Closed-Loop Irrigation


Library Research Review

Patent: Irrigation System with Soil Moisture Based Seasonal Watering Adjustment

Summary: Emmanuel Sadek

Irrigation System With Soil Moisture Based Seasonal Watering Adjustment, is described as a soil moisture based irrigation system that includes a stand-alone irrigation controller with a seasonal adjust feature and a stand-alone weather station including at least one soil moisture sensor. This proposed set up allows for a soil moisture control unit to be configured, so it can calculate an estimated soil moisture requirement value using a signal from the soil moisture sensor and to automatically modify a watering schedule of the irrigation controller through a seasonal adjustment feature based on the estimated soil moisture requirement value to thereby conserve water while maintaining plant health.

Journal: Evaluation of Drip Irrigation System Uniformity on Yield in an Arid Region using a Two-Dimensional Soil Water Transport and Crop Growth Coupling Model

Summary: Emmanuel Sadek

The journal presents several methods used such as mist from a nozzle, a shower, and ultimately a drip system that was tested to discover which method provided the greatest amount of yield using the least amount of water. It also investigates response of crop yield to system uniformity coefficients. Interestingly the Journal entry also provides graphs that outline possible adjustments to water delivery based on different types of soil that may contain various proportions of sand silt or clay. Within the article, various equations used for water flow analysis within their program were presented, which would then be altered at various times in growth cycle such as when the plant sprouted or flowered. For their model they utilized matlab as a means to calibrate their system, optimizing parameters of the modified Vrugt Root uptake model

Patent: Method and Means for Controlling the Functions of an Irrigation System and Ancillary Equipment

Summary: Nathan Wilson

The patent at hand refers to a closed-loop irrigation process that can perform the exact processes described above using a RTOS system. A real time operating system, allows for real time data reading and analyses that would allow the closed-loop design to operate consistently for long periods of time with little to no user input. Apart from older systems, this concept avoids the manual efforts that are typically accompanying irrigation such as checking the soil manually and then turning on valves by hand. The patented idea not only considers sensor inputs, it also takes weather pattern analysis into consideration. My group considered this input during the design phase, but decided against it to avoid technologies that were far outside of our knowledge.

Journal: Evaluation of Closed-Loop Site-Specific Irrigation with Wireless Sensor Network

Summary: Nathan Wilson

In the journal the author explores the difficulties behind optimizing an irrigation configuration based on the properties of the soil. The soil varies in many characteristics and heavily affects the results of the irrigation system. Coupled with the specific needs of each plant being grown, this can become quite tedious. Soil electrical conductivity (EC) is often mapped to ease this process. Suggesting the use of this method during the early phases of developing an irrigational system could save the consumer’s time and money. Integration of this method into the actual irrigational system could allow for increased efficiency of the closed-loop design and further improve the system’s ability to make corrections without outside input.

In this example, a wireless network was used for communication between the sensors, the solenoids, and the main cpu. This provides us with useful firsthand information regarding such. Currently, our design could use a wireless or wired system. The author describes how the system is powered by solar panels at each sensor station to offset the power demands of the wireless system.

A portion of this example I found very important to my work, was the specific way the authors designed their system to deliver variable amounts of water. Their sensors order the opening and closing of certain valves, which either turn on or off certain nozzles in the system. This is very close to our design. We intend to use controlled valves that will turn on and off and divert the flow of the system or even potentially turn off the main pump. In this journal, two different spray nozzles were used and they are described precisely. This information will provide us with useful information when choosing a nozzle to implement in our system.

Patent: Closed-loop control system

Summary: Moon Bin Hong

This patent focus generally on closed loop system and particularly onto closed loop motor control system. This design is adjusted base on feedback from the sensor, which is coupled to the plant. Electrical signal generated by the sensor, which may be present in voltage or velocity temperature or any other parameter of the plant. This idea is very similar to our project where we can use the Arduino program to collect the data generated by sensor in the soil. Idea of closed loop control system is that it may use more than one control mode to achieve desired operating system. For example, control system may utilize both an open loop voltage control mode and a closed loop current control mode. The output signal of either mode, whatever the smaller value is selected. We can adapt this idea into our project by creating code that can give us full control on the closed loop system.

Journal: Evaluation of Closed Loop site specific Irrigation with Wireless sensor network

Summary: Moon Bin Hong

Basic idea of the article is to implementing automated irrigation system with closed loop control. In the soil, water sensors are installed at zone where distributed wireless sensor network and remotely monitored by a base station. After this, basic idea is same as our project, which is collecting feedback from sensor by radio communication by Arduino and control the humidity of soil. This idea of automating irrigation system can make farming easier.

Patent: Closed loop control system, sensing apparatus and fluid application system for a precision irrigation device

Summary: Benjamin Castillo

This movable irrigation system makes use of a control system to coordinate the watering of plants. A sensor monitors water levels in the soil, sends a signal to a computer, which, in turn operates a solenoid valve to allow water to flow to the plant. This is the main focus of our design as well. We plan to use an Arduino controller as the base of our system. The difference is that ours will not be moveable. We propose an underground network, making the system stationary. The patent has spray nozzles, whereas our design has perforated end covers for our pipes located near the roots of the plants.

Journal: Plant Root Templated Irrigation

Summary: Benjamin Castillo

The orientation of the watering was a decision made in part, to increase efficiency. The article was a good justification of that idea. In this article, plants are severed at the stem and introduced to an underground water source similar to what we designed to pressurize the root system and provide irrigation to other nearby plants. It was noted that this was a more efficient method than conventional surface irrigation. Overall, this efficiency is what makes this a worthwhile project. This system is geared toward water conservation. Its application is not favorable to all situations, but it could be favorable to an area in drought where water is scarce and must be monitored.

Patent: Dripping Irrigation System Controlled by Feedback of Soil Moisture Content

Summary: Adin Fidahic

This concept is in its general construct very similar to the concept we have devised. However, there are some elements which are introduced in this patent which we have not considered in ours. One of the main elements is the use of main auxiliary water tanks which are placed in their respective sub-plots. Our design did not consider the use of auxiliary tanks for we designed for a single source water supply from one tank/source. This patent’s use of auxiliary water tanks has brought to my attention that employing such a system in our design will relieve some of the hydraulic network complexness. The use of auxiliary water tanks is also highly beneficial for systems in which multiple crops are used that each consume their respective amounts of water. Therefore, each auxiliary tank will be connected to its respective plot of land pertaining to the type of crop.

Journal: Feedback Control of Basin-Irrigation System

Summary: Adin Fidahic

This journal is written about the feedback control of Furrow based irrigation systems. This is worthy note due to the fact that it is different from our system’s irrigation which is based on a drip system. Despite the fundamental difference in the method of irrigation, there are some important concepts that are to be made aware of in which this system introduces. A furrow irrigation system essentially supply water to the crops in the form of a water stream over the surface of the soil. This journal emphasizes on the most efficient flow rates and sloping that contribute to reducing overall water consumption. Reducing water consumption is on of the main motivations of our closed-loop system and any method which reduces the water consumption must not be overlooked.

Top of Page