Chicken-IoT was born out of Appmatix customer’s need to view environmental data in chicken coops located remotely throughout Africa. Due to the scientific and time-consuming nature of rearing baby chickens, there is a need to accurately monitor temperature & humidity in chicken coops throughout the growth stages. Historical data needs to be kept and referred to in order to identify problems in chicken weight and health. When problems and disparities are identified, specialist vet and monitoring teams are needed timeously to effectively treat issues.
The ‘SensorBox Station’ of the Chicken-IoT suite is built using the Globalstar STX3 modem installed in its own dedicated circuit board and housed in a puck enclosure which is connected to the controller & environmental monitor through means of standard Cat5e UV Shielded Network cable. Solar power is used for off-grid power supply. The controller houses the solar & battery regulation boards, environmental monitoring board and main processing board.
The main controller features an LCD display for on-site workers to view current live data in the coop. Data displayed on the LCD includes temperature & humidity as well as solar panel voltage, battery voltage, amps, charging status and battery life. The side dials behind the covering allow the on-site user or farmer to scroll through the data. All this data and alerting functionality is centralized to a central cloud-based web dashboard.
SensorBox Station - The ModAnt Puck is installed on the outside of the coop using the ZincClamp, giving 15mm clearance on all sides. The connectors between ModAnt Puck, Solar Panel and Main Controller are protected by weather-proof glands. The battery life span of the system is calculated at +10 years factoring in depth of depletion and recharge cycles.
All features of the SensorBox Station were made with high reliability and life span at the forefront of design so it would require little maintenance. Due to the extreme nature of African conditions a product design was needed that could be installed without frequent maintenance or support.
ASPECTS OF SENSORBOX STATION THAT ALLOW FOR LONG LIFE:
- Standard Monocrystalline Solar Panel
- UV shielded electrical cables
- The ZincClamp custom design used to mount the panel does not require roof mounting/side wall mounting bolts. It easily clamps to the zinc roof commonly used in African Chicken coops
- The solar panel mount can rotate a full 360 degrees on the pole of the ZincClamp for efficient sunlight absorption regardless of hemisphere The SensorBox Station in the Chicken-IoT suite is modular and scales well. The use of the STX3 modem allows multiple different IoT devices in the Chicken-IoT suite to communicate effectively with cloud-based instances regardless of physical location installed. Data inputs can be recorded and relayed from any location without the need for local infrastructure, making it a perfect fit for many outlying African operations.