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Wollega University Business and Technology Incubation Center [2019]

ABSTRACT

Farming can be done using various new technologies to yield higher growth of the crops and
their more production. The objectives of this paper is to avoid wastage of water and increase
irrigation efficiency by using Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) based irrigation system
with the help of soil moisture sensor. The project presented here will water plants regularly in
accordance with the state of soil moisture.

The circuit comprises sensor parts which are water mark moisture sensor is inserted in the soil to
sense whether the soil is wet or dry. The PLC program monitors the sensors and when moisture
sensor senses the dry condition then the circuit will switch on the motor at which the pressure
sensor on normal conditions and it will switch off the motor when the moisture sensor senses the
dryness of the soil at which one or two of the factors are in abnormal conditions. The PLC does
the above job when it receives the signal from the sensors.

It also improves the traditional irrigation system in Ethiopia enabling the irrigation system to
have high efficiency and save water usage. The existing irrigation system is tedious, time
consuming and very wasteful in water usage.

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Wollega University Business and Technology Incubation Center [2019]

ACRONYM

DC……………………Direct Current
PLC…………………..Programmable Logic Controller
PMDC……………..…Permanent Magnetic Direct Current
PVC…………….……Photovoltaic Cell
VWC………………...Volumetrc Water Content

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LIST OF FIGURES

Figure 1.1 General view of our work .....................................................................5


Figure 2.1 Ditch irrigation ......................................................................................7
Figure 2.2 Terraced irrigation ................................................................................7
Figure 2.3 Drip irrigation ........................................................................................8
Figure 2.4 Sprinkler system ....................................................................................8
Figure 2.5 Rotary system .........................................................................................9
Figure 3.1 Block diagram of the system...............................................................10
Figure 3.2 Soil moisture sensor (SMS) .................................................................12
Figure 3.3 Water flow pressure sensor ................................................................12
Figure 3.4 VDC Coil Relay ....................................................................................13
Figure 3.5 PLC operation block diagram ............................................................14
Figure 3.6 Different size of solar panel ................................................................15

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Wollega University Business and Technology Incubation Center [2019]

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ABSTRACT .............................................................................................................. i
ACRONYM ............................................................................................................. ii
CHAPTER ONE ......................................................................................................1
INTRODUCTION....................................................................................................1
1.1 Introduction ....................................................................................................1
1.2 Statement of the problem ..................................................................................2
1.3 Objectives of the Study ......................................................................................2
1.3.1 General Objective ...........................................................................................2
1.3.1 Specific objectives ...........................................................................................2
1.4 Scope of the study...............................................................................................3
1.5 Application area of the project .........................................................................3
1.6 Methodology .......................................................................................................4
CHAPTER TWO .....................................................................................................6
LITERATURE REVIEW .......................................................................................6
2.1 Introduction ........................................................................................................6
2.2 Automatic Farm Irrigation Review..................................................................6
2.3 Types of irrigation..............................................................................................7
2.4 Irrigation Controller ..........................................................................................9
CHAPTER THREE ...............................................................................................10
SYSTEM OF BLOCK DIAGRAM ......................................................................10
3.1 BLOCK DIAGRAM AND DESCRBTION OF BLOCKDIAGRAM.........10
3.2 Material required and description of block diagram ...................................11
3.3 Description of each component .......................................................................11
3.3.1 Sensor .............................................................................................................11

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Wollega University Business and Technology Incubation Center [2019]

3.3.1.1 Soil Moisture Sensor ..................................................................................11


3.3.1.2 Water flow pressure sensor .......................................................................12
3.3.2 Relay ...............................................................................................................13
3.3.3 Permanent magnet DC motor ......................................................................13
3.3.4 Programmable logic controllers (PLC).......................................................14
3.3.5 Photovoltaic (PV) ..........................................................................................15
3.3.6 PVC with Charge Controller .......................................................................15
3.4 Cost Estimation ................................................................................................16
REFERENCE .........................................................................................................17

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Wollega University Business and Technology Incubation Center [2019]

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Introduction

In developing countries like Ethiopia automatic irrigation system is not much familiar rather than
using labor system/manual system which is not much effective and all the system is controlled
by imagination of workers. Appropriate soil water level is a necessary pre-requisite for optimum
plant growth. Water as a result is a very precious natural resource that must not be wasted. Now
a day’s economical usage of water resource is becoming a critical issue due to its limitation &
climate change. Water is the main input of agricultural activities, construction, industries etc.
thus, it should be managed by technology.

