Arduino Forum

Using Arduino => Project Guidance => Topic started by: rrferreira on Apr 25, 2013, 01:38 am

Title: Mushroom farm - monitoring system
Post by: rrferreira on Apr 25, 2013, 01:38 am
Hi guys!

So, I'm constructing a mushroom farm and need to be able to control temperature and humidity of the farm.

I'm thinking about using a misting/cooling system and 3 cooling fans.

The cooling fans will be just three 4-pins desktop cooling fans conected to a computer power supply.

The misting/cooling system will be controled by an aquarium water pump with 12W of power.

Can I also connect the water pump in the computer power supply?

If you guys can tell me what kind of board and sensors I need to control these two systems I will be very grateful.
Title: Re: Mushroom farm - monitoring system
Post by: RamJam on Apr 25, 2013, 03:46 pm
How big is the mushroom farm?
It sounds small if you're using pc fans.
What is the voltage of you water pump?

Are we talking button mushrooms here or large?
Title: Re: Mushroom farm - monitoring system
Post by: rrferreira on Apr 25, 2013, 05:10 pm
The mushroom farm will be a 2X4 meters rectangle with 2 meters height.

I will be using this water pump: http://viewitem.eim.ebay.pt/200GPH-Aquarium-Air-Water-Pump-Fish-Tank-Submersible-Pond-Fountain-Powerhead-12WEU230V/310569179711/item?variant0=EU-230V&transId=337425859021   with the EU plug (230V)

I'm currently growing Pleorotus (in bags) and Shitakee (bags and logs)
Title: Re: Mushroom farm - monitoring system
Post by: Nikarus on Apr 25, 2013, 05:34 pm
I don't think you'd be able to hook that pump into the computer power supply that easily (perhaps if you ripped it open you'd find it runs on a 12V motor or something, but it'd be a lot easier to just plug it in regularly).

And well I don't know much about mushroom farming so some of this might be a little off. But I'm guessing you're gonna need to test the air humidity. The moisture content of your soil, and the temp.
Then based off of those youll trigger the mister and the fans to keep the moisture and temp at the happy place correct?
Title: Re: Mushroom farm - monitoring system
Post by: rrferreira on Apr 25, 2013, 05:45 pm
I also think it will be tricky to connect the pump to the computer power supply... If I connected it to a regular plug will I be able to control it?

I just need to control the temperature and the air humidity, ideally the CO2 levels too but not absolutely necessary.

The important is to keep relative humidity above 80% and temp below 21ÂșC.
Title: Re: Mushroom farm - monitoring system
Post by: Nikarus on Apr 25, 2013, 07:06 pm
to control the pump, you could easily look for something like this
https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10747 (https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10747)
Only in a 230V version. Basically its a switch that you control with a digital pin from your arduino (trigger it on whenever the humidity gets below like 70%,then after the airs back to 85% or whatever humidity you want, trigger it off to turn off the pump)

Something like that would be extremely easy to use, but after peeking around for a little (i see your from portugal) I'm not finding a control box as easy to use as the 120V one I linked above.

Your other way to control your pump could be to get a nice 230V relay off ebay something about this.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/1-New-25A-SSR-Solid-State-relay-DC-Control-AC-DC3-32V-to-AC24-480V-/120920218074?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1c276819da (http://www.ebay.com/itm/1-New-25A-SSR-Solid-State-relay-DC-Control-AC-DC3-32V-to-AC24-480V-/120920218074?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1c276819da)

Those are fairly easy to use. Basically you take an extension chord. Cut 1 of the 2 conductors, attaching each end of the now cut conductor to 1 of the 2 "output" terminals on that relay (make sure to do a nice hook around the screw). Then plug the remaining end into the wall (probably have someone electrically inclined to check your cable for safety).

Then connect an arduino digital pin to the + on the control side. and connect the - to the arduinos ground. now when you trigger the arduino pin it'll turn the pump on or off (assumign the pump is plugged into this modified extension chord)

Thatll let you control the misting. then you just need a temp sensor and your humidity sensor
Title: Re: Mushroom farm - monitoring system
Post by: rrferreira on Apr 25, 2013, 07:34 pm
I really like the relay ideia, it's seems cheap and efficient. :)

I'm thinking about using 2 DS18b20 temperature sensors and 2 HS1101 humidity sensors.

