Introduction: Remote Solar Garden Watering System

Picture of Remote Solar Garden Watering System

This is my first instructable post, not sure if this will garner any interest, but if interested I'll post more details.

I decided to build something for the vegetable garden. I used a similar circuit from the LM317 datasheet to charge the battery. The solar panel is a 12v, but they usually run from 16v - 20v so the drop from the charging circuit isn't too bad.

The Solar panel charges the battery fairly well. The arduino monitors the moisture sensors and opens a solenoid to water the garden as needed. The arduino also controls some LEDs and monitors the nrf24l01.

Step 1: Inside Then Panel

Picture of Inside Then Panel

I usually build my own Arduino for projects like this. I opted to connect three moisture sensors, to three different zones in the garden, I first used the regular ones off ebay, but those deteriorated after a week. I decided to make my own with some nails, worked very well, and was pretty easy to do.

The Arduino draws the power off the battery through a 3.3v voltage regulator. The Arduino controls the solenoid by a darlington pair transistor.

Step 2: Wireless

Picture of Wireless

Yes, I added a remote control to the garden to trigger the solenoid at will, using two nrf24l01. I did that for two reasons. One, because I wanted to play with a transceiver module, and two, I have a cat that likes to use the garden too, and I wanted to change that behavior.


LYousefian (author)2016-09-19

Any chance you could post a list of materials you used? I would really appreciate it :)

vroyer (author)2016-03-08

any chance you could post some more details about your circuits?

swmalone (author)2015-07-07

My chicken coop is set up with just a 12v timer and SPDT switch and a few sensors. If I can actually find the diagram maybe I will try to put together my first instructable.

mdkemail (author)swmalone2015-07-08

You should do that, sounds like a sweet project. Up my way chicken coops are getting popular again.

swmalone (author)2015-07-07

This looks awesome. I sort of stumble through electronics projects. I built a solar powered chicken coop door, but I think I would have trouble figuring this one out without a lot more detail. What was your estimated cost putting all of this together?

mdkemail (author)swmalone2015-07-07

Thanks, my wife suggested I do something similar for the chicken coop too. we'll see, might need some advise on the. I plan on adding more detail, I'm traveling for business right now, but next week I should get a chance. Most of the stuff was just left over wood from other projects. The electronics, I can put something together, the solar panel was the most expensive, 47.00USD but now it's 57.00USD

Here is a link to the one I got off ebay. It's 20W more then I really needed, but I wanted to be sure. The rest I obtained through Newark, or ebay. With you can ask for samples, they are really good at giving out samples of passive components. I'll update more when I get back. cheers

DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)2015-07-05

This is way better than running extension cords to power it.

Only took once, running over one with a mower to learn that :P

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