Using Automatic irrigation system helps to decrease wastage of water. If too much water is
applied the problems arise consisting of runoff, erosion, waste of water and deceased plant life. If
too little water is applied different problems arise such as grass burnout. The key in irrigation is
striking to correct balance for optimal plant life with optimal use of water by using irrigation
controller device to operate automatic irrigation systems with Soil moisture sensor that is
connected to an irrigation system controller that measure soil moisture content in the active root
zone. The PLC is used to control the whole system by monitoring the sensors and when sensors
sense the dry condition, the PLC will send command to relay to switch on the motor, and it will
switch off the motor, when adequate moisture is detected in the soil. Being an automated
process, this provides accurate results and is highly efficient.

Generally there is technological gap that the country would get benefit from it.

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1.2 Statement of the problem

Irrigation of plants usually a very time consuming activity; to be done in reasonable short time a
lots of human labor should be involved. In a big farm or in a nursery, usually need many workers
involve? Hence, if farmers are still using traditional irrigation system, there will obtain human
work force. Therefore, need to spend money to pay the worker's salary which can be high and
expensive. Otherwise, it is difficult to verify the effect moisturizing in the soil .Using
technologies the number of worker or the time required to water is reduced. Water has been used
excessively for irrigation, without measuring its quantity in traditional method, but in order to
overcome the problem automatic irrigation system is more acceptable for cultivation using the
available water resource. An affordable, convenient and flexible system is much needed because
different soil has different needs and level of moisture. Controlling by PLC is used to assist the
understanding on how that system can control the balance of moisture properly.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

1.3.1 General Objective

To design and constructing small-scale automatic irrigation system using soil moisture sensor
controlled by PLC.

1.3.1 Specific objectives

 To monitor and regulate the moisture level of a soil sample mainly aimed to provide to
the needs of technologically ignorant rural farmers.
 To enhance the transfer of irrigation technologies and management alternatives
emphasizing economic and environmental benefits.
 To install the machine for user.
 To design automatic irrigation system.

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1.4 Scope of the study

This project will commence with an over view of the problem encountered with an automatic
irrigation system using soil moisture sensing. The primary goal of an automatic irrigation system
is to control the fluctuation of moisture sensor by PLC and give information to controller and the
programmable logic controller is ON and OFF the water motor pump based on the moisture level
sensor. PLC is the main issue and effect used to develop a program for automatically controlling
watering pump process.

1.5 Application area of the project

The application of automatic irrigation using soil moisture sensor controlled by PLC are:-
 Roof and home garden place
 In university
 At irrigation/ agricultural sector
 Green area

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Wollega University Business and Technology Incubation Center [2019]

1.6 Methodology

The first step is to review the project scope and research area. In this case, different control
systems have been reviewed thoroughly in order to establish the automatic irrigation solar
system. Then, the next task is to design the solar panel system for required motor rating, sensor
selection based on specifications and circuitry of the total interconnections of the components of
the system to be built. At the same time, studies on programming programmable logic controller
to control the hardware parts.

Then, if all the design has been finalized, the implementation of automatic irrigation system
using soil moisture based PLC (hardware) and its control circuit takes place. Reaching the peak
of the project, the performance of the system with the programming segment takes place
especially, on program of the PLC, receiving input signals from the sensor and performs
actuation processes.

Lastly, certain modification on the circuitry and software took place in order to make the system
perform in a better way.

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Figure 1.1 General view of our work

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Wollega University Business and Technology Incubation Center [2019]

CHAPTER TWO

LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1 Introduction

This section summarizes the literature background of our work connected with automatic
irrigation solar pumping system on sensing soil moisture content the benefits of automatic
controller.

2.2 Automatic Farm Irrigation Review

An automated irrigation system refers to the operation of the system with no or just a minimum
manual intervention apart from field surveillance which requires human critical thinking. Almost
every system (drip, sprinkler, surface) can be automated with the help of electronic timers,
sensors, controllers, and some electro-mechanical devices. It makes the irrigation process more
efficient and workers can concentrate on other important farming tasks. On the other hand, such
a system can be expensive and very complex in its design and may needs experts to plan and
implement it.

