Automated irrigation system for green walls and roofs

The invention relates to an automated system for controlling water release for green walls, which is fed by data read in real time by sensors and subsequently processed by a software.

Title of the patent Automated irrigation system for green walls and roofs
Thematic area Agro-food
Ownership Alma Mater Studiorum – University of Bologna
Inventors Accorsi Mattia, Orsini Francesco, Prosdocimi Gianquinto Giorgio
Protection Italy
Licensing status Available for licensing agreements
Keywords hi-tech automation, automatic irrigation, rooting substrate sensors, humidity sensors, electric conductivity sensors, living-walls, green-roofs
Filed on Oct 19, 2016

The main cause of plant mortality for those species which grow in difficult conditions, such as roofs and walls, is the inability to ensure proper hydration in soilless systems. This happens because generally the amount of water is limited and strongly influenced by varying climatic conditions such as wind, relative humidity and solar radiation. Use of normal electronic control units, currently available on the market, does not solve this problem. Thus, the Department of Agricultural Sciences of UNIBO has developed this automated irrigation system.

The invention is an automated ferti-irrigation system for green walls and roofs that optimize water release on the basis of real needs of the plants, thanks to humidity sensors that send signals to a software that elaborates them. Such a system is adopted in a field which requires high-technology levels because of the particular plant growth conditions. The irrigation system allows to release water with no need to intervene manually or with a programmable electronic control unit.The system is composed by various sensors for real-time acquisition data and a software interface. Such software elaborates the acquired data and automatically controls the opening and closing of valves for water distribution, released on the basis of substrate real needs.In this way the green wall or roof is continuously monitored, and the optimum physiological condition is constantly guaranteed.

Green walls or roofs often suffer from lack of water in the hottest periods of the day, because the conventional irrigation systems do not detect the soil and climatic conditions variations.The invention relates to a system that continuously monitors the hydration conditions of the rhizosphere and manages the real-time release of water thanks to a specific algorithm. Thus, this system allows to maintain the green walls or roofs in optimal conditions.Furthermore, the invention guarantees a set of advantages:- Easy installation: compatible with all the green walls and roofs;- Easy construction: it can be built in plastic materials normally used in conventional irrigation systems;- System doses the water and fertilizer avoiding water waste and soil stress.