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Mexican research into high-tech greenhouses


April 22, 2014
By Investigación y Desarrollo

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April 22, 2014 — Agricultural and fruit producers could acquire
high-tech greenhouses at a considerably less cost, thanks to experts
from the Autonomous University of Zacatecas (UAZ) who are developing
computer systems to control climatic variables within such
infrastructures.

April 22, 2014 — Agricultural and fruit producers could acquire high-tech greenhouses at a considerably less cost, thanks to experts from the Autonomous University of Zacatecas (UAZ) who are 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 import greenhouses include the level of sophistication of its technologies for automation, its size, and the type of materials that are used.

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For this reason, experts developed technology to automate climatic variables which cost nearly a half million Mexican pesos; i.e., only 10 per cent 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, such as cell phones.

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The development of the UAZ system also saves money in that it can be repaired within the country, and training to operate it is included at the time of purchase, with no need to use foreign specialists.

The progressive implementation of this greenhouse for different areas of the country entails multiple benefits for domestic producers.

“Automatic control of microclimates has the potential to mitigate the total cost of water for agriculture … it also allows users to obtain crops equivalent to an area of ​​10 hectares in just 500 square metres,” 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 the system.
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