Monitoring run time of an electric motor or 2 or 6

Hi,
I have been reading about Arduinos fo some time and I am wanting to tinker with them.. I have a project in mind.. but am wondering if it is doable.
I want to monitor the run time of ac motors (220v single phase AC) and to set an alarm if they run too long. the alarm would have to be auto resettable when the motor shut off... and if run time is exceeded then to open a relay triggering and alarm and illumating an LED . I would like to monitor 2 motors up to 6 motors.
thats the basic part of it...
could I also add in a max non-run time alarm? ( where if the motor did not run in a specific amount of time an alarm is enabled. )
more background on what it is.. the motors are attached to automatic feeders in a poultry house. the birds do activate and run the feeders as the eat the feed .. what I am looking to do is to find out when there is a malfunction like in the case of extended run time..would mean no feed getting to the lines.. or a malfunction that the line does not run in a specific time frame would mean it is not replenishing the feed as the birds eat it.
also could a data logging function be incorporated to map the run time per day and store it? or am I asking too much ?

How long should the motors be on and off for?

How can you know if the motor is running, or not, while keeping dangerous voltages isolated from the Arduino?

Perhaps the existing control system has a warning light that illuminates when a motor is switched on. The Arduino could use an LDR to detect whether the light is on.

...R

Hi, yes you idea is do-able with arduino.
The easiest method to see if each motor is running is to have a relay with a 220Vac coil in parallel with each motor, so it is activated whenever the motor runs.
Then have the arduino monitor the contacts of the relay, this will provide the isolation from the 220Vac.
As asked previously, how long do you want to monitor a running/non running motor to sound an alarm?

Tom....... :slight_smile:

Transformers such as the above would tend to be a rather expensive and over-engineered approach given all you need is a voltage free signal as would be obtained from the relay approach mentioned earlier.

Also the transformer can only operate if you have access to a single conductor. i.e. you cannot wrap it around the 3 core lead and expect the transformer to work.

Any qualified electrician should find it relatively easy to tap into your motor and fit a relay for you which will activate whenever the motor is powered up and supply you with a termination containing a set of voltage free contacts to work your Arduino program.
If you stipulate a relay with a set of DPDT (double pole double throw) contacts, it should be enough for any project you have in mind.

ok, I did forget to say I was looking at current sensors for the arduino board... and I do have access to the wires or conductors to each motor, as each one has its own circuit. also the extra cost in the
The relay approach is interesting but the amount of extra wiring is not feasible.. as in one instance the motor and control switch are over 400' away.
The motors are 1/4 to 1/2 HP single phase 220v 2 wire (with ground) -two 120v legs and a ground.
The curit they are on are a 20amp but do not draw even 1/4 of that.
As for the run time 30 to 45 minutes anything over that could indicate a problem and anything that where it does not run for 6 to 12 hours could indicate a problem.
Thanks in advance.

jkebxjunke:
As for the run time 30 to 45 minutes anything over that could indicate a problem and anything that where it does not run for 6 to 12 hours could indicate a problem.
Thanks in advance.

The timing is not a problem. An Arduino is not as precise as a clock but it sounds like a small error (several seconds) would not matter. If you do need the accuracy of a clock you can get an external Real Time Clock (RTC) module.

...R

Robin2:

jkebxjunke:
As for the run time 30 to 45 minutes anything over that could indicate a problem and anything that where it does not run for 6 to 12 hours could indicate a problem.
Thanks in advance.

The timing is not a problem. An Arduino is not as precise as a clock but it sounds like a small error (several seconds) would not matter. If you do need the accuracy of a clock you can get an external Real Time Clock (RTC) module.

...R

yeah 5 minutes or so is no big deal its not like I have to the millisecond.

Data logging is feasible - easiest way is to use an SD card. If I were logging, I'd prefer to have an RTC to enable timestamping though.

Alternatively, you could run ethernet or wifi and store the data on your own server or push it out to some on-line service e.g. pachube (or whatever it's called this week).

Hello everyone,

This is an old thread, but what I really want to know is if jkebxjunke ever manage to get this plan working.
I am a poultry farmer as well, in South Africa, and this last week I had this situation where some of the motors in my barns did not start when the were supposed to, mainly due to limit switches that stopped working, which in turn made the feed system empty which caused the feed lines to run empty for a few hours.

So now I am looking into some sort of alarm system that can give a warning through a siren or sms message preferably.

Hope to hear back for you.

"So now I am looking into some sort of alarm system that can give a warning through a siren or sms message preferably."

Probably best if you start a new discussion about your equipment and issues you are having.

zoomkat:
Probably best if you start a new discussion

And meantime, replace or service the switches and add their ogm to your maintenance staff's checklist.

mainly due to limit switches that stopped working