The problem of previous project is, that not suitable for illiterate people and it requires a high
maintenance and also high cost. After we observed these problems we are interested to design
automatic irrigation system using soil moisture sensor which is controlled by PLC.

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Wollega University Business and Technology Incubation Center [2019]

2.3 Types of irrigation

A. Ditch Irrigation

Ditch Irrigation is a rather traditional method, where ditches are dug out and seedlings are
planted in rows. The plantings are watered by placing canals or furrows in between the rows of
plants. Siphon tubes are used to move the water from the main ditch to the canals.

Figure 2.1 Ditch irrigation

B. Terraced Irrigation:

This is a very labor-intensive method of irrigation where the land is cut into steps and supported
by retaining walls. The flat areas are used for planting and the idea is that the water flows down
each step, while watering each plot. This allows steep land to be used for planting crops.

Figure 2.2 Terraced irrigation

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Wollega University Business and Technology Incubation Center [2019]

C. Drip Irrigation:

This is known as the most water efficient method of irrigation. Water drops right near the root
zone of a plant in a dripping motion. If the system is installed properly you can steadily reduce
the loss of water through evaporation and runoff.

Figure 2.3 Drip irrigation

D. Sprinkler System:

This is an irrigation system based on overhead sprinklers, sprays or guns, installed on permanent
risers. You can also have the system buried underground and the sprinklers rise up when water
pressure rises, which is a popular irrigation system for use on golf courses and parks.
In our case we use sprinkler irrigation system.

Figure 2.4 Sprinkler system

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Wollega University Business and Technology Incubation Center [2019]

E. Rotary Systems:

This method of irrigation is best suited for larger areas, for the sprinklers can reach distances of

up to 100 feet. The word “Rotary” is indicative of the mechanical driven sprinklers moving in a

circular motion, hence reaching greater distances.

Figure 2.5 Rotary system

2.4 Irrigation Controller

Irrigation controllers have additional features such as multiple programs to allow different
watering frequencies for different types of plants, rain delay settings, input terminals for sensors
such as rain and freeze sensors, soil moisture sensors, weather data, remote operation etc.
PLCs are “Programmable Logic Controllers” that are digital computers used for automation of
electromechanical processes [5]. They have a processor, some form of keyboard and screen;
have analog /digital input ports and the capacity to command a number of electric devices
through relays. Originally it was expensive and limited in capacity. The dramatic development of
Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) and their affordable price has made it possible to use
them as stand-alone irrigation controllers.

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Wollega University Business and Technology Incubation Center [2019]

CHAPTER THREE

SYSTEM OF BLOCK DIAGRAM

3.1 BLOCK DIAGRAM AND DESCRBTION OF BLOCKDIAGRAM

Figure 3.1 Block diagram of the system

The block diagram described on the above section depicts the PLC control circuit necessary for
the automatic irrigation system to function in accordance to some important parameters. The
final elements are the motor pumping and the indicator give voice or bell. State of the Relay is
controlled and determined by status of the three PLC inputs.

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Wollega University Business and Technology Incubation Center [2019]

3.2 Material required and description of block diagram

The materials we have used in our paper are different books, journals, and thesis and ongoing
researches in automatic irrigation system. From this we are going to select appropriate principle
operation of PLC programming, soil moisture sensor, dc relay, pressure sensor and water pump
based on their application in automatic irrigation system using soil moisture sensor.
The other material we have been using for our simulation is Siemens PLC/ logo software.

3.3 Description of each component

3.3.1 Sensor

A sensor is a device that converts a physical condition into an electrical signal form. For this
project we use soil moisture sensor (SMS) and water flow pressure sensor.

3.3.1.1 Soil Moisture Sensor

Soil moisture sensors measure the water content or humidity in soil. Measuring soil moisture is
important in agriculture to help farmers manage or increase their quality of the crop in irrigation
systems.

YL-69 moisture sensor

It sense soil moisture level and induce proportional electrical signal to moisture level available in
the soil which can be understandable to PLC.
A current is passed across the electrodes through the soil and the resistance to the current in the
soil determines the soil moisture. If the soil has more water resistance will be low and thus more

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Wollega University Business and Technology Incubation Center [2019]

current will pass through. On the other hand when the soil moisture is low the sensor module
outputs a high level of resistance.
Here the moisture level cab selected in accordance to the purpose of the automatic pumping
system. It can range 0-100% VWC. But, for sample; 0-26%VWC the lower moisture level where
the system require pumping water for irrigation i.e the pump should be hold in ON position and
above 26%VWC up to 100% VWC no need of watering of the irrigation i.e. the pump should be
hold in OFF position.

