Gravity fed drip irrigation, semi-automated

From Appropedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Gravity fed drip irrigation, with the intent of complete, hands free automation.[edit | edit source]

Welcome, you've arrived at the Global Goals clubs challenge WIKI. We ask you to see this as a possible starting point to a new beginning. We hope to prove to the world, that if we use the SDGs as a guideline, a starting point in the search for simple solutions to impossible problems like poverty and hunger. If each of you reading this works toward even one small answer, the millions of small steps when combined into big steps, could be enough to change the world. We view Appropedia as a playground for people who love to try new things. We beg you to look around, find something which would make life simpler for those in need and make it better. We know there are better ways to do almost anything, maybe you'll find some of them.

What follows is an example of a simple yet effective way to create an abundance of fresh vegetables in a small space with minimal resources. See it as an example for the challenge. We ask you to create a wiki about your project and keep the world informed of your status.

Our wiki is free to to copy and improve upon! We used off the shelf products at a normal prices, but are searching for ways to replace them with home made versions, preferably from recycled plastic. We challenge you to prove that the world can still be saved, we simply need to begin. Find a way to mix cheap modern technology into the SDGs to answer as many of them as you can.

The project below attempts to answer problems within a multitude of SDGs simultaneously. At the end is the begin of an outline of possible improvements which could be created to enhance our garden or go off on a new tangeant.


Goal: To prove that by mixing fresh vegetables with science, recycled plastic, computers, computer networking and social skills, the poor starving people of the world can be fed at a minor cost, weighed against the benefit to mankind. The garden and ideas demonstrated here are in the public domain, free for anyone, anywhere to use. In exchange we simply ask that you find a way to help in reaching the Global Goals and especially Zero Hunger by 2030!

This goes to the global goals!

Intro[edit | edit source]

Welcome to our garden! What began as an experiment, has turned into a working garden which can run alone for several weeks at a time using rain water. The garden presented is small scale, approx. 30 plants, but can easily be expanded simply by adding more branches from the above ground tank and filling it more often. It's main purpose was to eliminate the carrying of water, eliminate guess work and wasted water, while ensuring that the harvest is never at risk due to lack of water. The main benefit was that the automation worked so well that a 4 week vacation could be taken in the middle of the growing season. Only 3 things limit its effectiveness; drought, pump outage and overly dirty water.

Our greenhouse drip system[edit | edit source]

20 Square meters, 4 x 5 Not heated, so does freeze at night in the winter.



Simple representation of the system
[edit | edit source]

Parts List:[edit | edit source]

Since we have no more water pressure than gravity gives us, it only needs to be watertight. Here's a list of the parts we used, but we've begun to create 3D printed alternatives to reduce cost.

Replacements[edit | edit source]

         The following files are on a slow server. Have patience!

An impression of our garden[edit | edit source]

[edit | edit source]

Drippers running, one slow, so it gets cleaned

The drippers are adjusted to provide approx 100ml of water per hour when the tank is full and will gradually decrease during the day as the tank empties. I estimate that each plant receives 2l water over a 24 hour period. At this time the tank is refilled, bringing the drip speed back to 100ml per hour. With time, dirt and/or algae collect on the dripper, decreasing output and must be cleaned away. We use an old toothbrush to clean and open the dripper to full open to flush dirt out of the tubing and dripper.

Grass cuttings are spread at the base of each plant as a mulch to reduce evaporation.

Drip adjustment[edit | edit source]

To begin the season, a glass was placed under a dripper and left to run for 1 hour and adjusted until 100ml dripped per hour. All plants were set to a similar drip rate and allowed to run. During the summer we experimented with more or less water per plant and although we found it difficult to always have the same drop rates, but no records were kept since it was mainly to ensure that the system would work as expected. In hot, sunny times more water was released, but without sensors in the earth it's difficult to know what amount is correct. The system was never turned off, meaning it dripped 24 hours per day, but very slowly.

Plants:[edit | edit source]

16 Tomato 10 Paprika Various others including Eggplant, Cucumber, Green Beans, salad, herbs and spices.

Big garden[edit | edit source]

Multiple basic gardens share the same water source for an economical way to feed entire villages.


