[Please see thread 3 for project update! --- currently the focus of the project is to get laptop and arduino to communicate with each other --- any recommendation for programs? Processing? TeraTerm? better suggestions?]
I want to build a pneumatic control system with Arduino processor. But I have little experience in electrical circuit, so I'm searching help on how to design the system architecture and peripheral electronics. I'll try to describe the system I want as best as I can, but I may use some not-so-precise words because I don't know better.Please help me realize my faults and ask for any more information you need. I greatly appreciate any suggestions and hints you may have to offer.
The system will have 4 pressure sensors as inputs, each giving a 4...20mA analogue output. The system need to control 3 solenoid valves and 1 electrical actuated ball valve (just on and off). The system should be powered by 24VDC battery. A very crude system schematic and the components are shown as figures below. The specification for the sensors and valves can be found in the attachment. I hope the system can have a touch screen as user interface, so that the pressure sensor outputs will be displayed and the command to open/close valves can be sent via the screen.
I need general help on how I should approach this problem. More specifically:
1) what Arduino board should I use?
2) how do I build a power distribution box? Can I buy one somewhere?
3) I think each valve will draw about 0.5A current, how should I build such a relay box? Can I buy one somewhere?
4) any recommendations on the touch screen and library to program the user interface?
Or anything you can think of relating to the problem...
Thank you all for reading the post!! Any hint or suggestion could help me get a start on the project is great appreciated.
Pressure sensor: Operating voltage 8.5...36DC, output 4..20mA analogue
Solenoid valve: Operating voltage 1.8 to 256VDC, nominal power 9.5watts
Eletrical actuated valve: see attachement