Professional Marijuana Grower


PMG March-April Cover Story – Nova Biomatique’s Intelligent Growing Systems

Posted January 25th, 2019 by Eric Hopper in

Complete control over a growing environment is what every indoor cannabis horticulturist seeks. After all, it is the heightened control over environmental factors that gives indoor gardeners an advantage over outdoor gardeners. Environmental factors, such as lighting, nutrition, and atmospheric conditions, all play crucial roles in cannabis plant development. After proper lighting and nutrition for the cannabis plants, the atmospheric conditions are next in line as the most influential factors over a cannabis garden’s performance. The temperature, humidity, and CO2 concentration of the grow room all have important functions in the process of photosynthesis. This is why cannabis horticulturists equip their gardens with various devices to help maintain proper temperature, humidity, and CO2 levels.

In order to increase efficiency, a cannabis grower may choose to automate these devices with the help of an atmospheric controller. Atmospheric controllers are automation devices designed specifically to control the atmospheric conditions within an indoor garden or greenhouse. Cannabis growers who implement atmospheric controllers will provide more consistent atmospheric conditions to their gardens. Cannabis plants love consistency and the benefits of consistent lighting, nutrition, and atmospheric conditions in a grow room are multifaceted. Commercial cannabis growers stand to gain the most benefits from a sophisticated automation system. With multiple grow spaces to oversee; commercial cannabis growers rely on the latest and greatest technologies to help them manage lighting, nutrition, temperature, humidity, and irrigation cycles. One particularly impressive automation solution for commercial cannabis growers comes from a company called Nova Biomatique. Perhaps better known in the cannabis industry for its trademarked Plug N Grow controllers, Nova Biomatique has been providing automation devices to cannabis growers since the 1990s. Most recently, it has developed a customizable automation solution for commercial cannabis growers known as Intelligent Growing Systems or IGS.

About the Company

Founded in 1995, Nova Biomatique (2011) Inc. develops, manufactures, and markets indoor and greenhouse climate controllers for both professional and hobby growers. Its controllers are sold under the popular Plug N Grow name. Based out of Eastern Canada, Plug N Grow controllers are one of the only controllers to be manufactured completely in North America. Nova Biomatique stands behind every product that leaves its facility. Plug N Grow controllers quickly became popular among cannabis horticulturists due to their reliability and the company’s no-hassle warranty. Nova Biomatique’s customer service is top-notch and even includes a technical staff available to assist customers. In addition to its Plug N Grow line, Nova Biomatique has developed a high-tech customizable automation solution for commercial cannabis growers known as Intelligent Growing Systems or IGS.

Intelligent Growing Systems IGS-1000

The ultimate commercial grow room or greenhouse solution for cannabis growers has arrived. The IGS-1000 offers incredible automation potential for multiple grow rooms or zones. This integrated control system controls the climate (humidity, temperature, CO2), irrigation, and lighting. The IGS commercial system is perfect for any size project and can accommodate 1-100 zones and/or rooms and 1-999 outputs at various voltages, including 1-10V, 24V, 120V, and 240V. This fully programmable system allows users to pre-set whole plant cycle set-points in advance and provides complete data logging. With sensors available for temperature, humidity, CO2, pressure, and light intensity, the IGS helps cannabis growers maintain the ideal growing climate.

The system can be expanded with optional equipment, such as a weather station or weighing station. This completely automated system also has fully programmable ramping and comes complete with manual override. The main controller options for this system are a 7-inch touchscreen, a 22-inch touchscreen industrial computer, or a computer with a mouse and keypad. The touchscreen controllers offer the most user-friendly system on the market. Commercial growers can navigate quickly and effectively through rooms and zones like never before. Better yet, the IGS is also customizable for any particular commercial cannabis operation. Intelligent Growing Systems are designed to be a turnkey solution. The folks at Nova Biomatique are more than happy to offer a grower a system that fits his or her exact needs. Choosing an Intelligent Growing System automatically saves a grower money because these systems have been developed to have the lowest installation cost on the market.

Sensor Options and Accuracy

Intelligent Growing Systems offer a commercial cannabis grower three options as to the sensors he or she wants included in the system. The most basic option is a temperature and humidity sensor. The second option is a temperature, humidity, and CO2 sensor. Lastly, the All-in-One sensor offers control over temperature, humidity, CO2, pressure, and lighting. The 14-bit resolution of the temperature and humidity sensors provide an accuracy of +/- 0.3 degrees C (temperature) and +/- 2.0% RH (humidity). With an ultra-fast response time (five seconds for temperature and four seconds for humidity), a commercial grower never has to worry that his or her garden is not being provided with consistent atmospheric conditions. The CO2 sensor also offers incredible accuracy (+/- 75 PPM) and response time (less than three minutes), which means CO2 levels stay consistent throughout the light cycle. Each of the three sensor options have the ability to log data for further streamlining of the grow operation.

Big Data Acquisition – Data Logging

With an Intelligent Growing System, commercial cannabis growers are able to log large amounts of data. This data can be a valuable tool to unlocking a garden’s full potential. Throughout the growing cycle and/or after each harvest, a grower can examine the logged data. If desired, this data can be graphed and further analyzed to establish patterns. These patterns may positively or negatively affect the growth of the cannabis garden. For example, seasonal changes outside can affect the atmospheric conditions in a greenhouse or indoor garden, especially if fresh air for the ventilation system is being taken from an environment outside of the garden space.

After examining the logged data, a grower may notice a pattern of temperature and/or humidity spikes and decide to alter his or her light cycle to better coincide with the conditions. This subtle change may only minimally increase the overall efficiency of the garden, but, over time, every small increase in efficiency will equate to substantial gains in yield and in the quality of the finished cannabis product. Patterns found in data logging can help maximize the efficiency of the cannabis garden’s lighting, atmospheric conditions, irrigation scheduling, and also nutritional requirements.

Commercial cannabis growers need quality-built, reliable climate controllers. They also require growing systems that are compatible with our high-tech lifestyles. Nova Biomatique answers the call with its Intelligent Growing Systems for commercial growers. When overseeing multiple grow rooms, it is an absolute must for a cannabis horticulturist to have instant access to the garden parameters and control over the atmospheric conditions. Commercial cannabis growers can rest assured their crops are in safe hands with the ultimate solution to garden automation: the Intelligent Growing System.

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