Arduino Control for a Large Number of Sensors/Fans

Hello, I have a question of feasibility. I am looking to control a large number of sensors 50+ as well as a relatively large number of fans/solenoid valves. I was wondering if the Arduino mega can handle such a large quantity of information or if there is a particular Arduino that is better suited to this task? I am aware I will need to utilize breakout boards to get the necessary number of pins, my questions is more about the processors ability to handle the amount of data it will be receiving.

Thank you for your help and guidance

Hard to say without more specifics, but given enough shift registers, sure, a Mega could do it in theory. Response time may be an issue - the Mega is fast, but if some of your sensors take a while to read, there may be an issue with getting everything done in time. How critical is timing in your application?

Not too critical actually, the idea is fairly simple in essence the volume makes it difficult. Essentially I need temp probes read, flow sensors read, and fans/valves to respond to values read by the flow sensors/temp probes. The tricky part I figured would just be the sheer volume of each. In terms of response time if temp probes are read and fan speed increases within 60 seconds, or valves respond within 60 seconds there shouldn't be any issue.

I am planning on using several breakout boards to increase the number of available PWM pins and controlling each fan with a transistor or mosfet depending on the necessary current. I am still a bit new-sh so this is a roughly forming plan.

In that case it sounds very plausible and I'd expect response time to be considerably faster than 60s. Presumably you'll have a bunch of threshold data that determines at what temp fans come on etc. Since that data's likely to be static, consider saving ram by storing it in progmem.

I'm in agreement with Wild Bill.

You can hang sensors on 1-wire or 2-wire bus lines. It may take seconds to read a large number on the same bus, most of the controller's time spent waiting, but you can have several bus lines for about the same number in pins and poll those for data that should arrive quicker.

Fans either on or off could be handled by relays that are as easy to control as leds but with caution to make sure they never cycle like a manic with a light switch.

If you start to think of multiple boards, learn to make your own but realize that those boards may need to communicate depending on how you set things up.