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New technology for greenhouses by Mexican University

21 April 2014 Investigación y Desarrollo

Agricultural and fruit producers could acquire high-tech greenhouses at a considerably less cost, thanks to experts from the Autonomous University of Zacatecas (UAZ) in the North of Mexico developing computer systems to control climatic variables within such infrastructures.

According to Luis Octavio Solís Sánchez, researcher in the Department of Electrical Engineering, some factors that may increase the cost of acquiring the import greenhouses are the level of sophistication of its technologies for automation, its size, and the type of materials that are implemented.

For this reason, experts developed technology to automate climatic variables which cost nearly a half million Mexican peso; i.e., only 10 percent of the maximum purchase price of an imported greenhouse.

Solís Sánchez said the technology consists of a motherboard, embedded computer systems (for specific functions), a graphical interface for monitoring variables such as humidity, temperature , wind speed and radiation, as well as elements that enable wireless connectivity between the greenhouse and mobile devices like cell phones.

The development of the UAZ also saves costs in that it can be repaired within the country, and training for operation is included at the time of purchase, with no need of using foreign specialists.

The progressive implementation of this greenhouses for different areas of the country entail multiple benefits for domestic producers. "Automatic control of microclimates has the potential to mitigate the total cost of water for agriculture, which in Mexico amounts to almost 70 percent of the vital liquid. It also allows users to obtain crops equivalent to an area of ​​10 hectares in just 500 square meters, "says the researcher.

Solís Sánchez stressed that this project has passed the pilot stage and the technology has been transferred to companies interested in marketing. A second phase for this technologies is the development of neural networks to give some artificial intelligence to the greenhouses. (Agencia ID)


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