Jessica McKeil   |   November 04, 2017

How to Create a Truly Data Driven Grow

Through innovation in data management and communications systems, Braingrid envisions a future focused on data-driven growing for the cannabis industry.
Jessica McKeil is a freelance writer focused on the medical marijuana industry, from production methods to medicinal applications. She personally found relief through cannabis for the treatment of her panic and anxiety disorder. She is lucky…

 

Founder and CEO of Braingrid, Michael Kadonoff, understands that the cannabis industry is shifting. A quantum leap in data management is happening in commercial grow spaces around North America. Through innovation in data management and communications systems, Braingrid envisions a future focused on data-driven growing for the cannabis industry.

Based out of Toronto, Canada, Braingrid has focused its energy on the creation of an entirely wireless sensor data management platform. Targeting the indoor medical marijuana industry specifically, Braingrid released the Sentroller in 2015. This innovative platform continues to evolve in 2017 as an unprecedented way to monitor growing conditions. The Sentroller sends data directly to a mobile app, to give growers the tools they need to identify and manage microclimate fluctuations.

According to Kadonoff, Braingrid aims to answer the question of “What happened?” with targeted grow data. Through Sentroller, growers can explore a vast array of instantaneous communications about the conditions of the grow and use that data to make appropriate modifications. Through an in-depth analysis of CO2 levels, humidity, temperature, vapor pressure deficit, oxygen levels, moisture content, and light quality, growers are closer than ever to ascertaining optimal plant happiness.

 

What is the Sentroller Platform?

A wireless sensor network designed to be easily integrated into any grow facility – existing or new, implementing the Sentroller platform is almost as simple as plugging it in. Unlike many other control systems, Sentroller is designed to operate with any sensor in the world. Its simple plug-and-go design allows the wireless network instant access to the information already collected by sensors in the room.

The Sentroller unit magnetically connects to any available metal surface, and wirelessly connects to the network of grow room sensors. It instantly sends essential grow room data directly to the secure Braingrid cloud servers. Growers can immediately start making decisions about the intricate growing conditions of their operation.

Businesses set their own parameters choosing the optimal conditions for each crop. Once configured, the Braingrid system uses these settings as a baseline, monitoring any fluctuation with systematic precision. Through careful analysis of the data produced by each crop, growers are easily able to experiment with conditions to achieve an optimal yield.

Part of the appeal of the Sentroller is that it sends instant alarms to the mobile app if conditions suddenly move away from the baseline. Kadonoff discusses an alert received by one of his clients, who reported an hourly jump in temperatures inside one microclimate within a specific grow room. Triggered by the alarm, his client discovered a potentially serious issue with the HVAC system; it was cycling on an hourly basis and causing temperatures to spike.  According to Kadonoff, this discovery enabled his clients to correct the issue in time, before negatively impacting yield within this particular grow room.

 

A Microclimate Management System

The Braingrid platform allows its clients the ability to monitor the indoor environment as a whole, as well as on a point by point basis. Especially in larger scale operations, there can be significant variability from one area, or microclimate, to another. As was experienced in Kadonoff's HVAC example, crop yield can easily be affected by minute changes in growing conditions. Now, growers can monitor the environment almost on a plant by plant basis.

Kadonoff and Braingrid aim to bring clarity to the microclimate dilemma through developing a sensor system that is scalable. The reality of the cannabis industry in 2017 is that there are no cookie-cutter operations. Each room and each setup is unique. Through close data management and updates on a zone by zone basis, growers can quickly correct issues and learn from their mistakes. 

 

Serving Data to the Medical Marijuana Industry

Kadonoff believes that cannabis is underserved in terms of data management, despite the high-risk and high-value nature of the crop. The risk of crop failure can be catastrophic. Giving farms the ability to link crop yield to grow parameters can have significant influence on final harvest.

For the medical marijuana industry, it comes down to producing a consistent product with consistent medical properties, over and over again. He also sees potential in the future for the management of other high-value crops like almonds, wineries and other medicinal plant cultivation.

By revealing data insights down to each individual microclimate, Braingrid allows growers to take specific and actionable items from the data. Importantly, the information provided by the platform is not just a data dump. According to Kadonoff, “Nobody needs another spreadsheet.” The Braingrid platform delivers an easy to read and actionable source of information. Kadonoff and Braingrid are taking all the guesswork out of cannabis.

 

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