How to individually send water to each specific plant with only one pump

TKall:
Here is a quick and dirty performance curve for the pump in reply 6. Flow rate is in mL/min and pressure is in inches of water. As I recall, the pump was supplied with 6 volts for this test.

(Flow, Pressure)
0, 36
200,25
300,20
400,13

TKall, sorry for my ignorance. However how does this relate to the the valve's required pressure of f 0.02- 0.8Mpa to function?

0.02 mpa is equivalent to 80 in of water

I bought several pumps from this company and am very happy with the quality and customer service.

Hi,

Been researching a bit more regarding pumps.

So basically depending on the design of the watering system it seems like there are mainly two type of pumps that is relevant. Self-priming pumps and submersible pumps.

My understanding is that a Self-priming pump can be located above the suction vessel (water reservoir), which means it can suck air(vacuum) for a while until the water is sucked up from the water reservoir to the pump. As a result the pump can be placed next to the individual plant, or somewhere between the plant and the reservoir.

The submersible pump will have to be located in the water reservoir below the water line. It can push the water up to the plants, but it needs the water its located in to prime the pump.

The idea was that if I use the Self-priming pump the plants can share the PVC tubes from the reservoir. But I started thinking. If I have let's say 5 plants and each have their own self-priming pump next to. The PVC tubes from each of the pumps will be connected with a Y-connection or similar to some point going from 1 PVC-tube (from reservoir) to the 5 PVC-tubes (one to each plant/pump).

But if only one of the pumps are on (sucks) would it then end up sucking air from the tubes going to the other plants, or will it suck water up from the reservoir? I guess this system would require the pumps to seal the PVC-connection when off... I guess that is not the case?

Any views?

Hi!

My watering system in my greenhouse have worked perfetct for several years.

I have a 12V pump and ten electric solenoid valves (cheap from ebay). The pump starts and then one valve is opened at a time.
The valves open/close fine. When closed no water is leaking.

Each plant can get there individual amoung of water.

olof_n:
Hi!

My watering system in my greenhouse have worked perfetct for several years.

I have a 12V pump and ten electric solenoid valves (cheap from ebay). The pump starts and then one valve is opened at a time.
The valves open/close fine. When closed no water is leaking.

Each plant can get there individual amoung of water.

Don't the electric solenoid valves require a certain water pressure to work? Can you link to the electric valves you bought on ebay, and the 12V pump?

The water pressure from the smal pump is enough.

The valves looks like this one:

The pump (12V 2A) was bougth in Sweden:

I found a old post of mine, the post include some pictures of the system.
Download the pictures, it shows the valves and pipes.

olof_n:
The water pressure from the smal pump is enough.

The valves looks like this one:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/DC-12V-1-2-New-Brass-Electric-Solenoid-Valve-For-Water-Air-N-C-Normally-Closed-/141736087396?hash=item2100210f64:g:VqYAAOSwDNdVwIH1

The pump (12V 2A) was bougth in Sweden:
http://www.biltema.se/sv/Bat/Pump/Vattenpump/Drankbar-pentrypump-12-V-2000017743/

I found a old post of mine, the post include some pictures of the system.
Download the pictures, it shows the valves and pipes.
http://forum.arduino.cc/index.php?topic=241726.0

I’m from Norway, so Biltema probably have a similar pump for sale here. Great set-up for inspiration. Thanks a lot. I’ll have a look at the Solenoid valves.

we forgot to offer the idea of a traveling head.
use the railing and mount a motor. roll to a desired point, the arm that holds the end of the hose would be over the plant,
then deliver the water.

dave-in-nj:
we forgot to offer the idea of a traveling head.
use the railing and mount a motor. roll to a desired point, the arm that holds the end of the hose would be over the plant,
then deliver the water.

A robot. :grinning:

Paul__B:
A robot. :grinning:

The perfect solution would be to make a robot that replicate myself, however it only does the chores that I do not want to do (eg. watering plants, tidying up my room, taking in and out of the dishwasher, taking the trash, cleaning)

But I guess that would be slightly more advanced than an automatic watering system... sadly.... but I would gladly pay 100 000 USD for such a robot.

a traveling head with hose and water dispensor is not beyond your abilities or, if you have $100,000 USD for funds, it is not beyond your resources. in fact, I doubt if i would cost $100.

I've tried to evaluate the pros and cons of the 4 alternative set-ups. Might be more, but these seem like the key ones. Would like your input :slight_smile:

Alternatives for pumping water from one reservoir to multiple plants:

  • alt 1: One submersible pump and a tube to each specific plant
  • alt 2: One common submersible pump iwith a common tube to a connection that split the water to each of the plants. Each plant has a electric solenoid valve to control water flow (on/off)
  • alt 3: A pump per plant located at the plant, pulling up water from a common tube from the reservoir
  • alt 4: One common submersible pump in reservoir with a common tube - the end of the tube is connected to a guide rail or similar that will move the tube to the specific plant

Alternative 1 (One submersible pump and a tube to each specific plant):

Pros:

  • Fairly easy to set up
  • Powerline only needed to reservoir (if you will have a moist sensor at the plant then its not a pro)

