Maria Camila Calvo Salazar, Sofia Moncayo Salazar, Laura Ximena Arias Urrea, Laura Daniela García, Alejandra Esparza Osorio, Paula Andrea Cintura Rojas
Universidad de los Andes, Colombia
While not hugely talked about, frosts cause huge loses along Colombian (and many other) fields. In previous years, they have affected nearly 17.900 people and more than 25.000 hectares of potato, corn, peas, vegetables and fruits, which represent 2% of Cundinamarca’s crops.
Taking this and the fact that potato crops generate over 300.000 jobs in Colombia, Geonergy seeks to reduce the huge negative impact frosting damage causes along the whole food chain system.
This project was born in the midst of the altiplano cundiboyacense in Colombia, where 89% of farmers own small sized land and have little to no technification in their crops. Preventing frost damage in these crops would be game-changing in a huge ecosystem that involves not only the farmers, but also truck drivers and the final consumer. We worked closely with the farmer community located in Villapinzón, Cundinamarca to build a fix for the massive losses in the area caused by frost damage.
Geonergy is a device designed to control frost in crops. It operates based on the presence of modular systems that allow it to be in different parts of the crop independently and autonomously.It consists of a energy generator, a temperature and humidity sensor and an electric heater.
The aforementioned process occurs inside something we’ve called a biobattery: these batteries are designed so that they can be stacked on top of each other and wired in series to supply enough power to an electrical stove and a humidity and temperature sensor. These Bio-batteries use a special bacteria called geobacter to create energy. Geobacter is capable of transforming internally chemical energy from the respiration of metals into electrical energy, transferring the electrons derived from the oxidation of compounds. Geonergy’s fuel cell is powered by organic matter that generates energy due to electrons passing through an anode and a cathode. Each of these fuel cells can last up to 9 months.
The geobacter bio-batteries supply continuous power to the temperature and the humidity sensor monitors the temperature surrounding the crops all throughout day and night. If the temperature drops below 0 degrees celsius, a voltage regulator will activate and start heating up the plate located underneath the water tank. Once this plate is hot enough, it will begin producing warm steam which will travel upwards towards a fan, which will then disperse all of that warm steam over the land to increase moisture in plants and elevate ambient temperature.
Unlike many other products in the market, Geonergy is built to last. We’ve created an entire modular system with interchangeable parts: each and every component of this product is easily fixed or changed, so our clients never have to unnecessarily buy it again.