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PostPosted: Jul 17th, '11, 07:38 
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Thats great Scotty. you'll have to explain that one.


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PostPosted: Jul 17th, '11, 09:50 
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We are happy we have the basics down and that we can produce from the system when setup so the next step for us was the auotmate the system. A couple of reasons for this are holidays (system minders arent always available) and ease of control and maintenance. Obviously there are things we struggle to grow in the ISA but we look to use the system to grow staples in a enough of a supply that we are happy with the quality and variety we achieve. We have quite happily grown in peebles for the last 2 years but things such as root crops struggle as the interlocking that peebles achieves is beyond a carrots ability to move it. Otherwords deformed carrots. We are looking to set some beds up utilising the CANNA pellets just for carrots, onions and such... So our next step is the PLC.

The PLC is a Click PLC from Automationdirect and its software is free. I have also bought an analog temperature sensor and two float switchs. I have ordered two 600W titanium heaters from Aquaristikshop.com in germany. Dealt with them previously and they are good. As the ends are to be removed and driven by relays the plug configuration of the germans isnt important.

We have 2@15000l/hr pumps that currently run off a simple tap timer. I also have a smaller 100l/hr pump for water exchange to keep the water circulating in the tank while heating (even out the temps).

The basics, and i say basics, are that i would need 84Mj of energy at its worst for our area. The heaters would output 4.32Mj of energy an hour and without loss the 2000l system could be heated by 10c over 20 hours. Nature swings back and forth so that the heating would be required more so nightly and less during the day. On average the mid winter day time temp is about 20c and over night down to about 5c (if we are unlucky). We have had our jade perch down to 9c and they were still happy. To achieve a reasonable growth rate temps above 20c would be nice.

A basic model would be to include the conduction and radiated heat only. We feel the introduction of the complexities of the convective heat would be beyond the level needed for this application. This is why we have the analog temp sensor to give the feedback we require.

We get alot of evap in ISA so the float switches are for a nightly top up if required utilising a simple 24VAC solenoid valve from the hardware shop.

Wanting more control over the beds that we water, and how long they are watered for, we started to look at the standard sprinkler solenoid valves and the fact that they can be triggered with 100kpa to 150kpa line pressure and 24VAC. We chose them as they are readily available and inexpensive and the pumps can pressurise the main line to the activation pressure quite easily. If the solenoid valves fail they can be easily replaced without much ceremony. In doing this, it is our hope that we can start to isolate beds and water them to the crops requirements and not just by the timer.

Another benefit of the system is the flexibility offered. The system can be changed by simply changing the timers in the PLC ladder program.

I will happily put the photos of the system on line when its complete.


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PostPosted: Jul 17th, '11, 15:43 
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The Miner wrote:
Thats great Scotty. you'll have to explain that one.


I hope you don't want me to explain Pullet Launched Control cause no one understands chickens. :dontknow:

My last one I was just trying to act natural after I realized I should have known what PLC was. :)


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PostPosted: Jul 17th, '11, 16:07 
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Ah Dont speak those little emoticons. Sorry mate.


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PostPosted: Jul 21st, '11, 21:46 
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Plc code works fines on the bench. Test live in the next week or so.

Cant load the images just yet, will do tomorrow.

The Miner


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PostPosted: Jul 21st, '11, 22:43 
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This is the code.
Attachment:
Aquaponics_Page_1 (424x600).jpg
Aquaponics_Page_1 (424x600).jpg [ 76.88 KiB | Viewed 1508 times ]

Attachment:
Aquaponics_Page_2 (424x600).jpg
Aquaponics_Page_2 (424x600).jpg [ 52.79 KiB | Viewed 1508 times ]


Works well. I will need a few extra I/O but thats pretty cheap.

Will try and work out how to put up a movie so people can see how it works.

The Miner


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PostPosted: Jul 23rd, '11, 08:44 
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My apologies to Scotty. My post should have been "I dont speak emoticons".. I shouldnt speak shorthand..

Got the case and power supplies so mounting the PLC and I/O has begun.

Photo's to follow.


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PostPosted: Jul 23rd, '11, 13:31 
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Thought you had a Southern accent there for a moment. :)


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PostPosted: Jul 23rd, '11, 13:47 
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PLC case done! Wiring (painful) to come.

Promise photo's soon..


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PostPosted: Jul 23rd, '11, 18:09 
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Here's the photos

The enclosure external

Attachment:
P7230182 (600x800) (640x480).jpg
P7230182 (600x800) (640x480).jpg [ 189.69 KiB | Viewed 1481 times ]


The enclosure internal

Attachment:
P7230181 (600x800) (480x640) (640x480).jpg
P7230181 (600x800) (480x640) (640x480).jpg [ 215.23 KiB | Viewed 1481 times ]


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PostPosted: Jul 23rd, '11, 18:13 
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The Switchs ad sensors

The Float Switches
Attachment:
P7230177 (600x800) (640x480).jpg
P7230177 (600x800) (640x480).jpg [ 155.91 KiB | Viewed 1481 times ]


The Temperature Sensor
Attachment:
P7230178 (800x600).jpg
P7230178 (800x600).jpg [ 168.8 KiB | Viewed 1481 times ]


The system needs wiring, but all up it works well. Hopefully will run live next week.


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PostPosted: Aug 2nd, '11, 10:30 
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Wired up and testing!!

First run through really rough as the was program very clunky. Have refined the program to turn on and find its place after a power outage.

Just have to test live when the heaters arrive.

Photo of the wired up system this arvo..

Pretty happy at the moment.

The Miner


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PostPosted: Sep 24th, '11, 07:12 
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The Pullet Launch Controller (PLC) is up and away. Working quite well and very stable.

Now just have to make the system a little less rural looking.


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PostPosted: Sep 24th, '11, 15:30 
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Sounds great. Got to have a completed pic for it to be official though. :thumbright:


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PostPosted: Sep 24th, '11, 15:49 
The Miner wrote:
The Pullet Launch Controller (PLC) is up and away. Working quite well and very stable.

Could be the answer to Axl's question then... viewtopic.php?p=294292#p294292


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