The Role of Solar Power in Smart Agriculture
It’s no secret that the agriculture industry is vital to human life in any given country. Agriculture isn’t just the world’s leading source of food—it also provides us with raw materials such as textiles, wood, and oils, which are necessary for innumerable applications. Due to its significance, finding ways to make the agriculture industry more efficient and sustainable is essential to ensuring its longevity. Currently, the best way to accomplish this goal is to implement smart agriculture.
Smart agriculture refers to advanced farming management that utilizes innovative information and communication technologies—such as the Internet of things (IoT), big data, and the cloud—to automate processes, analyze operations, and monitor conditions. Smart agriculture helps farmers enhance the quality and quantity of their goods for optimal efficiency.
Smart agriculture offers many advantages, but we won’t be able to appreciate its benefits for long if its processes aren’t sustainable. Unfortunately, the sustainability of the agriculture industry is at risk due to a reliance on finite resources such as oil and gas to power key processes. The renewable resource of solar power is playing an increasingly prevalent role in the industry in order to address the issues threatening its longevity. In addition to sustainability, solar power also offers numerous additional benefits that have revolutionized the smart agriculture industry. To learn more about the role of solar power in smart agriculture, continue reading.
Applications of Solar Energy in Smart Agriculture
Enables the monitoring of remote farms and fields
One of the biggest advantages solar power provides to the smart agriculture industry is the ability to monitor remote farms and fields. Collecting data regarding a wide variety of conditions such as temperature or moisture can help farmers properly care for their crops. However, as their farms and fields are often located in remote areas, supplying energy to monitoring devices can prove exceedingly difficult—running the cables necessary to provide power is often extremely costly or otherwise impossible.
Solar power provides an advantageous solution to this prevalent issue due to its ability to provide power to sensors and other monitoring devices without the need for cables or electrical sources. Thus, even in geographically challenging environments such as remote farms, farmers can still achieve the benefits of real-time monitoring.
When working in conjunction with serial-to-Ethernet device servers, solar power allows farmers to collect data regarding temperature and moisture levels. Antaira’s line of serial-to-Ethernet devices is especially advantageous to this application. These devices are designed to transmit RS232, RS422, or RS485 data across long distances in an IP network and to withstand harsh environments such as extreme heat, rain, or wind. Due to these capabilities, they’re ideal for operation in remote farmlands.
In addition, our collection of serial-to-Ethernet devices can conveniently connect serial-based equipment to an Ethernet network to enable several different capabilities and to communicate with multiple devices simultaneously. As such, they’re ideal solutions for precisely monitoring variations in conditions within a field so that farmers can adapt strategies accordingly to optimize crop yield and quality—thus accomplishing the goals of smart agriculture in a way that’s effective and sustainable.
In cases where you must extend the range of your network further, Antaira’s wireless access points provide the solution you require. Our wireless access points can extend the range of your network across expansive spaces in adverse environmental conditions for reliable performance in agricultural applications.
Easy installation and transportation to facilitate crop rotation
In addition to the benefit of remote monitoring, solar-powered monitoring equipment is also exceptionally easy to install, which is highly advantageous when crop rotation or other locational changes are necessary. Because solar-powered monitoring equipment doesn’t require cabling, it can be installed quickly and easily at any location. In addition, it can easily be transported and moved in accordance with shifting needs. Thus, when farmers have to rotate their crops, they won’t have to completely rewire the network, allowing monitoring equipment to be moved with minimal difficulty.
To further enhance the ease of mobility of solar-powered devices, the use of power-over-Ethernet switches is invaluable. Antaira’s line of industrial power-over-Ethernet switches simplifies communication infrastructure by streamlining wiring setups and reducing the number of devices needed in a network. In a single twisted pair Ethernet cable, the advanced technology in our PoE switches supports connections up to 100 meters and speeds up to 10mbps, 100mbps, and 1,000mbps. Further providing benefits for smart agriculture applications, our PoE switches boast these capabilities while reliably delivering power and network connectivity in a range of adverse environments.
Solar-powered irrigation systems
The role of solar power in smart agriculture is especially impactful when it comes to the essential process of irrigating fields. Irrigation plays a key role in agriculture by improving yields, improving water conditions in soil, and preventing famine as a result of variable rainfall patterns, which disrupt crop growth. Essentially, irrigation is essential to food security. To facilitate proper irrigation in an agricultural application, energy is a vital input. However, access to such energy can prove challenging in rural areas where there is no reliable access to an electricity grid or where diesel fuel is costly.
To supply large- and small-scale farmers with the energy they need to power their irrigation systems, solar-powered irrigation systems are becoming an increasingly viable and advantageous option. Such systems provide reliable, affordable, flexible, and clean energy, which can potentially reduce irrigation energy costs. In areas where access to energy is limited or nonexistent, solar-powered irrigation systems contribute to rural electrification to improve farmers’ access to water and ensure the vital irrigation process has the energy it needs to commence.
To enhance solar power applications in smart agriculture, take a look at Antaira Technologies’ many cutting-edge industrial networking solutions. Our wide range of robust networking equipment for application in smart agriculture includes serial-to-Ethernet devices, PoE switches, industrial routers, and wireless access points. As a leading networking communication manufacturer, you can trust that our innovative product solutions will provide you with the efficiency and reliability your application requires in even the harshest environments. For more information regarding our products, contact us today.