Lessons from running an IoT-driven aquaponics greenhouse

"In addition to running KnowThings, I have the privilege of being the CTO/Lead Engineer/ Lead QA Engineer for my wife’s farm, FunkNFresh Farms CTO. Lead Engineer you ask? Well FunkNFresh Farms grows crops and farmed catfish using a method called aquaponics.

"Currently, our greenhouse is an IoT device, which measures and reports on the water temperature, the ambient lighting and the pH of the water. It also has a passive solar heater attached to the greenhouse, as temperature is one of the first optimization factors I can bring into play.

"Now it might be fair to say the current state of things is just automation. Even though it is web connected, that’s not really IoT – where’s the data analytics?

"Well, in addition to the sensors I mentioned, I also have a microphone in the greenhouse. There are two vital pumps in the system, a water pump and an air pump. If either of those fail, plants and fish start to die very quickly. This is the first IoT angle. By capturing the audio and doing spectrum analysis on the wave files I can determine if the pumps are running, and if they are under stress or load."

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