Automatic Plant Watering System Design Feedback

Hello,

I'm Back! Thank you to all those who have answered my previous survey/questionnaire, I have now gathered all the results and have read through all of them.

I have now created 3 designs, the images are below. Please could you leave a short feedback for each design then say which one is your favourite.

[Designs are created using SketchUp 2015]

Thank You

The Great Pumpkin (Adam) 

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 [Design 1 - Solar Panel from SketchUp Warehouse]

 

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 [Design 2 - Spring Loaded Terminal Block from SketchUp Warehouse]

 

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 [Design 3 - No Borrowed Components!]

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Posts

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 16,218

    Sorry The Great Pumpkin, I'm not a technical person. I can't understand how they work. Could you just write a few words about how each one delivers water?

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • @pansyface  Thank you for your reply, I was meant to describe each one but I rushed the initial post. I tried to keep it short, here it is:

    [Design 1] - The water tank is in the bottom half of the container. It has a rechargeable battery and a solar panel for power. Above the solar panel is 2 ports/connectors, one of them is for the wires for the soil moisture sensor and the other is the water out which is connected to a water pump inside the water tank, you can attach a pipe to there to lead to the plant.To change the settings (e.g. How many times to water the plant per day, etc.) for the device it will be via another device such as a pc or smartphone.

    [Design 2] - The multi coloured ports are the water outlets which are all connected to water pumps which you connect pipes to lead to the plants. The spring loaded terminals are for connecting the moisture sensor. There is a screen and buttons for changing the settings for the unit (e.g. How much water to supply to plants, etc) The unit is also powered by rechargeable batteries and Solar Panel.

    [Design 3] - The 4 metal poles sit in the soil, The middle nozzle is where the water is supplied to the plant via a water pump. There is also a screen and keypad to change the settings and a rechargeable batteries and solar panel to power it.

    The Great Pumpkin (Adam)

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 16,218

    So, for example, Design one has water tanks that have to be filled by hand but two and three are somehow connected to the mains?

    Sorry to be so dim but as I said I'm not technically minded.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 5,021

    Some interesting designs.

    To me, designs 2 & 3 are way over the top unless you work in a specialist house at Kew, and they all basically do the same thing.

    Design 1 seems practical, but why not store the water at the top and use gravity to replace the pumps. Then you just need solenoids and 555 timers or similar to turn the water on/off depending on the feedback from the sensors.
    I'm sure you could include a feed from a gutter downpipe to keep the reservoir topped up with rainwater.

    Good luck!

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 1,259

    I don't think spring loaded terminals are a good idea on anything that might be in a greenhouse etc. Bound to get water in them if only by condensation then they will corrode and give a very poor connection. Better have them running into the device and the entire unit made at least splash proof. 

    I don't have a use for one of these at the moment, but a quick Google shows plenty of designs already on the market.

    I would go with the one you think offers something new and unique Adam. Probably the simplest in terms of manufacture and operation will be the winner. image

  • @pansyface No, all of them have a water tank. Sorry should have made that more clear!

    @Pete8 Thanks, I shall have a look into that and I have also thought of that idea after I created these designs!image

    @GemmaJF I think I have to think about that and I'll see what I can replace them with or make them waterproof. Thanks image

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 16,218

    OK, next questionimage

    How big is the water tank? I mean, if I were to go away for a three week holiday in July (assuming I could and that July was hot and dry) would the tank be big enough to not run out of water? 

    Also, do the four little outlets mean that only four plants could receive the benefit?

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • @pansyface

    The capacity of the water tank has still to be decided, because of that! I shall be doing more research into it. Do you have any suggestions?

    Yes, only 4 plants will benefit from it as the water moisture sensor monitors the water level for the soil so it will water provide water to that specific plant when required. I suppose it means that if there is more than one plant in the plant pot it will water more than one plant. image

    Adam 

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 16,218

    I don't know how many mls of water a plant gets through per day. Perhaps if your system is solar powered you could arrange for the water to be dispensed according to the heat of the sun falling on the panels.image

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 1,259

    Adam, I would let the consumer decide the capacity of the water tank!

    By building it into the design three things happen.

    1) You limit the capacity

    2) The user has to fill it up

    3) Increased manufacturing cost of having to make the water tank

    If you have a device that draws the water from a user provided reservoir (bucket, water butt, ice cream tub whatever they choose), you instantly have a much more flexible device and avoid building constraints into the design.

    Perhaps making the tank an option would be the way to go, with the device able to draw from other reservoirs of water if required by the user.

     

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