Farmote Systems' Solar-Powered IoT Device Increases Farmer's Profits by Over $100k

Posted on 03/04/2024 at 11:22 by Seth Hansen


Richard pushing Farmote Systems device into the ground with Blog Post title overlayed.

Farming is an intricate balance of land, livestock, and crops that technology can now optimize. 


Precision agriculture leverages data and technology to boost productivity. However, collecting accurate field information across acres of crops or pasture can be an immense challenge. New Zealand startup Farmote Systems overcomes this with a solar-powered solution that delivers quantifiable results for farmers.


Take this blog post with you!



I recently spoke with Richard, a co-founder of Farmote Systems, an innovative New Zealand-based agriculture tech company, to learn more about their solar-powered solution. 


In this post, we’ll discuss how durable off-grid solar integration was vital in providing set-and-forget solutions that deliver quantifiable impacts for farmers and how gathering precise field data and keeping the grass at ideal growth levels, Farmote Systems’ tools increased one customer's annual profits by over $100k.


The Challenge: Simplifying Farm Management 


Farmers have a tough job. Making decisions that impact crop growth, planning grazing schedules, and optimizing land usage is complicated. Farmote Systems aims to simplify things with its remote monitoring system for pastures and crops.


Design Requirements: Integrated Durable and Self-Sustaining Custom Solar Panels

Cow Sniffing Farmote Device

Farmote Systems needed a durable system that could be left in fields year-round to measure soil moisture and temperature, grass growth rates, and withstand harsh outdoor farm environments. 


"It's actually in the field with the cows currently or animals," Richard explained. “The solar panels even endure curious cattle. The cows will chew it, lick it, bite it, so it has to be quite a robust assembly."


Crucially, it had to be self-sustaining on solar power alone, so labor-intensive battery changes wouldn’t be required.


"We needed to have something self-sustaining...that was using solar power," said Richard. 


Overcoming Obstacles Together


After finding PowerFilm solar panels online in 2016, Farmote Systems worked closely with us to customize the panels’ form factor so they could be tightly integrated into their weatherproof system housing. 


Developing fully enclosed self-contained units came with obstacles. Farmote Systems experienced moisture-related solar panel failures early on. 


"We couldn't identify why we're getting the failures by looking at them," said Richard. 


By analyzing returned panels, PowerFilm helped pinpoint the root cause and added protections to ensure this issue wouldn’t reoccur.


Farmote Systems’ Integrated Solar Increases Efficiency and Profits


Farmote Systems manages power consumption actively across day and night cycles. Richard shared, 


"We actively manage the panel performance picking the peak point of the curve to get the maximum power." 

Richard crouching with Farmote Systems device and cows behind

The device can operate on a single charge without maintenance for over five years. Hybrid lithium capacitor batteries store enough energy for weeks of dark skies. The data gathered can help farmers drastically increase productivity. 


By keeping the grass at optimal growth lengths instead of over or under-grazing, the same field sizes, herd sizes, rainfall, and other factors lead to 10-20% more grass growth per season. 


Richard shared that one customer increased annual profits by over $100k with their system compared to relying on visual inspections alone.


From Grass Growth to Global Expansion: The Future of Precision Agriculture

Farmote user with an iPad

This is just the beginning. By expanding into new crops, markets, and farm types, Farmote Systems aims to make precision agriculture technology accessible to farms of all sizes. 


We’re excited to see how they progress and proud that our solar solutions are powering these impactful monitoring tools for an important industry. Farmote Systems proves solar energy can enable automated farm optimization even in harsh real-world environments. 


"There’s still much to gain by being smarter," remarked Richard. 


The Farmote device unlocks productivity potential with durable off-grid power by providing farmers with the data to make informed grazing and land management decisions. 


Do you need solar integration in your product? 


Don’t hesitate to contact us so we can start your solution today!


Take this blog post with you!



Categories: Internet of Things