Then I need to connect the sensors to 2 relays and one LCD to display the measurements.

What arduino board will I need to do this?
Title: Re: Mushroom farm - monitoring system
Post by: Nikarus on Apr 25, 2013, 08:12 pm
that amount of stuff,a basic arduino could handle easy.

Best way to start out would probably be grab some LEDs, get them to trigger on and off (these will emulate the relays).
Then grab your sensors, get them to read data, and set up your humidity and temperature points so that when its too dry or whatever, itll turn on the LEDs.
Then grab the pumps and relays, and just replace the LEDs with the relays, and your on your way to a nice thick shiitake stew.

I noticed you mentioned 2 relays though and the LCD, do you need a LCD to be recommended, of have you picked out one you like (because they can become problematic sometimes).
Also whats the second relay for, to trigger the computer power supply off and on to run the fans? Or will there be 2 misting pumps?
Title: Re: Mushroom farm - monitoring system
Post by: rrferreira on Apr 25, 2013, 10:19 pm
A basic arduino like this: http://viewitem.eim.ebay.pt/UNO-R3-ATMEGA328-ATMEGA16U2-Controller-Board-FOR-ARDUINOs-IDE-Compatible/290901496705/item ?  or there is a more basic one?

Concerning the sensors, could I connect them directly to the arlindo board or I need some kind of module?

I was thinking  about using this LCD: http://viewitem.eim.ebay.pt/1602-16x2-Character-LCD-Display-Module-HD44780-Controller-Blue-Blacklight-/170817946781/item

It's cheap but I don't know if gonna last...

The second relay will control the power supply, to run the fans.
Title: Re: Mushroom farm - monitoring system
Post by: Chagrin on Apr 25, 2013, 10:24 pm
You won't be able to mist with that pump. It states 1.5M head which is only a couple PSI. What you want is a "demand pump (http://viewitem.eim.ebay.pt/SHURFLO-AUTOMATIC-DEMAND-PUMP-70-LPM-30PSI/370641616426/item)". 30 PSI is around the minimum you'll want; more would be better.
Title: Re: Mushroom farm - monitoring system
Post by: rrferreira on Apr 25, 2013, 10:36 pm
I have a more powerful pump that pumps 6200 liters per hour and can raise water 5.5 meters. Should be enough right?
Title: Re: Mushroom farm - monitoring system
Post by: wildbill on Apr 25, 2013, 10:41 pm
For safety reasons, it would be nice if you could avoid mains voltages. You could switch the 12V going to each of the fans via transistors, even use PWM if you need variable speed. Same thing with the pump, although you'll need to find one powerful enough at 12V and a more beefy transistor that the fans take. The pumps that spray water at your windscreen must be 12V - powerful enough?
Title: Re: Mushroom farm - monitoring system
Post by: Chagrin on Apr 25, 2013, 10:42 pm

I have a more powerful pump that pumps 6200 liters per hour and can raise water 5.5 meters. Should be enough right?


That's less than 8 PSI. It's 1.41 PSI per meter of head.

A windshield pump appears to be up to 40 PSI, but those get pretty hot if you run them too long.
Title: Re: Mushroom farm - monitoring system
Post by: rrferreira on Apr 25, 2013, 10:48 pm
The pressure doesn't depend on the pipe that I use? I'll use a 6mm pipe ...
Title: Re: Mushroom farm - monitoring system
Post by: Nikarus on Apr 26, 2013, 05:57 pm
pressure does depend on the pipe you use... yes, but it depends mostly on the pump that will be driving it. Basically, the smaller diameter pipe you have, the higher pressure water you need to move the same volume of water through (just like higher resistance wire takes a higher voltage to drive the same current). Your 6mm pipe, with a low pressure pump will just slowly trickle out water, not in any misting form.

If instead you want a fine spray, you'd need a high pressure pump running through that small pipe (and then through some kind of misting nozzle) Kinda liek a windex bottle, I rmeember readign that those produce a fairly high pressure when you squeeze the trigger.

