Load Cells Help Optimizing Water Efficiency In Stressed Climates

Load Cells Help Optimizing Water Efficiency In Stressed Climates

Anyload Transducer Co., Ltd. (Canada) - Let’s start from a question: How much water does it take to grow a single almond? On average it takes about 1.3 gallons (5 litres), and an avocado takes about 18.4 gallons (70 litres).

To reduce the environmental impact of commercial agriculture it’s important to look at the efficiency of water consumption and how that can improve the growing process. Agriculture is the largest consumer of water in the world today, but the efficiency rate of how that water is used is generally very low. Only a fraction of the total water usage is directly utilized for plant growth. The rest of it drains off or is lost through evaporation.

When water is used effectively and responsibly, production quality and crop yield are positively affected. Increased water efficiency often provides benefits that go far beyond reduced water use. In an era where water consumption is rising and freshwater availability is increasingly limited—efficient water management in agriculture is essential to maintaining long-term sustainability for farmers as well as consumers.

Among the world leaders of agricultural technology a university team has been working on a research project to measure and optimize plant performance according to efficient water consumption. The results of this research will be invaluable to regions around the world that are under increasing water stresses. At the university’s agricultural campus, world renowned experts in plant stress physiology, soil and water science aim to secure future food production no matter what challenges climate change might bring. Their goal is to develop optimal processes and technologies to improve crop yield by developing strains more resistant to environmental stresses.

A greenhouse containing potted plants is artificially cooled during the day by humidified air. Each plant needs to be monitored individually and continuously for their water consumption during growth. This is done by measuring the weight of the plants to deduce levels of water consumption in ambient conditions. To obtain research data, they require a sensitive measurement system solution that can provide precise, accurate, and reliable stream of information unaffected by temperature noise. This system is expected to save costs by reducing water and fertilizer needed while optimizing nutrient delivery, boosting yield by improving monitoring plant productivity and early stress detection. All these factors will help shorten time to market by improving plant screening effectiveness.

ANYLOAD is honored to help in the cultivation of a greener future.

The Challenges:

To accurately track very minute changes in weight of individual samples over a long period of time continuously. The tare weight of the plant containers are approximately 30kg, while the changes to the weight from moisture fluctuations only vary by a few grams over many hours and days. Therefore, the load cell must account for creep over time, even by a few grams as such small changes could compromise entire datasets. This must all be performed in a green house environment where the temperature fluctuates dramatically between 59-104ºF (15 - 40ºc), and while the high humidity may threaten to compromise the body circuitry of the load cell over its service lifetime.

The Solution:

Anyload’s 108TA OIML C5 load cells, with temperature compensation tailored specifically for the greenhouse climate to provide an even greater degree of accuracy than OIML standard C3 of 14-104ºF (-10-40ºc). Anyload is passionate about providing custom weighing solutions for any application. We are committed to delivering the best product for the job, eager to rise to any challenge.

 

Image 2 Caption:

The Anyload 108TA following OIML C5 load cell plays a vital role in monitoring the small changes in weight over an extended period of time where the temperatures fluctuate in a day.

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