Design of Digitally Controlled Evaporative Cooling System for Apple Trees

in HortScience
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  • 1 1Dept. of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Colorado State Univ., Hotchkiss, CO 81419
  • | 2 2Dept. of Chemical and Bioresource Engineering, Colorado State Univ., Hotchkiss, CO 81419
  • | 3 3Dept. of Computer Science, Mesa State College

An evaporative cooling system for apple trees was implemented. The system is automated to conserve irrigation water. The automation is based on the digital, integrated thermometer and thermostat chip embedded in the artificial fruit. The thermometer–thermostat chip drives a solid state relay. The relay controls a solenoid operated valve. A typical duty cycle consisted of 1 to 2 minutes of wetting (water on) to 4 to 10 minutes drying (water off). Differences in the length of duty cycles between individual chips were observed. The reliability of the system was adequate. The waterproofing of the system's electrical components was its weak point. Irrigation water deposits accumulated on the apple fruit surface during the growing season were readily removable with a simulated brush technique.

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