I'll get back to you about the sensors and LCD screen though, gotta get to work.
Title: Re: Mushroom farm - monitoring system
Post by: rrferreira on Apr 26, 2013, 09:19 pm
well... guess I have to get a new pump then... Thanks for the advice!

I found a project similar to mine, the guy use this board: http://viewitem.eim.ebay.pt/UNO-R3-ATMEGA328-ATMEGA16U2-Controller-Board-FOR-ARDUINOs-IDE-Compatible/290901496705/item

and this LCD:
http://viewitem.eim.ebay.pt/1602-LCD-Board-Keypad-Shield-Blue-Backlight-For-Arduino-LCD-Duemilanove-Robot/170928504704/item

It's a good choice? or there is a better one? I'm trying to save money but don't want something that don't last.
Title: Re: Mushroom farm - monitoring system
Post by: rrferreira on Apr 26, 2013, 09:56 pm
I find a high pressure pump :http://viewitem.eim.ebay.pt/12V-Volt-Mini-DC-Diaphragm-Water-Pump-65PSI-3Lmin-RV-pump/330893776704/item

the problem is that my misting system only can handle pressures between 220 and 280 kPa... there is some way to reduce the pump pressure?
Title: Re: Mushroom farm - monitoring system
Post by: Chagrin on Apr 27, 2013, 12:14 am
The pump head contains a pressure switch that turns off the pump when the pressure is reached. In typical operation the pump would be always powered but the pressure switch will hold it off until a faucet or valve is opened and water starts to flow. You can make adjustments to the pressure cutoff; on your pump the adjustment appears to be performed by turning the screw on the end of the pump (clockwise for more pressure, counterclockwise for less).

Where you might run into a problem is when your flow is much less than the 3 liters/minute that the pump is designed for. This will cause the pump to cycle on and off rapidly which is a generally undesireable situation. You can remedy this to some extent by adding an "accumulator" downstream of the pump; this is a small tank, partially filled with air, that would act as a buffer between the pump and misting heads so the cycling occurs less frequently.

Another option is to drive the pump using a mosfet and PWM. Basically just reduce the current to the pump so it cannot generate as much pressure.

Do you have a link to documentation on your misting system? Just curious what you're using.
Title: Re: Mushroom farm - monitoring system
Post by: arbutus on Apr 28, 2013, 08:49 pm
Stainless steel soil moisture sensors are available. SSM analog sensors use analogRead() to report soil moisture for appropriate ranges:  arid/dry/damp/normal/wet/saturated. http://smartgreenhouse.org/index.php/products/sensors/soil-moisture-sensor.

We also use relay boards for pump and lighting control, for both 12V LED and 240v/120v AC power.

Ventilation is also important, use relay boards for fan control and active venting.

For misting we use a 60psi FloJet pump (12v DC) with micro heads that mist a large area. These also actively cool the air so a misting system is very useful in this type of environment.

(usual disclaimer: I am associated with SmartGreenHouse.org)
Title: Re: Mushroom farm - monitoring system
Post by: Jason_B on Apr 29, 2013, 05:22 pm
My name is Jason and I work in product development at CO2meter.com. I try to keep up with forums for arduino and other similar products to provide guidance to projects that involve air quality control. We have clients that run large scale mushroom growing operations, and along with Temperature and humidity, it is also important to monitor CO2 levels. This article explains a little about why: http://www.co2meter.com/collections/mushrooms-co2 (http://www.co2meter.com/collections/mushrooms-co2).

It lists a few products that we often provide for our clients, but to incorporate into an automated system I would look into the Cozir RH/T http://www.co2meter.com/collections/co2-sensors/products/cozir-0-2-co2-sensor (http://www.co2meter.com/collections/co2-sensors/products/cozir-0-2-co2-sensor). This provides real time CO2 level, Temperature, and humidity over UART. I have written some basic libraries to work with MCUs and getting it running on an arduino is very straightfoward.

If you have any questions or would like the code for running these please let me know.

-Jason Berger
JasonB@co2meter.com
CO2meter.com