The Hydroponic, Automated, Networking, Climate Controlled Greenhouse Project Update (July 22, 2012)





Introduction: The Hydroponic, Automated, Networking, Climate Controlled Greenhouse Project Update (July 22, 2012)

This is a quick update to show what I've accomplished so far in the construction of my greenhouse. As usual I'm far behind schedule mainly due to weather, landscaping projects, work, etc. It's hard to find the time right now to write full instructables on my projects with the level of detail that I try to provide. I expect to have the hydroponics system as well as the climate control equipment installed and in working order just in time for the end of the growing season :( The programming however, is waaaaay over my head for the moment and I believe I'll be working on that all winter long.

I will try to make another one of these update slideshows in 1-2 months when I hopefully have a lot more done. Shortly after that I will try to write detailed instructables on how I did it all. Please subscribe to stay tuned.

I hope I've provided enough information in the details of the photographs. As always, if you have any questions, comments or constructive criticism I'd be happy to hear it. Thanks for looking!



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    Please be positive and constructive.




    Has this project continued or died off?


    What brand is the big enclosure you are using? the one with the transparent front door.

    Thank you.

    Hey I was wondering if you had a material list and as well the arduino code?

    Congrats, you should be proud! I don't know much about construction work, carpentry, let alone gardening, but I'm fond of your electronics - looks very professional, well-thought and clean; some industrial controller designers could learn from you :).

    Could you please for me refer this detail your poject? I like it. I like box control panel by arduino. I don't know how to make it. Please for me refer. thanks so much.

    My email:

    Congratulations for your project.

    I want to ask you what type and size of wires are you using on your project!

    I want to connect my arduino mega to my gsm shield,keypad,lcd and i dont know what type fo wire to choose

    Very nice work. how have you come along with the programming? I am a C++ developer and just about to embark on a similar project myself. Im intrigued as to why you used those large relays when you have 16 available rated at 10A/250V AC? Also, what is the item next to the large relays in the middle of the unit? Couldn't figure that one out :)

    2 replies

    Hi. Because of time and budget issues and because of an epiphany that simpler is better I have abandoned this project in favor of a passive solar greenhouse. I recently bought a large lot of land in the country and will eventually build a homestead and move there.

    The reason I used the large relays instead of the ones built into the blue board is that the blue board is not UL listed or CSA approved and I don't trust them with 120 VAC. Instead, the blue board relays are used to switch the 12VDC coil on the larger relays which are UL listed.

    That small green thing that you asked about is another relay. It's used to activate the big motor contactor beside it. The motor contactor has a 120VAC coil so again, I didn't trust those blue board relays with 120VAC so the blue board relays activate the small green realy which activates the motor contactor.

    Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any more questions and good luck on your project.

    Thanks for the info, I can see the logic behind using more heavy duty relays now. ah, thats a shame to hear you've dropped the project. Well if you need any help with that kind of programming feel free to drop me a message in the future



    I'm quite interested in your greenhouse project and have a question for which I can't seem to get a clean answer.

    Where do you place the temperature sensor, inside the greenhouse? And how do you protect it from the sun, and moisture / wind?

    i.e. how do you know the temperatures reported are accurate, and not affected by the elements?

    3 replies

    I mounted my interior temperature sensor in the center of the greenhouse. That way it isn't affected by any false temperature reading that could occur near the exterior walls and especially the door.

    It's mounted at the same height as the white PVC pipes that the plants sit in. In case there is any temperature stratification in the greenhouse the sensor gives the reading from the same level as the plants which is the most important. However, a circulation fan in the greenhouse prevents temperature stratification.

    There is also a plywood "awning" that is mounted over the temperature sensor that shields it from direct sunlight and prevents any false temperature readings that way.

    Thanks for your questions.


    Thanx for the reply. I'm having some troubles with my temperature sensors, inside the greenhouse and suspect it's because it's "wide open". Would you mind showing me a closup of your sensor and it's enclosure?

    Hi. sorry for the late reply. The thermostats were taken down a while ago and I can't seem to find a picture of it anywhere. I've included a picture of the "awning" that the thermostats were mounted under and a picture of the thermostats themselves.

    They can both be wired to be heating or cooling thermostats depending on what way you wire them. I had one wired to activate a heater when the temperature got too low and the other one activated the ventilation fans when the temperature got too high. There is an opening at the top to connect a PVC conduit and I fished the Arduino temperature sensor wire through one of the conduits and just let it hang inside the thermostat enclosure (in addition to the wires for the thermostat itself).

    I have all of that stuff taken apart now as I've abandoned the project to build a passive solar greenhouse on my new property. A passive solar greenhouse is what I would recommend to you if you live in a cold climate. Also, the "awning" pictured is facing East in the picture. You should face yours North so that it does not receive any direct sunlight and throw off your temperature measurements.

    Again, sorry for the late reply and I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.


    Your green house project has inspired me to do one of my own. I've been looking into hydroponic urban farming for quit sometime. I'm most interested in your Automated, Networking, Controlled box. Wanted to know if you have a wiring schematic with a in depth parts listing and diagram for your completed box?

    1 reply

    I'm sorry I do not have a wiring diagram of the control panel at the present time other than some rough sketches that I have drawn. The control panel is not as complicated as it looks. If you're familiar with general wiring, circuits and relays then it's pretty easy. The hard part is figuring out what components to select based on voltage, current and temperature limitations according to the National Electrical Codebook.

    If you want to build an automated greenhouse my official recommendation is to buy an off the shelf controller and use that. There are websites that specialize in such equipment. You'll save a lot of money, time and frustration. You'll have more flexibility in your design as well.

    Thanks for your comments.

    I was wondering if you can provide an in-depth guide of how you made this complete with wiring diagram. only the arduino side of things.

    I was wondering if you can provide an in-depth guide of how you made this complete with wiring diagram.