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Harvesting Energy Efficiency: Harnessing IoT Sensors for Precise Irrigation in Agriculture

Embrace the highly efficient, low-carbon irrigation era, reduce your energy consumption CO2 emissions by 50% and 90% respectively.
Harvest your energy efficiency in Agriculture and farming, boosting your operation with IoT applications

The Leading Demand of Energy Efficiency in Agriculture

Agriculture is a cornerstone of human civilisation, providing food, fiber, and fuel for billions of people worldwide. It is also a significant consumer of natural resources and energy, making it one of the most energy-intensive industries globally. As per data from the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), agriculture is responsible for around 70% of global freshwater withdrawals and utilises 80% of the total agricultural land area.

According to Nature, irrigation is accountable for emitting 216 million metric tons of CO2 and consuming 1896 petajoules of energy each year. This constitutes 15% of greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption within agricultural activities. Surprisingly, though only 40% of irrigated agriculture relies on groundwater sources, groundwater pumping comprises 89% of the overall energy usage in irrigation.

The energy consumptions of Agricultural Irrigation is intensive across different nations

With the escalating challenges of global warming and population growth, there's a heightened emphasis on addressing concerns regarding water and food security. In this context, irrigation stands out as a pivotal adaptive measure to mitigate future food crises and contend with the ramifications of climate change.

Recognising the energy crisis in agriculture, there's a growing momentum towards implementing smart agriculture practices. Leveraging advancements in technology, such as IoT sensors, AI algorithms, and precision farming techniques, smart agriculture offers promising solutions to optimise resource usage and increase productivity.

  • Specifically for the Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, it enables real-time monitoring and control of irrigation systems, leading to significant water and energy savings.

  • The global precision agriculture market is projected to experience considerable growth, with an estimated valuation of $27.81 billion by the year 2031. This growth is anticipated to occur at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 12.9% from 2024 to 2031.

Elevating the energy efficiency of Agricultural irrigation faces multiple challenges that are not easily resolvable over a night

Advancement does Not Happen Over a Night

Despite the promising potential benefits offered by smart agriculture and emerging technologies, the agricultural industry grapples with several hurdles in its quest to enhance irrigation methods and conserve energy and water resources. These challenges span a spectrum of factors, including technological limitations, financial constraints, environmental concerns, and the complexities inherent in agricultural practices and landscapes.

  • Complexity of Saving Energy and Water: While the benefits of improving irrigation methods are evident, achieving significant savings in energy and water resources is far from straightforward. The intricacies involved in balancing crop needs, soil conditions, weather patterns, and resource availability pose substantial challenges to farmers and agricultural experts alike.

  • High Initial Investment: IoT technology deployment often requires significant upfront investment in sensors, connectivity infrastructure, and data management systems, posing a financial barrier for many farmers, especially smallholders.

  • Reliability and Connectivity: IoT devices rely on stable internet connectivity to transmit data in real-time. However, rural areas, where many farms are located, often suffer from poor network coverage or unreliable internet access, hindering the effectiveness of IoT solutions.

  • Technological Barriers: Implementing advanced irrigation technologies faces the obstacle of technological literacy among farmers. Additionally, Integrating IoT devices with existing farm infrastructure and management systems can be complex and may require technical expertise.

  • Environmental Considerations: Efforts to enhance irrigation methods must also account for environmental sustainability. Balancing water usage to prevent depletion of freshwater sources, minimising energy consumption to reduce carbon footprint, and mitigating soil degradation are critical aspects that necessitate careful planning and execution.

Overcoming these obstacles demands concerted efforts from stakeholders across the agricultural value chain, including policymakers, researchers, farmers, and technology providers, to foster innovation, facilitate adoption, and drive sustainable practices forward. By addressing these challenges head-on, the industry can unlock the full potential of smart agriculture and pave the way for a more efficient, resilient, and environmentally sustainable future.

Collaborative IoT Sensors: Ellenex Agricultural application

Recognising these challenges among the farmers, Ellenex are dedicated to provide end-to-end simplified solutions that require minimum efforts and configurations for our industrial end-users.

Leveraging on our innovative IoT designs, such as tipping spoon rain sensors, pressure sensors, soil moisture monitoring, and level sensors, we presents a promising approach for optimising irrigation practices, establish the measurement harmony that is required to cater the complicated factors for conserving water, and managing energy efficiency on farms.

Soil Moisture Monitoring: Probe Sensor

  • Soil moisture monitoring involves the use of sensors to measure the moisture content of the soil at various depths. By monitoring soil moisture levels in near real-time, farmers gain valuable insights into the water needs of their crops and can adjust irrigation schedules accordingly. This data allows for more precise irrigation management, ensuring that crops receive the optimal amount of water without excess or deficit, thus maximising yield and minimising water wastage.

Precise Irrigation enabler: Pressure Sensors

  • In addition to rain sensors, pressure sensors play a crucial role in optimising irrigation practices. These sensors are deployed within irrigation systems to monitor pressure in the pipes indicating water pump performance and water leakage in the pipes.

  • By continuously measuring pressure changes, they provide valuable insights into water usage, enabling farmers to precisely control irrigation schedules and volumes based on actual crop needs and environmental conditions.

24/7 Tipping Spoon Rain Sensors

  • Tipping spoon rain sensors are sophisticated devices designed to accurately measure precipitation levels. They consist of a spoon-like mechanism that collects rainwater. Once a predetermined volume of water is collected, the spoon tips, signalling the occurrence of rainfall.

  • This data can then be transmitted to a central control system, providing real-time information on rainfall intensity and duration, avoiding unnecessary irrigation while the nature is providing.

Precision Irrigation

By combining tipping spoon rain sensors, pressure sensors, soil moisture monitoring, and level sensors, farmers gain unprecedented control over irrigation management. Real-time data on precipitation levels, water availability, soil moisture content, and liquid inventory allow for precise adjustments to irrigation schedules, ensuring that crops receive the optimal amount of water at the right time. This precision not only maximises crop yield but also minimises water wastage, leading to significant savings in water usage.

Cost Savings and Fuel Reduction

Efficient water and liquid inventory management translates to tangible cost savings for farmers. By avoiding over-irrigation, reducing water and liquid waste, and optimising logistics, farmers can lower their utility bills, operational expenses, and fuel consumption associated with transportation and machinery usage.

  • Additionally, our devices are highly advanced yet pre-configured, simplifying and reducing any unnecessary up-front costs or additional technical experts.

  • With near-real time monitoring across your vast landscape of your fields, our LPWAN technologies (e.g., NB-IoT and LoRaWAN) has the capability to provide accurate and robust readings even in rural locations that are expensive to arrange labour inspections.

Sustainable Practices

The integration of IoT sensors aligns with the principles of sustainable agriculture by promoting resource conservation and environmental stewardship. By minimising water and liquid usage, reducing fuel consumption, and optimising operations, farmers can mitigate the environmental impact of farming practices, contributing to the preservation of natural resources and ecosystems for future generations.

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