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Automatic ion-sensor

In the TIME SCALE project, CleanGrow is developing an auto calibrating and auto sampling ion-sensor for continuous measurement of individual components in nutrient solutions for plant cultivation.

CleanGrow was founded in Ireland in 2009 as a response to a lack of technology for measuring individual components in nutrient solutions for plant cultivation, especially urban production facilities recirculating water and nutrients in closed systems. Over the years, CleanGrow has developed handheld solid state sensors measuring multiple nutrients at once, overcoming the need for growers to collect and send samples from their production facility to an off-site laboratory and receiving results with a significant time delay. In addition to horticulture, their analytical equipment is used for other applications such as aquaculture, wine production and for laboratory purposes.

Development of auto calibrating and auto sampling ion-sensor

A key functionality of plant research and advanced production systems is the ability of monitoring nutrients. The nutrients exist as ions in solution and are key input factors that control the plant growth. A recirculating nutrient solution will have to be replenished as plants take up nutrients. In an optimized plant production system, the concentration of each nutrient should be regulated to meet the requirement of the plants, illustrating the need for sensor technology to continuously monitor nutrient levels.

 

Space applications require technology that avoids the need for manual calibration and sampling. In TIME SCALE, CleanGrow is developing an auto calibrating and auto sampling multi-ion sensor-system for monitoring the composition of the nutrient solution that is fed to the plants. In addition to space applications, such ion-sensor technology holds large potentials for the terrestrial greenhouse industry.

Read more about the development of a Water and Nutrient Delivery system in the TIME SCALE project through cooperation with Wageningen University.