Design and construction of a remote monitoring and control system for a dehumidifier combined with a heating module

Background: Protected cultivation (e.g., greenhouse) is spreading mainly for high-income crops such as paprika, strawberry, and tomato. The temperature and the humidity are especially important during cultivation. A dehumidifier combined with a heating module is under development. In the study, a remote monitoring and control system for the prototype was designed and constructed.

Methods: The dehumidifier prototype was composed of a dehumidifier, a fan blower, and heating modules. The remote monitoring and control system was composed of temperature-humidity measuring sensor network, a central processing module, a dehumidifier network, and smartphone application. First, the sensing network was tested for different communication distances and number of data variables. Second, remote monitoring and control performance was tested using the smartphone application by signal intensity and time of the day.

Results and discussion: Monitoring performance was favourable within 15 m distance with the tested ZigBee module, and a wireless communication network was established considering the communication distance and greenhouse length (i.e., 100 m). Remote monitoring and control was successful for all of the tested signal intensity and time of the day, although the data transmission speed was affected significantly. Components of the dehumidifier were successfully controlled within 30 s.

Conclusion: The remote monitoring and control system was tested only under experimental conditions. For improved performance and practical application, the prototype needs to be further tested under crop growing conditions, and the control algorithm needs to be also improved.