We all are aware that the rural industry undergoes a number of hardships to provide us the final products in our daily life. Today, when we are in the era of development where everything gets automated, where we are surrounded by M2M applications based on Internet of Things, even the rural sector stands to gain from these developments to make their work easier and faster.
One of the key factor in this industry that needs our attention are the water pumps used in the irrigation of the farmlands. The farmers have to walk long distances through the hazardous areas and difficult terrains, saving themselves from some wild animals sometimes late at night to reach the water pumps. They are forced to overlook the challenges of the changing season (rain, chilling weather and scorching heat).
As they are not able to estimate the erratic power occurring due to heavy density of electricity distribution in the irrigation zones or the shock hazards due to wet areas and leakage of electricity, they get themselves hurt. These factors force the farmers to keep the motor pumps continuously ON with the use of Auto Switches, Automatic Starters and by ‘bypassing’ the overload relays of the starter. In order to help the farmers overcome these issues and to control the water pumps remotely Ossian Agro Automation has come up with a product called Nano Ganesh-GSM.
Mr. Santosh Ostwal, the CEO & Founder Director of Ossian Agro Automation Pvt. Ltd. who himself belongs to a farmer’s family spent 24 years of his life in the field of e-irrigation. An incident in his early years of childhood made an impact in his life so much so that it is now resulting into development of the rural industry. He says, “I am from a farmer’s family and in my childhood I witnessed my grandfather walking to the water pumps during night, at the age of 81. The important thing is that his right leg was cut below knee due to gangrene and he had to use a support stick to walk a distance of 1 km to the farm during midnight, just to switch on or off the pumps. I used to accompany him and asking the reason of night operations. The answer to all this was very simple – power is available only during nights nowadays and we have to irrigate half dried oranges.” An engineer by studies, Mr. Ostwal was able to relate the requirement of the rural industry and the technology for the development of e-Irrigation for rural India.
“Nano Ganesh-GSM” as it is called, is a GSM based remote controller that can be used to control a distant water pump and also to monitor it’s operation using a mobile phone. It is an M2M application that has been built appropriately for the rural irrigation system.
Although the market today has hundreds of manufacturers and electronic assemblers that provide cellular based remote control solutions for water pumps in India, the organizations that are actually working dedicatedly for the improvement of the rural industry are very few. Again, there are many small and reputed organizations in India who are attracted towards a huge market of rural irrigation automation but shut off their activities within a span of one to two years due to sustainability challenges. This caused a big loss in the electronic industry as the trust of the farmers on the technology was broken and it is very difficult to re-establish a trust for the new comers in the same area. However the dedicated work done by Ossian Agro Automation in the span of 24 years has led to the establishment and growth of Nano Ganesh.
Although Nano Ganesh-GSM comprises of a number of blocks that play an important role, only the GSM module and microcontroller are visible in addition to output stage with all other different hardware components simulated.
- GSM Modem: Different brands of GSM modules have been used without sticking to any particular one. The first version of Nano Ganesh used mobile phone as a wireless connectivity which has been replaced by the GSM module to make integrated approach of the system. Due to fact that the GSM modules are the need of the time, work in this field continued in order to build an appropriate solution of m-connectivity for the water pumps. This was an ensuring step to move towards M2M revolution in the field of mobile remote controls.
- SMPS Power Supply with battery back-up: As described earlier about rural electricity scenario, power requirement conditions for sensitive electronics goods are quite stringent. The care has been taken that the system works satisfactorily in extreme low, high and imbalance voltage conditions. An external battery with charger is provided to allow easy replacement after two to three years and hence farmers do not need to depend on anyone else for support about battery which is a proven expertise in the rural sector at the local level.