Postprint version. Published in Acta Horticulturae, Volume 797, January 1, 2008, pages 163-166.
At Cal Poly the motto is “Learn by Doing”. In the College of Agriculture, this is especially true and many of the labs provide an opportunity for students to implement this philosophy. Updated climate controls were installed in a series of greenhouses on the top floor of the Agricultural Science building that are used for student and faculty research projects. A Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) was installed to actuate the various vents, shading, heating, cooling and irrigation. A control program was developed to control and log temperatures and other operating parameters to monitor the greenhouse. An easy to use computer program was developed that is able to be accessed from a network web site. Implementation of this interface allows students and faculty to carry out projects and to keep accurate records of the environmental conditions affecting their research. The program emulates the previous control system so that it will be easy to use, but also offers other options not available before. This greenhouse allows for engineering students to develop additional control programs and gives them hands on experience and insight into their operation and function.
Bioresource and Agricultural Engineering | Horticulture
The original publication is available at http://www.actahort.org