Sustainability has been the talk of the town ever since the UAE announced 2023 as the ‘Year of Sustainability’ and hosting the global climate change conference COP28 later this year.
It’s also a hot topic at the Expand North Star exhibition, where more than 1,400 startups from across the globe are showcasing their products. Schools in the UAE are also jumping on the bandwagon, highlighting it among young students.
Students Hamad AlAwadhi and Dawood AlAwadhi of Al Mawakeb School, Al Khawaneej, have developed a smart greenhouse system that protects crops from climate change and global warming through a smart farm that provides energy, water and heat required for plant growth automatically and intelligently around the clock and throughout the year.
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The system, which can run automatically without human intervention, also ensures that plants grow healthy. The students displayed the system in Hall 1 of the Expand North Star exhibition, which is part of Gitex Global, the world’s largest gathering of technology companies and startups.
“This entire set-up can be controlled through a smart app. This can be applied to any farm and it is fairly economical too,” Hamad and Dawood told Khaleej Times at the exhibition.
The system is divided into four sections. Firstly, an irrigation system provides the soil with sensors that measure the amount of water in the soil. If the soil is dry, the system automatically operates the pump and waters the plants through irrigation pipes. Once the soil gets wet, the pump stops automatically.
The tank is equipped with sensors that measure its water level. When the water level drops, the system automatically operates to fill the tank and stops when it reaches the required level.
The smart ventilation system is equipped with sensors that measure the temperature and humidity inside the farm. When the temperature rises above a certain level, a cover placed on top of the farm moves automatically to allow fresh air to enter until the temperature reaches a suitable level.
Similarly, the students have installed smart artificial lighting for plants which turns on when the sunlight stops and vice-versa. Farmers will also be alerted in case of any malfunction through a light indicator and sound alarm.
They have also developed a protection net installed under the roof to safeguard plants from dust and sand. It also collects water droplets from fog when it occurs.