant growth, ensuring energy and water efficiency. You build the greenhouse, and choose your plants. We will be in charge of aiding you in maintaining your greenhouse with varying levels of monitoring technology.

How I built it

  • Raspberry Pi 3 B running Raspbian OS
  • Python
  • SRD-05VDC-SL-C Relay
  • DHT-11 Temperature and Humidity Sensors
  • Various LEDs and Resistors
  • MCP3008-I/P 10 Bit ADC
  • Potentiometer
  • 3D Printer

Challenges I ran into

In the beginning, there were so many big ideas that we were passionate about between us, which made it difficult for us to decide on one. Being aware of the ongoing water crisis, eventually led us to decide on finding a solution. Though not having much experience in agriculture, this required us to research for solutions which we would be able to implement efficiently at this time. The actual technologies we used for this project were relatively new to us. It was the first time some of us used Linux and Python to program the Raspberry Pi, and the first time any of us used a 3-D printed model.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

Successfully going from concept to a successful prototype within 24 hours.

What I learned

It was exciting to work together towards a solution for a real world problem. This project challenged us to explore different technologies as well as test us physically and mentally to complete a showable project within this time restraint. From this, we gained confidence to tackle future challenges.

What's next for Power Plant

The next step for this project would be to finalize the system from its prototype stage. As well as implement I2C for a cost efficient way to scale up. Implementing and testing the product would be our next goal to work out any technical bugs in the coding or infrastructure in general. Additionally, we plan to pursue energy conservation applications via solar panels, and thoughtful use of heating and cooling systems.

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