Projects

Self Watering Garden System         

Introduction

 

Watering can be one of the most vital cores in the garden. For container gardeners, watering plants has become much less a hassle since the newly introduced self-watering system. Self-watering containers are planters that are designed to hold water (h2O) in a lower reservoir. Containers need to be watered at least two to three times a day. The self-watering system changes all this. Whether you are busy or not, the self-watering system will make your plants grow better than before. In addition, self-watering system ends to save you a lot of water, and stores it for later use.

 

Our project consists of a modular, self-watering garden system that could be applied to any size garden. The garden will supply water to each plant individually, giving it the specific amount of water it needs and keeping its soil at an optimal moisture to maximize efficiency and growth of the plant. The watering system consists of a network of PVC pipes passing over the plants, and with water coming into the pipes either from a valve connecting to a water pipe, or from a pump pulling water from a tank. The piping system is supported by a frame going around the plants, built out of PVC, and will not be connected to the plants themselves, allowing the plant pots to be removed from the system easily, and swapped with other plants, or maintained. The main pip will go over all the pots, and include solenoid valves over each plant to block or allow water flow to a specific plant. By pumping or opening the main valve, and then opening the specific valve over the plant we want to water, we can isolate where we want the water to go, with a single system instead of different pipes going to every single plant. The system will be Arduino controlled. Moisture sensors will be connected to the Arduino, and placed in each plant, and the computer will be able to constantly receive the moisture values, and send a dose of water to a specific plant if it falls out of the moisture range that was set for its optimal growth. There will also be the option to configure different settings using a computer or mobile application, to easily add plants to the system, making the project modular for any size of garden. The specific optimal moisture value for each plant that would be in the system would be stored onto the computer, and we would simply have to set a position in the garden to a plant configuration so that it waters that plant the correct amount. The power needed for the project is also low, as it will just be using power when feeding water to the plants, and to keep the Arduino running, which does not take much power. This project is part of Sustainable Engineering Concordia, and will be student run, with engineering students from every discipline working together to bring it to life. Due to the nature of the project, it reaches many different engineering fields, such as mechanical engineering, software engineering, and electrical engineering, allowing us to recruit many students to build it.

 

Objectives

 

What we hope to achieve from this project, is to facilitate and come up with a new innovative idea for the greenhouse.  By having a self-watering system like we are designing, plants will be able to be watered at a better rate, without the supervision of a worker.  This self –watering system, will have a huge impact on some projects that are already happening in the greenhouse, such as the food that is produced for People’s Potatoes.  By having a self-watering system, we are also making our University greener, and more efficient.  To be able to contribute to the sustainability of our University would simply be an honor and our pleasure.  We’d love to see Concordia University and the greenhouse itself, have new sustainable ideas, implemented as soon as possible.  We believe that our design and thought process, is both logical and efficient.  We truly believe that if we keep the pace we are moving out, we will be able to reach our objective of making the greenhouse an even more sustainable space.

 

 

Expected Project Completion: Summer 2018