Our project is nested in the water-food-energy nexus. Water quality monitoring is crucial, especially in communities dealing with water scarcity. However, current state-of-the-art systems are expensive and complex, thus unsuitable for developing countries and enthusiasts. Our innovation offers a modular, accessible, and affordable solution.
We developed a water control and monitoring unit combining the ESP-32 and Raspberry Pi microcontrollers with cloud-based databases, using well-established frameworks and industry-standard MQTT IoT protocols to ensure reliable communications and management of sensors. The system is intuitive for end-users and can be easily customized by adding sensors and switches. By using free, open-source software and custom hardware, we significantly reduced costs, making water monitoring more attainable and sustainable for communities passionate about environmental stewardship.
While configuring our urban farming aquaponics setup, we encountered many shortcomings of control systems that existed on the market as we faced difficulties implementing features unique to our setup. Since we had experience with electronics and embedded systems, we set out to design our own that would address these issues.