Self Regulating Greenhouse Powered by a Ready Set Solar Kit.




Introduction: Self Regulating Greenhouse Powered by a Ready Set Solar Kit.

A large portion of the worlds population still spends more than half of their income on food. Growing your own food means that you can use a larger share of your income for education, healthcare and other things.
However the farther you live from the equator the larger the effect of seasons will be, shortening your growing period.
With this wall-sided greenhouse you cannot only expand your growing season but it will also help warm your house!

The added benefit of the regulating done by the Arduino is that you can be away to work for the day(s) and won't find your plants shrivelled by the heat or drought when you come back.

In the picture below is an example of how it could be, and in the following steps certain aspects will be further explained.

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Step 1: The Greenhouse

The best way to build a greenhouse would be to use glass and metal or wood, but those materials are too expensive for a lot of people on this globe so smart use of local materials and trash is needed.

For example discarded plastic bags can be found anywhere for free. Collect a bucket full of clear or white ones, cut them open and glue/stitch/staple them together and you have something you can use instead of glass. Granted, it won't work as good as glass but you'll be surprised how much heat it can retain.

For support you can use bamboo, wood or something local that grows quickly.

It would also be a good idea to build the greenhouse against a dark wall, this will receive and store solar warmth during the day and slowly release it to the greenhouse and room on the other side during the night.

Step 2: Guts of the System

So now let's take a look at the stuff that powers and controls everything.

The core will be a Ready Set Solar Kit that powers an Arduino, an air humidity and temperature sensor, a ground humidity sensor, a water pump and a fan.

The Arduino will be the brain of the system, because it is power efficient and cheap. It will monitor the sensors and depending on the input it can decide to run the pump to water the plants or run the fan to lower the humidity and temperature.

The fan an temperature sensor can be salvaged from an old electronic device or even a wrecked car, for water storage practically everything  that holds water can be used.

Apart from Solar Kit, the Arduino and maybe the humidity practically anything can be salvaged as components from broken stuff or bought for a very small price.

Step 3:

The goal for this concept was to create a greenhouse that almost anybody can build with most of the parts being local and free.
PS. Please forgive any language errors, English is not my motherlanguage.

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    7 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Did you create that diagram? What did you use?

    (This would be cool if you could actually build one of these to demonstrate the concept more clearly, gather data to show how well it would work (which, I believe, it would).


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I created the diagram in Sketchup but I used pre-existing models. I tried to upload the model in the last step but somehow the server won't accept it. I can upload it to a mirror if you want.

    Unfortunately I'm not in the position to build it myself, but I calculated the power usage of everything and it should work out fine, even if you wanted to use a Raspberry Pi instead of an Arduino.


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Hi, Thanks for writing this - I also think this is an interesting idea, something along the lines of what I'm intending to build with an aquaponics system.

    I'd like to ask if you could please share the Sketchup file via the mirror link you mentioned. Many thanks in advance!


    I am confused how you are anticipating the Ready Set Solar kit to power all those electronics.

    What size solar panel would you use? What size battery (if this would be off-grid)?

    My feeling is that all those components -- mostly fan and water pump - would have such a high draw you would need a very large battery. Can you explain further what your plan is?


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Did anyone build this/ work on this? this idea is good..

    What about using it on the terrace?

    This is an interesting concept. But I wonder why you would need to use any sort of developmental microcontroller board at all (Raspberry PI, Arduino, etc). If all the uC is responsible for is monitoring a couple of sensors and turning a pump or fan on or off, this can all be easily accomplished by the tiniest AVR microcontroller (what the Arduino is based on), a few external components, and a couple hundred lines of code - all for less than $5. The Arduino is a nice system to get people interested in electronics, but you'd be crazy to think it cost effective to put one into any sort of production line rather than just design (or have someone design) a standard uC circuit.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    You raise a very good point, of course the controller can be something different than an Arduino or a Raspberri PI.
    The reason I chose those as an example is because both are quite popular and already have been involved in automated greenhouses.

    So if you really have to scrape the bottom of the can for your product, buy the cheapest thing you can find, but if you have a little more budget something like an Arduino is still a good choice because they don't have to be that expensive and you open up a lot more possibilities for the future.