This is my very first message post on the Gardenweb, so I am quite excited!
I am currently a final year student in the computer electronically engineering department of my university
I am busy on a project building an automated irrigation controller together with a greenhouse. The greenhouse should be mobile, easy to assemble and portable. +- 2 x 4 meter.
The intended market for the end product is those living in a rural area. Thus electricity and water usage are limited. The budget for the whole project is R 2500.00. I need to monitor and control the temperature inside the greenhouse together with the irrigation.
Above being said, I am interested in a Hydroponic system due to the fact that people living in a rural area wont necessarily have access to healthy soil, nor be able to replace it on a regular basis.
My problem however with Hydroponics is that I will need a tank containing the nutrients and water, together with a pump I assume? Since the water is cycled through the plants and back into the tank.
I am thinking of using a PLC or PIC micro-controller, maybe open source Adruino or Rasberry Pi for the controller itself.
Any feedback or comments whatsoever are welcome since I need to brainstorm this project first before I can get to the fun building part :)