February 25, 2018 at 4:00 pm #49219
I’m currently working on a solution to automate the garden watering for the next garden season. The idea is to setup a weather controlled OSBee sprinkler system. It is still a winter project and I have to test it very carefully and maybe adjust some parameters. However, I am very optimistic that it will work as expected. Please find below the details. Remarks or ideas to improve the work flow are more than welcome!
My Weather-controlled Sprinkler System shall support the garden season between April and October by an automated garden watering system. The IoT hardware and IoT Cloud services used are a Netatmo Weather Station, Weather Underground, IFTTT, apilio.io web tools and an Open Sprinkler Bee (OSBee) Sprinkler Controller switching Gardena 24V~ valves.
The sprinkler operates each day at 7 am and every 2nd day thereafter. The irrigation time is thereby adapted to normal, warm and hot days. The according mean temperature ranges are defined as 16 to 22 C, 22 C to 26 C and above 26 C. No irrigation is performed if mean temperatures below 16 C are predicted, bad weather conditions are forecasted or an ample rainfall took place the day before.
Netatmo Weather Station
The Netatmo Weather Station consists of an indoor and outdoor module, a rain gauge and a wind gauge. The outdoor module is protected by a sun shield. At the time being only the rain measurements from the Netatmo Weather Station are taken into account.
Weather Underground Service
The Weather Underground Service is used to obtain the weather forecast for the ongoing day, i.e. weather conditions, maximum and minimum temperatures.
Open Sprinkler Bee
The Open Sprinkler Bee switches three Gardena 24V~ valves in order to water the zones Back Yard Green, Back Yard Flowers and Front Yard Flowers. It offers an API interface to program its operations over the internet by port forwarding means.
IFTTT, apilio.io Web Services
The web services IFTTT and apilio.io are used to compute the desired sprinkler activation. IFTTT allows for actions when connected to e.g. Time, Netatmo or Weather Underground apps. The actions to perform are controlled by applets which forward information and create triggers to apilio.io. The forwarded information is stored, combined and evaluated by apilio.io. The outcome of this triggered evaluation is again handed over to IFTTT applets in order to modify the OSBee sprinkler program.
The attached logic diagrams explain the IFTTT applets in combination with the apilio.io Variables, Conditions and Logicblocks. Please note that the Logicblocks water_run_10_min, water_run_20_min and water_run_30_min fire for positive results if there is a change in the result. The Logicblock water_run_0_min fires for positive results, even if there are no changes in the result. The Logicblocks did not fire in case of negative results. However, there is always one and only one Logicblock firing at the given evaluation trigger.
Attachments:May 17, 2018 at 10:21 am #50047
Cool. Thanks for sharing your ideas. A heads up about a new variation of OS 3.0 hardware: in about a month or two, we will have ready OS 3.0 Latching — a third variation of OS 3.0 (after AC-powered and DC-powered) designed specifically for latching solenoids valves. This will be a direct upgrade of OSBee, it uses the same two-layer design as OS 3.0 AC and DC: there is a top-level board that contains the WiFi chip, LED and buttons; and a bottom-level board that contains the power and solenoid drivers. The latching version, in particular, has H-bridge solenoid drivers (same as OSBee) and has 8 zones just like the other two variations. The advantage is that it can run the same OS 3.0 firmware and supports the OpenSprinkler mobile app, so all OS features including weather will be supported.July 11, 2018 at 2:53 am #51076
Since June 2018 I changed to an OpenSprinkler 3.0 DC in order to use the Zimmerman method for calculating the garden watering. What I can say in regards to my weather controlled approach is that weather forecasts are very unreliable. There were some thunderstorm forecasted in April, May 2018, which causes my weather controlled OSBee sprinkler system to stop watering for consecutive days. This is not good as there was no rain at all in my area.
Zimmerman is by way the better method to use, as it relies mainly on stable data from the day before. If you like to have a weather controlled sprinkler system it is well worth to change to or to start with an OpenSprinkler 3.0.
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