IOT for Smart Agriculture

The Food and Agricultural Organization of the UN (FOA) predicts that the global population will reach 8 billion people by 2025 and 9.6 billion people by 2050. In order to keep pace, food production must increase by 70 percent by 2050. To be able to fulfil this crucial need we need to first look into the various challenges of the agricultural sector. Some of the challenges being, limited amount of arable land, climate change, limited amount of fresh water, and the price and availability of energy. In order to counter these challenges the Food and Agriculture Organization recommends that farming sectors should be equipped with tools and techniques and digital technology. Technological developments have led to the building of smart cities. IoT is one such technology which is already being used in the development of smart cities. This IoT technology can now be used to do smart farming or precision farming. The Internet of Things (IoT) is gradually transforming the agriculture sector by providing new methods and enabling farmers to contend with the challenges they face. The IoT is based on technologies such as GPS services, sensors and big data, and ICT- based support systems backed by real time data. The IOT based system gathers data, analyses it and provides appropriate responses to the information received. This can provide  information concerning various aspects of farming which was not possible previously. Such information enables the farmer and gives him a better understanding which would help to him to take smarter decisions resulting in, less wastage and maximum efficiency/productivity in farming. The Internet of Things helps in increasing crop productivity by way of managing and controlling farming activities such as the following: Water Management: Water is the basic requirement for farming and its adequate supply is crucial for crops. If water is in excess, or scarce, it could have adverse effects or practically destroy crops. Water management systems provide a solution to manage and control water supply for crop irrigation. The system is able to analyze the water requirement of the crop and controls the supply of water thus providing just the right amount and saving the precious supply of water. The irrigation system is connected with sensors and valves which operate timely without human intervention. Weather forecast systems/Climate monitoring and forecasting: Accurate and timely communication of real time data through weather forecast systems can help farmers to plan agricultural processes such as plantation, harvesting, availability and cost of labour,  well in advance. Pest management/control: Very often crops are destroyed by pests due to which farmers suffer huge monetary losses. To prevent or control pests to a large extent, the agriculture IoT has systems that monitor, scan, identify and track the environment and plant growth. There are pest control sensors that use the scanned data to predict pest Continue Reading

Smart Street light reduces power bill of Municipal Corporation

Street lighting is a very important public service provided by public authorities at the local and municipal level. Good lighting is essential for public safety, road safety, and overall ambience of a place. Street lighting ensures visibility in the dark for pedestrians, motorists and cyclists, thereby reducing road accidents. Street lighting also indirectly facilitates crime prevention by increasing safety and security of people and property (private and public). Good street lighting effects can boost and add to the appeal of a city. Some problem areas However, many street lighting facilities are old and outdated and therefore not efficient. This leads to higher energy requirement and high maintenance too. For municipalities with such outdated systems, street lighting can account for around 30-50% of their entire power consumption. For example, in India most of the street lights are sodium vapour lights, metal halides, and some CFLs. An estimated 20 to 40% of the energy produced in India goes into the lighting of street lights. Although, with the rise in solar technology, solar powered streetlights are also seen in some areas now. In the current lighting situation there is no baseline data or system which provides information regarding faulty lights. Electricity theft is another problem area and as of now there is no particular method of finding out the amount of electricity consumed by each light. Thus there is no specific way to determine if there is a leak somewhere in the line. Despite electricity shortage, it has been frequently observed that street lights are working/on, even during the day. This is wastage of electricity. It could be due to human error or negligence. However, in the end, the financial burden lies on the municipal corporation. Suggested solutions Since streetlights are such an essential part of every city, supporting people and businesses with safety, security and convenience, it would be better (financially and environmentally) if we could use our street lighting network in a smarter, more intelligent way rather than the current on-off system. All parts of the world are now converting to energy-efficient LED street lighting, which is brighter and more adjustable. LED lights have two key benefits- energy efficiency and long service life. As a longer service life means considerable reductions in maintenance costs. Intelligent/smart control systems create additional savings potential as the street lighting level can be adjusted (reduced or increased) in line with requirements, thus providing substantial energy savings. Automated control and monitoring system provides better functionality and efficiency which helps in tracking energy consumption. Smart street lighting technology can provide detailed analytics that would be helpful in the execution and maintenance of street lighting. Smart street lighting solutions (IoT based analytics and remote monitoring) will empower municipal Continue Reading

