Alerts: Why are they important?

Updated: Nov 16

With automation, you don't always have to think about climate management in your greenhouse. But that's not all! An automation system also allows you to :

  • To know if your greenhouse needs you when you are weeding in the field or talking to a customer.

  • To know if your furnace is overheating due to a malfunction.

  • To know if there is a power failure at your greenhouse.


All this is possible thanks to the alert system.


Indeed, when a problem is discovered, you receive a call briefly describing the situation. This way, you can react quickly and avoid any problems for your crops. It is important to configure your alerts properly so that they work. To read our article on setting up alerts, click here.


In this article, you will learn why alerts are important and the three types of alerts in the Orisha system.

  • Proactive alerting prevents a plant-damaging situation before it occurs.

  • Reactive alerting allows you to react when conditions are currently dangerous to plants.

  • Internal monitoring alert at Orisha. Our employees receive notifications of certain computer problems during office hours.

In this article, we will describe the first two types of alerts. That is, the proactive and the reactive.



We use fictitious names in the scenarios.



Types of alerts


Central Controller



Setting the scene


Frederic goes to the hardware store on a windy day in March. While shopping in BMR's Aisle 5, he receives a call that Central Control has lost contact with Orisha's parent company. He makes a call to his neighbour, who goes to the location. The neighbour realizes that the farm has no power. He started the generator to allow the furnace to heat up. The backup thermostat heating, while not precise, kept the plants from freezing in early March.



Explanations

Alert type: Proactive


The Controller alert is triggered when the Controller loses the connection to the parent company. Whether it is a loss of power or the internet. Moreover, since the system needs the internet to activate some alerts, it ensures that all other alerts are operational. In short, if this alert is not activated, you will not receive any call during an internet or power failure, even if it is 50 degrees in the greenhouse.

 

Multi-function box





Setting the scene


Charles hires a new employee (Guillaume). Having to leave early for his deliveries, Charles leaves Guillaume in charge of the transplantation for the end of the day on Friday. Just before leaving, William wants to charge his phone. Since he has not yet completed his training with Orisha, he unplugs the multifunction box to make room for his charger. Since the multifunction box is no longer communicating with the Controller, the alert system sends a phone call to Charles to inform him.


He calls Guillaume who, not having left yet, reconnects the box. Without the box connected, the greenhouse could not have been ventilated, heated or irrigated during the weekend. The plants did not have time to experience stressful conditions and no yield loss was observed.


Explanations

Alert type: Proactive


Multi-functional box alerts prevent plants from running out of water, getting hot from lack of ventilation and cold from lack of heating. Often, these are situations that take time to develop. This alert will allow you to prevent problems before they occur.


Click here to learn more about the multifunction box.


They can also be triggered by a bad signal between the controller and the sensor. See the instruction manual here to improve your signal.


 

Temperature sensor




Setting the scene


On the Papillon farm, Pierre-Alexandre has a greenhouse with the Orisha system. At the end of the season, the Orisha application indicates that the sensor batteries are low. They run out on a cold night in September. The communication between the controller and the temperature sensor was broken, and Pierre-Alexandre received a call from the alert system. He gets up to replace the batteries. The temperature management system cannot function properly without temperature data. He therefore proactively avoided a freezing situation for his plants.


To purchase an additional temperature sensor, click here.


Explanations

Alert type: Proactive


Temperature sensor alerts help prevent extreme temperature situations before they occur. This alert warns us if the system is operating blindly.


They can also be triggered by a bad signal between the controller and the sensor. See the instruction manual here to improve your signal.


 

Temperature



Setting the scene


Alicia owns land with 3 greenhouses for tomato production. Before the season starts, she receives the neighbour's children on her farm. They play with the switches of the multifunction box. Inadvertently, they try to open the opening sides frozen in the snow. The motors overheat and blow the protective fuses.


On the first sunny day of production, the Controller attempts to open the opening sides to ventilate. The connection is established with the multifunction box, but no action is possible to open the sides. Eventually, the temperature reaches 40 degrees in the greenhouse and activates the temperature alert. Following the call, Alicia consults the Orisha help section and attempts to restart the multifunction box. Upon restarting, the vents activate and the ventilation cools the greenhouse. Thanks to the temperature alerts, the plants avoided prolonged stress that could reduce yields.


To consult our help application, click here.



Explanations

Alert type: Reactive


The temperature alert allows you to react quickly if the temperature is not adequate for the plants. It is the last level of alert for weather conditions. We strongly suggest that you activate it and test it at the beginning of the season. See the publication here to learn how to do this in the Orisha system.

 

Soil moisture (Tensiometer)





Setting the scene


Having benefited from the Prime-Vert grant for water use optimization, Caël added tensiometers to his Orisha system. He regulates his irrigation with them. While weeding in the field, debris in his water line jams the valve in the open position. Despite the fact that the Orisha system has stopped irrigation, water continues to flow to his plants. He gets a call when the tensiometer detects that he is starting to get too much water. He goes to the site and manually turns off the water. He cleans his valve and goes about his day. In addition to avoiding wasted water, the soil moisture alert has helped him avoid several problems associated with over-irrigation :

  • Make your tomatoes crack

  • Root rot

  • Develop diseases

  • Lose the crop

You want to get a blood pressure monitor? Contact us!


Explanations

Alert type: Reactive


The soil moisture alert lets you know if there is too much water or not enough water being delivered to your plants. This is highly dependent on the reading of the tensiometer. Since these sensors are temperamental, we strongly suggest that you consult our help section here to ensure that yours are properly installed. You can also contact us to have training on these devices before using the alert.


 

To remember


Orisha's alert system helps prevent disastrous situations for your crops. These are divided into two categories. The proactive ones, which allow you to prevent bad surprises and the reactive ones, which allow you to act quickly when a condition is not optimal for the plants.


Here is the point to remember for each alert present in the Orisha system :


  • The controller alert ensures that all other alerts are working.

  • The multi-function box alert allows you to proactively respond to many weather or irrigation situations.

  • The temperature sensor alert allows you to proactively respond to weather situations.

  • The temperature alert is the last alert for weather situations. It is reactive.

  • The soil moisture alert is the final alert for irrigation situations. It too is reactive.


At Orisha, we know that as a farmer, you can't always have your eyes on your greenhouse. That's why we're always working to develop new features, with the aim of taking the weight off your shoulders. That's why we invite you to regularly check out the other articles in our blog that can help you get the most out of your Orisha system. To keep up with the latest news, subscribe to our newsletter.