Politecnico di Torino - Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24 - 10129 Torino, ITALY

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Automatic measurementsCultivation practicesEvapotranspirationVegetative coverWater stress


Closed-type evaporimeter inspired by IoT technology with an Arduino microcontroller capable of measuring, in 120-second intervals, the rate of evaporation/transpiration from portions of soil or potted surfaces. It solves the problem of swift and accurate measurement of water loss from various types and compositions of vegetation compared to other surfaces (e.g., cultivated, weeded, mulched).

Technical features

The proposed system is a ventilated closed-type transparent chamber with a volume of 28 liters, adjustable height (up to 56 cm), and a ground support surface of 491 cm2. Once anchored to the ground, this system allows the determination of the evapotranspiration rate of the underlying surface within a 120-second window. The quick measurement times enable an adequate number of replications due to the high portability and manageability of the system.

Recording, initiated by a push-button once the steady state is reached and monitored on a local display, and the data is stored on a local SIM card. Determining water loss rates from various surfaces is currently a priority in agro-forestry and ecological contexts, especially for estimating the water balance of specific ecosystems.

This instrument has no commercial equivalents, as existing options are limited to small chambers that need to be interfaced with other units, and they come at a significantly higher cost.

Possible Applications

  • Hydrology and pedology
  • Agro-forestry research
  • Nursery technique
  • Water budgets and irrigation
  • Management of grassy surfaces
  • Genetic improvement of herbaceous species


  • Low cost, portability, ease of handling
  • Speed and accuracy of measurements
  • Easy and economical maintenance
  • Flexible (same form, variable height)
  • Durable components
  • Simple components and construction process
  • Lack of commercial competitors