Introduction: Solar Driven Automatic Greenhouse

I have this summer/spring made a solar driven greenhouse that uses solar power and rainwater to run almost automatically!

The only thing I need to do now is to harvest and make sure it doesn't overgrow.

In this Instructable I will do my best to explain how I made it and hopefully you can get so much inspiration that you decide to make one of your own! :-) Let's get started....

Step 1: First Things First!

First of all we need a greenhouse. If you have one, that's great! for me, i didn't.

I found mine used on the internet, for free. (lucky me!)

It really doesn't matter which kind or shape of greenhouse you want to use. The only important thing is that the climate for the plant is "growable".

Not that it matters for this project, but I made the flooring inside in wood on a wooden frame. this way i could easily move it if this became necessary. which it did.

Step 2: Now You Got a Greenhouse! But Why Stop Here?

I began preparing the inside of the greenhouse to be ready for summer.

I made a "starter" table where i could stand and plant seeds in some pots. At this moment i waited for my electronic part's from ebay. so i watered manually, and i couldn't wait to be done with that already. ;-)

The big black tube is the water tank. I had one laying around, but you can get them at hardware stores. This also doesn't matter to much for the final project. I made the code with the ability to measure the water level in the tank. so if you want this as well, it's possible.


Also! the sun warms up the water in the tank. This works as a heat bank at night.

Step 3: The Electronics!

Finally all my part's from ebay araived!

The full list:

Moist Sensor(s)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Soil-Humidity-Hygrometer-M...

Relay(s)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/5V-1-2-4-6-8-Channel-Relay...

RTC (timer)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/2PCS-DS3231-AT24C32-IIC-RT...

Arduino Mega

http://www.ebay.com/itm/ATMEGA16U2-Board-For-Ardui...

Wires

http://www.ebay.com/itm/120Pcs-Male-Female-Dupont-...

Watering System (I bought something like this, and it worked great)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/DIY-Watering-System-Garden...

PWM (for Solar Power)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/10-20-30A-PWM-LCD-Dual-USB...

DHT11 (temp, and moist)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Temperature-and-Relati...

DC female

http://www.ebay.com/itm/10pcs-DC-Power-Supply-Jack...

DC male

http://www.ebay.com/itm/10pcs-5-5x2-1mm-Male-DC-Po...

prefboard

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Perfboard-90x70-mm-Pitch-2...

stepdown (12V to 5V)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/10-PCS-LM2596-DC-DC-buck-a...

sd card reader (i ended up removing this part, although it was awesome. but not useful.)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Micro-SD-Storage-Board-Mci...

Water Hub (yes i know.. it's for air, but it works great!)

https://www.ebay.com/sch/sis.html?_nkw=4MM+2+%2F+3...

sonic sensor (if you don't want a water tank this is not necessary)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/HC-SR04-Ultrasonic-Module-...

water pump (Again, if you are not planning on using a water tank you can switch this out with a control valve)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/2PCS-NEW-Pumps-R385-Aquari...

3S BMS (For the battery)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/3S-20A-12-6V-Cell-18650-Li...

I will try to update this list in the future if i change something.

I have not made a electronic schematic of this part... Yet!

I am learning to use a program for this, and will update as soon as possible.

Step 4: Solar Power!

I followed some Instrutables on this part, it started up great! but I ended up with screwing it up to much..
Note to self! be careful! this is fragile as fudge!

Ended up with buying 2x25W panel's and turned out 1 was enough.
The other one i ended up using to my electrical lawnmower!

Step 5: 3D Printing! Because Why Not?

I drew all my electronic in 3D and aligned them to fit in a casing, with wooden back to screw in place. (see next step)

Step 6: Putting It All Together.

When the code and the wireing was working i screwed it all into place.

in the top of the case is all the electronic and in the bottom is the Battery.
The Battery is made from old laptop cells and this is also very possible to find guides to online. (that's how i did it)
If you want to use a car battery, it's also an option.

And it works! all the moist sensors uses the DC connectors to easily adjust and replace.

Step 7: Ended Up Moving.

But that only meant that i got even more space! so far the watering and the solar works great and all i do is harvest and cut.

I will update this project over the next cople of months to make it better and more explainable to make you ready for the next spring!

I hope you like it and is able to use it!

- Tue

Comments

author
babybayrs (author)2017-08-26

Hi, TueN3,

What are in your white foam like boxes? Do you plant directly in a whole bag of soil? I haven't ever thought of it. Thanks.

author
TueN3 (author)babybayrs2017-08-28

In danish it's called a "kapilærkasse" and the only international link i found was this: http://www.hellotrade.com/pindstrup-mosebrug-sae/m...

author
TueN3 made it! (author)babybayrs2017-08-28

Hi Babybayrs.
It's a Styrofoam box with watering/growing channels inside. The picture show the channels with dirt. on top there is a bag of fertilized dirt. i believe there is 40 Liters of dirt in it. You poke holes above the channels and stuff the dirt down there. Then you plant you Tomato plant or Cucumber. The Styrofoam box can hold up til 40/50 liters of water and then it is more or less self-watering. all you need to do is to refill the box or water the plants. the excess water will flow through the dirt and collect in the box to ensure the plant doesn't overflow.

Pindstrup-kapillærkasse.jpg
author
jepson (author)2017-08-17

Very nice project!

author
TueN3 (author)jepson2017-08-17

Thank you! ;-)

author
nearboston (author)2017-08-17

One of the best instructables i have seen. Practicly Perfect in Every Way.

author
TueN3 (author)nearboston2017-08-17

Thanks! It's very kind of You. :-D

author
victorvector (author)2017-08-17

Excellent project.I hope you can find the time in the future to go into more detail about the electronics , for us " electronically challenged " people .

Maybe when you get to the new install.I`m looking forward to hear more about it it , congratulations again , it`s a great job !

author
TueN3 (author)victorvector2017-08-17

Thanks! I will probably end up making 2 versions. One version with all the features it has at the moment, and one simple version only for watering and no moist sensors and no SD card. This will probably also make it possible to only use an Arduino Uno or maybe even a nano :-)

author
Swansong (author)2017-08-15

That's neat! We haven't got around to automating ours but I need to before the summer ends.

author
TueN3 (author)Swansong2017-08-15

Thanks! If you have any questions or feedback for the project, don't hesitate to let me know :D it's still kind of a work in progress, and will proberbly end up doing it all over for next summer :) more simple and reliable :)