Cons:

  • Require more tube/hose
  • Require a pump per plant

Alternative 2 (One common submersible pump with a common tube to a connection that split the water to each of the plants. Each plant has a electric solenoid valve to control water flow (on/off):

Pros:

  • All plants can share a pump
  • Less tube/hose needed

Cons:

  • Several tube/hose connectors needed to split the water to each plant
  • Requires a electric solenoid valve to control water on/off at each plant
  • Power line needed to each plant (if you will have a moist sensor at the plant then its not a con)

Alternative 3 (A pump per plant located at the plant, pulling up water from a common tube from the reservoir):

Pros:

  • No need for electronic solenoid valves
  • Less tube/hose needed

Cons:

  • Several tube/hose connectors needed to connect the tubes from the plants to a common tube for the reservoir
  • Require one pump per plant

Alternative 4 (One common submersible pump in reservoir with a common tube - the end of the tube is connected to a guide rail or similar that will move the tube to the specific plant):

Pros:

  • No need for electronic solenoid valves
  • All plants can share a pump
  • Less tube/hose needed

Cons:

  • All plants need to be accessible from the guide rail
  • Require a guide rail and motor to move the end of the tube/hose to the plant
  • Moving parts - more challenging to create
  • Less modular, if you want to extend to new plants

Christian_83:
I've tried to evaluate the pros and cons of the 4 alternative set-ups. Might be more, but these seem like the

To what purpose ?
Pump plus solenoid plus effort = about 30 quid min .

Plus effort ETC.

Fun, but i can get tomatoes from Tescos at £3 per kilo.

For a domestic experiment it very instructional.
And could be useful if you have an allotment.

Although an arduino controlled dog/shotgun may be useful there if you grow competition leeks/marows :slight_smile: .
Do you have a specific project in mind

Ok, some background :slight_smile: Hope this helps…

Last year I created my first herb garden on my balcony, fairly happy with the setup but I encountered multiple times that my herbs either died or had a near death experience multiple times throughout the summer due to lack of watering (see attached image). The results was that the growth was slow or non-existing for long periods. So I thought a watering system would be a great first Arduino project.

On the 29th of February 2016 I started reading some good tutorials online regarding watering systems and/or irrigation system based on Arduino or similar. Below are a selection of the ones that I’ve used for inspiration so far.

Reading the above and a lot of other interesting tutorials, I started creating the requirements for my setup. I tend to set the bar a bit high, so I decided that it might be worth grouping the requirements into multiple generations of the system. I can start with the basics and then add additional requirements for the next generations if I succeed.

Note that when writing these requirements I am not aware of the complexity or cost of achieve it. So it serves mainly as a wish list at this point. To be reviewed later, given more knowledge about cost and challenges of setting it up.

General requirements:

  • Expandable to 10-15 individual plants
  • Look nice/discrete (hide the watering system as much as possible)
  • Be quite (do not want to sit on balcony with noise every 5 minutes from a pump or similar)
  • 5 weeks battery life
  • 5 weeks of water capacity
  • Durable (just works)
  • Keep cost as low as possible, but no cost limit

Requirements (gen 1):

  • Measure moisture in soil every 10 minute (5-10 plants)
  • Dispense water specifically to multiple plants (5-10 plants)
  • Add Bluetooth (BLA) or wifi compatibility to connect to iPhone

Requirements (gen 2):

  • Store measurement data for up to 30 days
  • Water level sensor in tank
  • Send historic data to Cloud every hour/day
  • View historic data graphically on the iPhone

Requirements (gen 3):

  • Measure Ph level of the soil
  • Waterproof soil temperature sensor for all or some of the plants
  • HomeKit enabled (Siri what is the soil humidity for plant x, what is the water level of the tank, get alert if water is below a certain level)

Requirements (gen 4):

  • Add liquid fertilizer to the plants when needed based on Ph level?
  • Photocell measuring daylight (grow light for plants)
  • Turn on/off grow plant if daylight is low - to optimize growth

Christian_83:
Reading the above and a lot of other interesting tutorials, I started creating the requirements for my setup.

  • Keep cost as low as possible, but no cost limit

Nice options to have.

Couple of comments,

Checking and watering twice a day is plenty.
wet/dry is natures way and plants generally expect this.

Similar size pots have similar drying rates so using one pipe for similar sized pots and drippers reduces complexity.
One solenoid can do many pots then.

Drawback is that high pressure is needed so a displacement pump is required which is expensive but only one needed.
For dosing it may be possible to do it on the suction side of the pump otherwise another pump is needed.

EDIT

There are some ‘tomato hybrid growers’ here a look at the hydroponics topic may give some clues.

Boardburner2:
There are some ‘tomato hybrid growers’ here a look at the hydroponics topic may give some clues.

Thanks I’ll have a look around. I’ve looked at hydroponic solutions earlier, but not evaluated it as part of this watering project.

Make sure you have considered the option where the pump runs but for some reason, the valves don't open. Some pumps do not like to run with the output blocked and you may have an issue there. One option could be a pressure relief that will flow back into the tank if the valves are not open but the pump is running (if you are using some sort of positive displacement pump).