One of our customers from Canada utilized the flexibility of the UniPi 1.1 controller for creating a complex automation network combining HVAC control in a family house, irrigation and heating in a greenhouse, regulating of water valves and other components.
The system is based on UniPi 1.1 controller complemented by the EMO-R8 relay extension module, giving the user the total of 16 relay outputs. Relays are then used for switching a wide variety of devices in the greenhouse and in the household itself, creating an extensive automation network.
In the greenhouse, relays are used for switching of the floor heating and system purge, while the water supply for irrigation is controlled through switching of a water pump. A water heater can be also switched if a heated water is needed. Relays control also a main water solenoid valve while a second pump is installed to pump water from the well and replenish either the greenhouse water reservoir for irrigation or the main water cistern for supplying the house. The cistern is equipped with a pressure inducer connected to the controller’s analogue input; a custom code is then used to calculate the percentage of remaining water capacity. Thanks to this feature the user can monitor the water consumption and take steps to conserve water if needed.
In the house itself, the controller regulates a complete HVAC system consisting of two heating circuits and a summer/winter heating mode switch. The system also contains odour extractor from the kitchen’s garbage area, fresh air intake switch and the main air handler fan switch. To monitor the temperature in different parts of the house, a set of 1-Wire thermometers is used, connected through a single 8-port 1-Wire hub to the controller’s 1-Wire port. The controller then stores detected temperature values on a local database for future use or analysis. Regarding outdoor installations, the controller can be used to control three access gates to the property.
From the software point of view the system uses only the Cron software daemon for task scheduling; through its crontab file, the user can schedule switching of individual components.
According to the owner, the system was created as a prototype and a web interface is being currently created for control of the system through a smartphone, computer or a tablet. Regarding the future, the user plans to offer his system to potential customers.