One of our customers used our products to create a complex system including energy consumption monitoring, lightning and heating control and many more features.
According to the owner, the project was inspired by the owner's desire to create an automated household. His original goal was to control several lightning circuits along with a remote control of pumps supplying water to decoration garden ponds. Part of the plan was also to prepare to wire for potential future additions. After finishing the lighting systems, however, the owner decided to expand his project further by new functionality such as energy measurements, hot water pump control, floor heating control and other features. His final goal is to create a complex automation system allowing to control and regulate as many devices as possible, both indoor and outdoor.
As a controller, the UniPi Neuron L203 PLC was used, featuring:
- 36× digital input (5-40V DC)
- 4× digital output (5-50V DC, max. 750mA)
- 28× relay output (max. 250V AC/30V DC)
- 1× analog input (0-10V DC/0-20 mA, 4-20 mA)
- 1× analog output (0-10V DC/0-20mA)
Aside from I/Os, the L203 is also provided with a standard communication interface - a single 1-Wire bus, single RS485 serial line and one 10/100Mbit Ethernet port.
Currently, only digital I/Os are used. Digital outputs are used for switching of external relays connected to electric coils - this arrangement was made due owner's concerns over possible output damage by switching current.
As to accessories, the system includes smart Modbus energy meters, external relays, and energy consumption meters communicating over Modbus protocol. An interesting addition is remote-controlled chicken coop doors.
The project is characteristic by a high amount of cabling and wiring. Both UTP and energy wiring was used to connect all components with around 5000 meters total cable length. A large number of switches and plugs are connected to this wiring with each peripheral featuring its own cable.
- 33 switches and buttons
- over 80 sockets (including UTP sockets)
- over 72 point lights
Energy is distributed by a pair of distribution boxes. Power-system protection is handled by three contactors and 12 residual-current circuit breakers along with surge protection.
The Mervis platform is used as the main software solution. The owner, however, plans to expand project's software side by another consolidation level (eg. camera+HMI combination). For the time being, custom-made simple aggregating and switching programme is used. The project also features a displaying device functionality - the owner can monitor system status on smart TV or from a central touchscreen tablet. Alternatively, a smartphone or laptop interface can be used.
The project was initially planned only for private use, but the experience with automation persuaded the owner to launch an installation firm. In the future, the house will be thus used also as a testbed and will be gradually improved as much as possible. Current plans include valve controls for underfloor heating and DALI dimmer unit. Also planned is a purchase of one of our brand-new Axon line controllers.
Distribution box and wiring photos
Partial floorplan screenshots
HMI on a smartphone