ssue description: 

Tair Gafr Wines, located in the Vale of Glamorgan in South Wales, faces a critical challenge each spring – protecting their organic vines from the threat of frost. Their commitment to sustainable practices and minimal use of machinery led them to seek an innovative solution to protect their delicate crop. This case study explores their journey to solve this problem using IoT technology, setting a new standard for vineyard resilience and innovation.

Tair Gafr Wines, a sustainable vineyard in the heart of the Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales, decided to take an innovative approach to protecting their vines from the cold grip of spring. Founded in 2019, their commitment to organic practices and minimizing the use of machinery sets them apart in their quest to thrive for the next century.

www.tairgafrwines.co.uk

The challenge is real – grape bud formation and growth in spring is susceptible to temperature fluctuations, especially in South Wales where low temperatures, especially at night, can jeopardize the harvest. To monitor these critical conditions, Tair Gafr Wines needed a reliable solution.

Tair Gafr Wines chose HW group’s NB-2x1Wire monitoring device, a versatile and practical choice with the following key features:

  • Up to three years of operation with a pre-installed battery;
  • Cellular connectivity using a NarrowBand SIM card with a three-year prepaid plan;
  • An easy-to-use portal service for monitoring sensor readings.

This powerful combination allowed the vineyard to precisely define safe temperature and relative humidity ranges. Whenever these values are outside the set parameters, an instant email alert is triggered, made possible by the free portal service provided by HW group (HWg-cloud.com). Imagine the convenience of receiving a prompt notification in your inbox when conditions deviate from the norm.

But as with any innovative solution, there were adjustments to be made. In a sun-drenched vineyard where sunlight is the primary energy source, ensuring accurate sensor readings required careful positioning. The initial sensor placement received excessive direct sunlight, causing additional heating and slightly skewed readings. After fine-tuning the sensor’s location, Tair Gafr Wines now has a reliable and affordable long-term solution to ensure the perfect condition of their vines.

The NB-IoT device’s battery status is transparent, reducing the risk of unexpected shutdowns due to low battery. An alarm notification can be set to signal the desired level of remaining battery capacity, allowing for proactive replacement without disrupting operations. Actual battery life depends on the number of sensors connected and temperature conditions.

This case exemplifies the effective use of NB-IoT monitoring devices – outdoor, low-cost solutions that provide critical information at no additional cost. After three years of operation, the only steps required are battery replacement and SIM card renewal for another three fruitful years.

The results? We let the quality of the grapes speak for themselves.