I am a biology/chemistry teacher and have no experience with electronics but our school received a grant to start a control systems class. Our capstone project for the year is to automate at least one system on our two greenhouses. The systems we are looking at are: a watering system (probably up to four separate watering lines), fans, a heater, and a retractible shade cloth. I know we will need soil humidity/conductivity sensors, temperatures sensors, possibly light intensity sensors. It was also requested that we create a robocalling backup should any of the systems fail. I have purchased nothing and am comparing Arduino, Click PLC's, and Digibees and I am open to any suggestions. The two best online video's/projects I have found are:http://m.youtube.com/?reload=9&rdm=mfca6b5ch#/watch?v=qmSyfodR7E8http://revoltlab.com/projects/plantduino-greenhouse/
I mostly need help right now knowing which system would work best for us, what sensors are compatible and necessary, and any other hardware or systems that we may need. Any help would be wonderful so I can get a purchase order in to our administrator and get the ball rolling.
The primary greenhouse is about 3500 cubic feet (~8' x 15' x 30') and the other is a little smaller.