Development of in-line sensor for monitoring sodium ions in greenhouse water system
18 September 2019 / 18 January 2020
Good water quality is one of the most important factors in growing quality greenhouse crops. Poor quality water can be responsible for slow growth and poor aesthetic quality of the crop. For example, sodium ions (Na+) can directly injure roots and interfering with water and nutrient uptake. A build-up of Na+ in water used to irrigate plants in greenhouses is the main reason for discharging the water as waste. Not only the water is discharged but also the nutrients and crop protection agencies. Currently, to analyse the quality of greenhouse water, samples are taken and sent to a laboratory. As these are periodic measuring points a margin on discharge is used. This creates a loss of water, nutrients, and chemicals. Unfortunately, robust in-line sensors to measure Na+ are not commercially available. With this project, Appsen aims to develop a new technological solution to unlock the possibility to measure in-line Na+ in greenhouse waters to protect crops and generate savings for greenhouse owners. The sodium sensor, from experimental proof of concept to a working prototype, will be developed by Appsen with the support of Wetsus.