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Design and Implementation of a Smart and Cost-effective Indoor Irrigation System (SCEIIS)

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

A Technology Potpourri I

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

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Paper Authors


Reg Pecen Sam Houston State University Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Reg Pecen is currently a Quanta Endowed Professor of the Department of Engineering Technology at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. Dr. Pecen was formerly a professor and program chairs of Electrical Engineering Technology and Graduate (MS and Doctoral) Programs in the Department of Technology at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI). Dr. Pecen served as 2nd President and Professor at North American University in Houston, TX from July 2012 through December 2016. He also served as a Chair of Energy Conservation and Conversion Division at American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE). Dr. Pecen holds a B.S in EE and an M.S. in Controls and Computer Engineering from the Istanbul Technical University, an M.S. in EE from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Wyoming (UW, 1997). He served as a graduate assistant and faculty at UW, and South Dakota State University. He served on UNI Energy and Environment Council, College Diversity Committee, University Diversity Advisory Board, and Graduate College Diversity Task Force Committees. His research interests, grants, and more than 50 publications are in the areas of AC/DC Power System Interactions, distributed energy systems, power quality, and grid-connected renewable energy applications including solar and wind power systems. He is a senior member of IEEE, member of ASEE, Tau Beta Pi National Engineering Honor Society, and ATMAE. Dr. Pecen was recognized as an Honored Teacher/Researcher in “Who’s Who among America’s Teachers” in 2004-2009. Dr. Pecen is a recipient of 2010 Diversity Matters Award at the University of Northern Iowa for his efforts on promoting diversity and international education at UNI. He is also a recipient of 2011 UNI C.A.R.E Sustainability Award for the recognition of applied research and development of renewable energy applications at UNI and Iowa in general. Dr. Pecen established solar electric boat R & D center at UNI where dozens of students were given opportunities to design solar powered boats. UNI solar electric boat team with Dr. Pecen’s supervision won two times a third place overall in World Championship on solar electric boating, an international competition promoting clean transportation technologies in US waters. He was recognized as an Advisor of the Year Award nominee among 8 other UNI faculty members in 2010-2011 academic year Leadership Award Ceremony. Dr. Pecen received a Milestone Award for outstanding mentoring of graduate students at UNI, and recognition from UNI Graduate College for acknowledging the milestone that has been achieved in successfully chairing ten or more graduate student culminating projects, theses, or dissertations, in 2011 and 2005.

He was also nominated for 2004 UNI Book and Supply Outstanding Teaching Award, March 2004, and nominated for 2006, and 2007 Russ Nielson Service Awards, UNI. Dr. Pecen is an Engineering Technology Editor of American Journal of Undergraduate Research (AJUR). He has been serving as a reviewer on the IEEE Transactions on Electronics Packaging Manufacturing since 2001. Dr. Pecen has served on ASEE Engineering Technology Division (ETD) in Annual ASEE Conferences as a reviewer, session moderator, and co-moderator since 2002. He served as a Chair-Elect on ASEE ECC Division in 2011. He also served as a program chair on ASEE ECCD in 2010. He is also serving on advisory boards of International Sustainable World Project Olympiad ( and International Hydrogen Energy Congress. Dr. Pecen received a certificate of appreciation from IEEE Power Electronics Society in recognition of valuable contributions to the Solar Splash as 2011 and 2012 Event Coordinator. Dr. Pecen was formerly a board member of Iowa Alliance for Wind Innovation and Novel Development ( and also represented UNI at Iowa Wind Energy Association (IWEA). Dr. Pecen taught Building Operator Certificate (BOC) classes for the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA) since 2007 at Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota, and Missouri as well as the SPEER in Texas and Oklahoma to promote energy efficiency in industrial and commercial environments.

Dr. Pecen was recognized by State of Iowa Senate on June 22, 2012 for his excellent service and contribution to state of Iowa for development of clean and renewable energy and promoting diversity and international education since 1998.

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Faruk Yildiz Sam Houston State University

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Faruk Yildiz is currently an Associate Professor of
Engineering Technology at Sam Houston State University.
His primary teaching areas are in Electronics,
Computer Aided Design (CAD), and Alternative Energy Systems. Research interests include: low power energy
harvesting systems, renewable energy technologies
and education.

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Megan Gibson

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Many people enjoy having plants in their homes and offices. The plants can help purify the air by removing toxins and provide a better atmosphere. However, many people may also struggle to provide the correct amount of water to their plants by either over or lack of water issues. This often leads to dried leaves and rotting roots, and, eventually, a dead plant. A smart and cost effective indoor plant irrigation system may allow users to connect multiple plants to a single automated watering system with improved plant growth features. This paper presents a senior design project completed in a B.S. Electronics and Computer Engineering Technology program to design and build a smart and cost-effective indoor irrigation system (SCEIIS) that provides accurate humidity conditions for enhanced and healthy plant growth purposes. The system provides a user interface to allow the user to input the soil moisture requirement by utilizing its hardware and software, and to check soil moisture levels against the user input. If the levels are under the set requirement, the SCEIIS system activates a small pump in the water reservoir and provides the plant water that will help mitigate issues people face keeping plants indoors. This unique indoor plant irrigation system also uses NI LabVIEWTM to monitor and display system variables such as temperature and humidity for enhanced operation and necessary audio and visual warning to users. The SCEIIS utilizes two cost effective microcomputers, a Raspberry Pi to run the software, and an Arduino Uno to support physical components of the system that periodically test moisture levels using soil moisture sensors and use test the data against the user set values. If the data shows that the moisture levels are lower than the user set values, then the program sends a signal to the Arduino Uno to activate the water pump connected to the specific plant that requires water. After a certain amount of time, the water pumps are deactivated and the program continues to test the levels. With an approximate cost of $275, the SCEIIS system is expected to assist people in caring for their plants by keeping track of the soil moisture levels in multiple plants and supply water via a pump located in the shared reservoir. Students in the Engineering Technology program also used NI LabVIEWTM knowledge and skills to add an instrumentation and data acquisition feature by a myDAQ module to the SCEIIS system that provided plant owners to monitor and control plants. The conceptual design, functional block diagram, hardware and software units, overall system operation and necessary LabVIEW Virtual Instruments (VIs) are provided. This unique project provides necessary assessment data for both senior design and instrumentation and data acquisition courses in a B.S. in Engineering Technology Program.

Pecen, R., & Yildiz, F., & Gibson, M. (2020, June), Design and Implementation of a Smart and Cost-effective Indoor Irrigation System (SCEIIS) Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34392

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