If anyone is so kind as to help, I will be very grateful.
Activate an Archimedes-Screw every 4 hours (Basically just need to make a servo turn 30* every 4 hours.)
active communications could be held with people whom have experience on the subject
Quoteactive communications could be held with people whom have experience on the subjectOn what? Growing pot? Do a search for hyponics.
If anyone happens to have any more information or interest in helping to automatize the system
Remember I need this to also be able to report if the pump is inactive, or if there is overflow, all to a PC which will be connected to the system; any suggestions will be very much appreciated.
EDIT: In all reality, I don't need precision turning, just need it to spin the Archimedes screw for a second or so slowly.
When you say "automation", just how long are attempting to leave this unattended?
It will make a difference if someone is going to stop by the thing every day or so and glance at it
one big flood and drain system
Assuming you are using HID lighting, I might consider using a Water Heater timer or the like, as the kind of currents you are talking about require LARGE switching ratings. When you say "standard grow lights", I am going to assume you mean something like a 400watt lowbay Metal Halide "industrial" fixtures, a nearby greenhouse uses those. I looked into it, as keeping plants during long New England winters helps fight off the crazies. I ended up just using a couple of standard fluorescent shop lights, I'm not growing produce (or weed for that matter), just some houseplants, so I don't need that kind of power.
So, you are looking at switching a couple of kilowatts. You'll need a pretty big relay for that, solid state (SSR) is going to be the way to go. Since you are also doing pumps which are also very high draw, you might as well just get a handful of them and use the same device across the board to simplify things. A "too big" relay is never a problem.
I think you need to consider the chemistry of aquaculture a bit more.. it sounds like you want a "lights out" system, which if you are working with that many variables (like fish and plant metabolism) and recirculating the water, is going to be a LOT bigger issue than any potential system leak.
Ammonia toxicity, pH drift and Nutrient Lockout are going to kill both the fish and plants long before you need to worry about detecting a pump failure.. Unless you are planning to include realtime TDS/EC/pH monitoring (and adjustment), a closed system like that simply cannot work longer than a day or so... if it could, NASA and the ISS crew want to talk to you. A lot. For several decades that idea has existed, and the realities of metabolism make it impossible. If you want lights out, you need to decide whether you are raising fish or plants... or you'll need to use a system which does NOT recirculate the water... kind of undoing the whole idea in the first place.
Even though you are not growing Pot, your requirements are the same.. and there are commercial greenhouse controllers that are built for the job.. they are just a lot more expensive than trying to get someone to build a $5k "intelligent" greenhouse controller for $50... and I assure you, if they are doing aquaculture, they are more than aware that the devices exist and how much they cost... I'm a little concerned that you might be getting set up to fail. Maybe I'm just being paranoid, but when someone is trying to get you build a multithousand dollar device that already exists, but wants you to do it for $50... be concerned. Experience talking here.
Be careful, you are being saddled with a task which has eluded the best engineers in the world for fifty years... good luck...
QuoteIf anyone happens to have any more information or interest in helping to automatize the systemBe nice to know what part of the solar system your in...