Multiple gardens share water

Problems to solve[edit | edit source]

The manual cleaning of drippers must be eliminated. It's the main drawback to this system. After 3 weeks they begin clogging and cleaning helps, but it's difficult to leave the system alone for more than a few days. Homemade replacement parts to reduce cost! Moisture sensors in the ground would give a more accurate measure of whether each plant gets enough water.

We'd like to solve this by putting a tiny motor on top of a spike at each plant and let the drip fall onto the ends of 2 wires, the computer could read the short circuit as a drop, thus enable real automation by adjusting the pressure on the hose to regulate the drop count.

Conclusion[edit | edit source]

This system runs well with little supervision, but the beginning takes time since too much or too little water can be bad. Automation would allow a hands free garden and is the prefered solution, if it can be done cheaply enough to feed the masses with little attention.

Our challenge to you![edit | edit source]

This project is simple to recreate inexpensively, do it with recycled plastic and we'll have provided a relief of malnutrition.

  • Here are a few examples
    • eliminate the 4 corners!
    • replace the 30 reducers and drippers with 3d printed from recycled plastic or find your own solution.
    • find a way to recycle plastic, PET is the most obvious choice
    • improve or make a better filter to eliminate clogging of drippers
    • change the mechanical dripper which easily clogs with a simple, inexpensive alternative
    • how do you collect and store enough water to best get through the dry season in various climates?
    • make a manual pump which could be reproduced anywhere
    • use your imagination, the answers lie within you

Most importantly of all! It must be so simple, any child could run it. There must be at least 1000 ways, please help us find them.

You're welcome to take our simple, yet expensive version and put it to shame, by:[edit | edit source]

  • simply find a solution that works better:
    • cheaply mass producible
    • automate it, make the dripper clog free
    • eliminate or improve the filter
    • bring the price per plant to below $1.00
    • keep it simple enough that even a child can use it

Where would we begin?[edit | edit source]

  • Recycled plastic, we must find a way to use what's choking our waterways and killing our oceans.
  • 3d printed parts to eliminate cost
  • An electrified dripper, could be a stepper motor or anything else. How about man made muscle?
    • Stepper motors could be taken from outdated CD/DVD drives
  • Networking, cables or IoT
  • Computer, I'd begin with Rasp Pi, but cost and power must be considered.
    • Linux because it's free and open
  • Produce parts where jobs are needed most to allow multiple benefits from a single solution.
    • If we can give the poor work and a way to feed their families we can reduce migration, stop them from leaving home.

Future Plans - here's where we want your help. Please fill in the blanks![edit | edit source]

We've begun a list of the things which may seem impossible, but someone is already doing many of them. Join in and see how it changes the world! We can reach the Global Goals if enough people take part in the search for answers.

I imagine this list as a place for school kids to find project ideas. Within the list there are an unlimited number of things which could be investigated, experimented with and refined. Take my idea a step further, change it to fit your needs, most importantly, document it to help others on the road toward Zero Hunger. Top priority is that you talk about it, let others know you're working toward the goals and ask them for help.

Please feel free to link yourself in here. Tell us about your project, we're searching for the same answers you are.

Some garden options, Pinterest is full of ideas.

Sustainable agriculture topics
Maybe help can be found here
Raised bed
Vertical gardening
Again vertical
In a sack
Bottle towers
Square Foot garden
Hydroponics/Aquaponics

Indoor vs. Outdoor gardening

Advantages / disadvantages

Types of garden

Square foot garden
Bean sprouts

Plants

How do I decide what to grow?
Beans
When to plant
Start indoors
Diseases
What does my plant have?
Where do I get the seeds?
What works better where?
Inside
Tomatoes hate water on their leaves
Outside
Define what each plant needs for:
Sun conditions
Watering requirements
saturation levels
depth
Nutrients needed by various plants
How to plant
What works together and what doesn't

