Advanced search
Start date

Development of IoT communication technology for incorporation in irrigation control system with remote sensing and management platforms

Grant number: 18/22567-6
Support type:Research Grants - Innovative Research in Small Business - PIPE
Duration: March 01, 2020 - November 30, 2021
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Agronomy
Principal Investigator:Paulo Fernando Tóro
Grantee:Paulo Fernando Tóro
Company:Radcom Sistema de Comunicação Ltda. - ME
CNAE: Fabricação de equipamentos transmissores de comunicação
Telecomunicações sem fio
Atividades profissionais, científicas e técnicas não especificadas anteriormente
City: Barretos
Assoc. researchers:André Torre Neto


Irrigation is a technology that demands high initial investment, with high operational cost as a function of energy expenditure for water pumping and, in some cases, labor costs for the management of equipment. Best results are obtained when the resources employed are optimized, and this can be achieved by minimizing both initial investment costs and annual inputs, mainly energy. According to studies carried out, within the percentage composition of the total variable costs of irrigation, energy represents the largest share and, depending on the method, can reach 63% and 77% for electric and diesel, respectively. In this context, the cost of the energy consumed in the irrigation depends on the type of motor fuel, of installed power and efficiency of the motor pump assembly. Irrigation management with field data collection and data processing by data modeling has been a promising tool for the evolution of irrigation systems. However, the data communication architectures employed in these systems have limitations in places where there is no connection of the field devices with the internet. To overcome this deficiency, the RADCOM, in 2016, initiated the commercialization of a variable control system for pumping, without need of communication with the Internet. This system is already being marketed by the main manufacturers of pivots in Brazil, such as Valey and Lindsay, performing the control of starting, stopping and regulation of the power of these engines, both electric and combustion. In this system the adjustment of the pumping power of the motors varies according to the measured value of the pressure in the application lines, which is corrected by the terrain topography. Radcom's current systems operate with a point-to-point radio frequency data network and do not require an internet connection to perform their functions. This architecture allows full control of the motors autonomously, without human interference, being able to achieve an energy saving of the order of 35% according to the profile of the area. Based on a pivot with an irrigation area of 60 Hectares, which operates on average 1500 hours per year, with consumption around 37 L / hours for a 195CV engine, for this characteristic of the irrigation system, there would be a consumption of 55,500 liters per year. In situations where there are variations in terrain topography of around 5%, the current RADCOM system can act to control engine power to achieve a reduction of up to 20% in consumption, and can reach up to 40% reduction in areas of high irregularity. In this case, considering a saving of 20% in engine consumption, the use of RADCOM automation allows a diesel reduction of 11,100 liters / year, apart from the economy with the personnel operating service and engine protection. For complete control of an irrigation system, RADCOM technology still lacks refinements and new developments, to allow that in addition to control of energy consumption, also perform control of the system for the rational use of water. In order to do so, it is intended in this project for Phase 2 of the FAPESP PIPE to improve the control of the water pumping through algorithms, having as data input the humidity in the soil. The balance between water demand for the plant and energy use for this purpose will adjust the power employed in pumping water, guaranteeing the main objectives of the project, which are: to improve crop productivity, reduce energy consumption and optimize the use of irrigation systems. The project that will be developed also includes open communication in which the services of the project database platform as well as field devices can communicate with several irrigation management platforms already on the market. For this functionality, the database environment must be implemented service-oriented and network infrastructure should be within the Internet of Things (IoT) standard. (AU)