Figure 3.2 Soil moisture sensors (SMS)

3.3.1.2 Water flow pressure sensor

It detects pressure of the flowing water in the pipe of the pumping system and change in to
proportional electrical signal. For this project, YGX-PTS503 is selected. Because, it using
stainless steel integral component, the original imported elastic body, high precision strain gauge
and advanced technology, has the advantages of high sensitivity, stable performance, and good
shock resistance ability.

Figure 3.3 Water flow pressure sensor

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3.3.2 Relay

This is an electromagnetic switch which is activated when a current is applied to it. A relay uses
small currents to switch huge currents. Most relays use principle of electromagnetism to operate
but still other operating principles like solid state are also used.
A contactor is a type of relay which can handle a high power required to control an electric
motor or other loads directly.

Figure 3.4 VDC Coil Relay

3.3.3 Permanent magnet DC motor

For this project we have used PMDC (Permanent magnet DC motor) with rated voltage of 24V
DC supply from battery or regulated DC sources. A magnetic field in DC motor is created in the
stator by either of the following two means.
 Permanent magnet
 Electromagnetic winding
If the field is created by permanent magnet the motor is called permanent DC motor (PMDC)
and if it is created by electromagnetic windings, the motor is called wound DC motor. Today,
due to cost effectiveness and reliability, the PMDC motor is the motor of choice for applications
up to 3HP.

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Wollega University Business and Technology Incubation Center [2019]

3.3.4 Programmable logic controllers (PLC)

Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs), also referred to as programmable controllers, are in the
computer family. They are used in commercial and industrial applications. A PLC monitors
inputs such as soil moisture sensor and water flow pressure sensor to make decisions based on its
program, and controls outputs to automate the irrigation accordingly.

Figure 3.5 PLC operation block diagram

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Wollega University Business and Technology Incubation Center [2019]

3.3.5 Photovoltaic (PV)

Photovoltaic is the direct conversion of light into electricity at the atomic level to absorb photons
of light and release electrons. The PV panels generate electricity, which is then transferred to and
stored in the rechargeable batteries. The batteries provide power for the operation of the other
equipment.
Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems can be an attractive complementary energy source deployed
along side diesel pumps in areas with plenty of sunshine and where the cost to run power lines is
high.
Solar PV pumps are designed to operate on DC power produced by solar panels. These pumps
are gaining popularity all over the world, especially in the areas where electricity is either
unavailable or unreliable.

Figure 3.6 Different size of solar panel

3.3.6 PVC with Charge Controller

The electrical power generated from PVC will be used to charge the battery via charge
controller. Thus, the generated electrical power is stored in the battery for utilization in the desire
time of operation of the system components.

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Wollega University Business and Technology Incubation Center [2019]

3.4 Cost Estimation

Materials Quantity Model Cost(ETB birr)


Soil moisture sensor 3 YL-69/MAS-1 16500.00
Water flow Pressure sensor 1 YGX-PTS503 7500.00
Relay 5V 1 DC Relay 16500.00
Solar panel (PVC) 1 45000.00
DC Motor 1 PMDC 15000.00
PLC unit 1 Logo 12/24 RC 21000.00
Regulated power supply 1 7805 15500.00
Electrical wire (50m) 200m 2.5 diameter 5500.00
Battery 12V 1 14500.00
Sprays or Guns 3 12000.00
Water tube 50m 4000.00
Total cost (ETB birr) 173000.00

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Wollega University Business and Technology Incubation Center [2019]

REFERENCE

[1]. Rafael Munoz-Carpena and Michael D. Dukes, ʽʽ Automatic Irrigation Based on Soil
Moisture for Vegetable Crops,” (2001)
[2]. Pranita A. Bhosale,ʽʽ Water Saving-Irrigation Automatic Agricultural Controller,” (2004)
[3]. Deepak Kumar Roy, Murtaza H. Ansari, “Smart irrigation Control System,”
ʽʽInternationalJournal of Environmental Research and Development,” (2014)

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