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Adaptalight: An inexpensive PAR sensor system for daylight harvesting in a Micro Indoor Smart Hydroponic System

Stevens, J.D., Murray, D., Diepeveen, D.ORCID: 0000-0002-1535-8019 and Toohey, D.ORCID: 0000-0002-9900-5383 (2022) Adaptalight: An inexpensive PAR sensor system for daylight harvesting in a Micro Indoor Smart Hydroponic System. Horticulturae, 8 (2). Article 105.

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Environmental changes and the reduction in arable land have led to food security concerns around the world, particularly in urban settings. Hydroponic soilless growing methods deliver plant nutrients using water, conserving resources and can be constructed nearly anywhere. Hydroponic systems have several complex attributes that need to be managed, and this can be daunting for the layperson. Micro Indoor Smart Hydroponics (MISH) leverage Internet of Things (IoT) technology to manage the complexities of hydroponic techniques, for growing food at home for everyday citizens. Two prohibitive costs in the advancement of MISH systems are power consumption and equipment expense. Reducing cost through harvesting ambient light can potentially reduce power consumption but must be done accurately to sustain sufficient plant yields. Photosynthetic Active Radiation (PAR) meters are commercially used to measure only the light spectrum that plants use, but are expensive. This study presents Adaptalight, a MISH system that harvests ambient light using an inexpensive AS7265x IoT sensor to measure PAR. The system is built on commonly found IoT technology and a well-established architecture for MISH systems. Adpatalight was deployed in a real-world application in the living space of an apartment and experiments were carried out accordingly. A two-phase experiment was conducted over three months, each phase lasting 21 days. Phase one measured the IoT sensor’s capability to accurately measure PAR. Phase two measured the ability of the system to harvest ambient PAR light and produce sufficient yields, using the calibrated IoT sensor from phase one. The results showed that the Adaptalight system was successful in saving a significant amount of power, harvesting ambient PAR light and producing yields with no significant differences from the control. The amount of power savings would be potentially greater in a location with more ambient light. Additionally, the findings show that, when calibrated, the AS7265x sensor is well suited to accurately measure PAR light in MISH systems.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): IT, Media and Communications
College of Science, Health, Engineering and Education
Publisher: MDPI
Copyright: © 2022 by the authors
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