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Measuring water content in multiple valve sections

Several years ago, tomato grower Kees Stijger from Honselersdijk had already had the thought that it was not ideal that the water content was measured in only one substrate mat. He went to work on a new wireless hygrometer with multiple sensors spread over several valve sections which would give a more representative picture of his entire crop. It was a long road and the first sensors from the early years were thrown in the bin a long time ago. With the help of the findings of Kees Stijger, the US supplier of the sensors has made further developments in recent years, so that they are now well-suited to the measurement of the water content in rockwool mats.

Wireless measuring units
At the moment, Kees has four wireless measuring units, each with five sensors attached to the software of Klimlink so that water content measurements can be analyzed in combination with the details from his climate computer. The sensors of the different measuring units are averaged, resulting in a representative and reliable picture of the water content in the mats of his crop.

Mat dynamic
However, more data does not automatically deliver greater insight and there was a need for a new form of presenting the information. Over the past year, there has been a lot of hard work going on in Klimlink, in order to be able to present this wealth of measurement data in a simple way. The result is the birth of a new Klimlink module "Root View", which also provides an insight into the distribution of the water content in the mat itself. By showing the water content in a colour coded cross-section of the mat, the distribution of the water content in the mat can be seen at a glance. The water content distribution or "mat dynamic" constantly varies, and therefore it can also be easily shown as an animation.


24 hour graph
As well as the mat dynamic, Root View also displays all the relevant data from the climate computer in a 24 hour graph. By choosing a parameter, the mat dynamic and graph values can be shown for each particular moment in time. On the graph, not only can the average for the whole mat can be shown, but also for a section of the mat. These include that the graph line can quickly show an overall picture of the whole day, but it is also possible to quickly zoom in on a particular moment on the mat dynamic. By default, Root View automatically shows the current values ​with the corresponding mat dynamic.

Klimlink's Rootview module ensures that moisture sensors no longer need to be linked to the climate computer for a complete analysis. But even more than this, with the combined display of graphics and mat dynamic, Root View is at the forefront of these developments. For a few months, Kees has made daily use of Root View to decide on his irrigation strategy. He keeps a close eye on the saturated bottom layer and the difference between the top and bottom of the mat. But Kees wouldn't be Kees if he didn't keep having new ideas and demands. Kees would like to have insight into potential fertilizer accumulation in the mat and thus there is now yet another information presentation being developed - the EC distribution in the mat. Thus the development of Root View delivers new insights, but also new questions and demands, but that goes hand-in-hand with progress.

For more information:
Wim van Vliet
[email protected]
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