Automation, done dirt cheap

Combine technology with gardening
Automation
An example
And another
This is getting close
and closer
A simple to follow video
3d print a step motor and sensor into the stake at the plant
A simple squeeze of the hose with a part printed into the stake to adjust drip rate
Make parts exchangeable for easy replacement at a minimum cost
Allow the Pi to get input from the sensor and control the drip flow
Gertboard type device as interface
Networking
How to find each dripper, sensor combination in the net
How do we signal and power stepper motors at the plant
WiFi or hard wire?
Wireless has the radiation risk / Keep senders to a minimum
Cloud storage
Stats available on an app or online
Interfaces
How to go from PC to plant and back?
How do I know what level my tanks have?
The Gertboard
Computer control systems
PC ideas
Raspberry Pi stepper control
Step motor info (in German)
An app
Remote control
Database, programs, interfacing
Remote control through mobile app
Drip adjustment with step motor or maybe something else?
Sensor to count drops to PC which controls drip rate
How to interface to the Pi, to count drops so it can use the number to adjust the drip rate?
Efficiency and accuracy top priorities
Pump - manual or wind/solar powered
Computer controlled
Feedback from tank feeler
Same time each day
Electricity - Everything, this will be new for me, but with your help. :-)
Make it cheap, available at night and non polluting
Wind or solar?
The Windbelt
Solar
Electricity storage and conservation.
We can produce electricity in various ways, does this make an e-pump better?
How do we get enough for 3d printing
Solar powered 3d printer
Lighting
Light in dark places from trash
3D printing
Drawing parts
This is a simple yet powerful tool where Thingiverse parts can be edited
Get drawings into proper format
Pre-prep of parts for printing
Files in public domain
2d to 3d conversion
3D printing of useful things We've added links to our suggestions at the beginning
Can we print the tubing connections? (T's, reducers, etc) If not how can we make them?
Do plans for those parts exist in the public domain?
Maybe you can find it here
This could be it!
The same one changed a bit
Or this
Or this
Lots of examples
Some parts you may be able to use.
Hose connector
Nice printed valve
Same here
Another possible valve, but plastic is lighter
And another
More complicated, but another approach
This could replace my manual drippers
What plastic is best, ABS? PLA probably not OK because it's based on sugar (my understanding)
Other printed parts
RepRap
Water capture and storage
Garden Barrels
How to!
Filtering for household use
Chiapas
Sheba water filter
CAWST
Efficient ways to capture rain
DIY projects
CAWST
Water from the air
Fog Catcher
Waterseer
More water from air
Water from air!
water + electricity from 1 unit
Efficient ways to clean
Simple filter
Efficient ways to use
Additional Sensors
Temp
Temp
Cheap temp
Humidity
Water penetration
Free info
A simple moisture sensor
And another
Yet another
Many possibilities
PH
Door/window openers, tank fill measurement and pump start/stop
Some nice to haves, but not necessary, unless to better control climate.
Recycle plastic
How do we stop plastic from getting into the ocean?
How do we efficiently clean up what's laying everywhere?
How do we get the most out of our garbage?
How do you sort what you find?
How do we get people to recycle?
Recycle plastic into things we need
Another source
This doesn't relate to our project, but is an example of plastic reuse.
Can we make the hoses and tanks?
Filament extrusion
A simple recycler
Fair Trade filament
Plastic bottles to filament


Walipini
Land selection (climate + latitude + altitude, etc.)
Choosing the right plan?
BYU Plan
An interesting site
Things to think about
Water
Chemistry within the garden
Efficient use of space
Heating with the sun
Pop can solar heater
How do you make it easy for anyone to find an answer to a question?
I've given them a place to meet, but how to reach their hearts?
Education
How to reach the young?????

How to show them our world as it is, no blinders? When and how to begin to teach empathy? Please feel free to link your genius into this page ;-)

Keep your projects as simple as possible, a child should be able to use it. We'll need to include an intended audience selection, so each garden can be classified for searching. I encourage comments, because I really want my team to help me fix my problems. Tell your friends about my wiki and the GG club. We need all the help we can get!

If you have an idea, but no team to back you up, you can count on me. Let me know and I'll find them. I can yell real loud!

Please don't miss this chance to heal humanity before it's too late for us all!!!

External links[edit | edit source]