Smart city- Battery operated vehicles for less pollution and other advantages

It is known that conventional vehicles produce a lot of carbon emissions that get ejected into the atmosphere. This causes severe pollution and is also one of the main causes for global warming. Smart cities need to make reforms towards energy and transport model for both, private and public alike. This would minimize environmental and acoustic impact of transport, improve air quality and thus improve citizen’s quality of life.One of the leading smart city initiatives involves controlling pollution in all its forms. This can be done by reducing the number of gasoline vehicles on the roads and replacing them with battery operated/electric vehicles. The use of Electric vehicles (EVs) or battery operated vehicles are seen by governments as an alternative to conventional vehicles and are instrumental in cutting down emissions and thereby reducing global warming.To understand how EVs are better and produce far less pollution than their gasoline counterparts we need to look into the lifecycle of vehicles (from manufacturing of the vehicle’s body and battery to its final disposal/reuse).  Each stage of the manufacturing process is linked with carbon dioxide (main cause of pollution) and other greenhouse gas emissions. But the emissions differ in gasoline powered vehicles and battery operated vehicles during the manufacturing process.The main component that distinguishes an EV from a gasoline vehicle is its battery. Since electric vehicles store power in large lithium-ion batteries which are material and energy intensive to produce, their global warming emissions at the manufacturing stage usually exceed those of conventional vehicles.These differences in emission at the production/manufacturing stage change as soon as the EV hits the road and the environmental picture starts to improve. In other words, the extra emissions associated with EV production are rapidly negated by (reduced) no emission from driving as against the gasoline powered vehicles which emit carbon dioxide and other gases into the atmosphere.Advantages of an electric vehicle/battery operated vehicle:No gas requirement: Electric vehicles get power from batteries that are installed inside the car. The battery provides power to the motors for the vehicle to run and also for other functions like lights, wipers etc. The batteries are powered by electricity. Since these vehicles are charged by electricity you don’t need to buy expensive gas (fuel). Driving conventional fuel based cars is getting more expensive day by day as fuel prices are going up. It’s not that electricity is free but it is cheaper than gas and hence electric vehicles are cheaper to run.Size matters: Unlike the earlier versions of EVs which were only two seaters, vehicle manufacturing companies now offer 4 to 5 seater vehicles. Besides this, these vehicles also have autopilot features with good mile-range.Money smart: To save the fragile environment from further degradation, governments are now alert and aware and offering Continue Reading

A smart city needs better water facility

Cities around the world are growing exponentially in terms of population. This growth is linked with increasing demand for better amenities/conveniences and services from governments and utilities to ensure a high quality life for residents. This is where smart cities come into play. Governments and private sectors are investing huge amounts of money for the cities infrastructure such as smart water, smart mobility, smart buildings (energy efficient), smart energy through smart meters and grids, smart public services and smart integration of systems. However there are enormous challenges to be overcome in the existing scenario when it comes to modernization of age-old systems. It is therefore important to improve the critical systems and infrastructure at a fundamental level while integrating advanced technology. Water being the most critical system of any city, needs to be addressed smartly. It is inevitable that water consumption will go up as the population increases and hence smart water systems are needed to manage this precious resource efficiently. Some Smart water Solutions……. Smart water Network: Since potable water is limited we have to find ways and means of harnessing this resource more efficiently. It is therefore very important that a city’s water system (distribution and management) be sound and capable of being monitored and networked. A smart water Network caters to automated process control and is capable of processing data in real time to harvest information that can be further utilized. Every water management actively creates data, whether it is gathering, treating, or distributing water. This data can reveal valuable information and business insight. The enhanced/automated system controls process in real time which helps to save water and reduces labour cost and controlling water theft, leading to good customer service. Online network optimization: An online network system combined with SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) systems enable network monitoring. We understand an online network system, but what is SCADA? SCADA is an industrial automation control system which is the foundation of modern industries. SCADA systems deploy numerous hardware and software elements that allow organizations to: Gather, monitor and process data Collaborate with control machines and devices like motors, valves, pumps which are connected through HMI (human-machine interface) software Records events in log file With the use of such systems, proactive decisions can be taken with regards to water quality, leakages and other operational status. This would help cut down electricity bills and increase operational efficiency.   Energy Optimization system for wastewater treatment: Wastewater treatment is the process of removing contaminants from wastewater. The treatment consists of a combination of physical, chemical and biological processes and operations to remove solids and Continue Reading