Whenever me and my family go for vacations, I used to get worried about my plants because they need water on regular basis. I gone through several options to solve this problem as plants need water according to the moisture level of soil. So I have made Automatic Plant Watering System Using Arduino UNO.
In this system, soil moisture sensor senses the moisture level of the soil. If soil will get dry then sensor senses low moisture level and automatically switches on the water pump to supply water to the plant. As plant get sufficient water and soil get wet then sensor senses enough moisture in soil. After which the water pump will automatically get stopped.
I have used a self made water pump in this system using 5 volt DC motor. I could use 12 volt water pump in the system but to operate this, it will require a relay module. So, to reduce all these hardware complexity, I made DC motor based water pump using diode, transistor and registers combined circuit which operates DC motor according to the Arduino code.
1. DC motor using water pump:
I use DC motor to make water pump. DC motor has two leads one is positive and another one is negative. If we connect them directly to the Arduino board then it will damage the board. To overcome this problem, NPN transistor is used to control the switching activity of the motor according to the code.
Arduino pin 13 (named as WATERPUMP in code) is used to turn on and off the transistor. According to the code to control the speed of the motor we need to enter a value between 0 and 255 in the Serial Monitor. I used 200 value for the speed of the motor.
2. Soil moisture sensor:
The soil moisture sensor consists of two leads that are used to measure volume of water content in soil. These leads allow the current to pass through the soil and in return calculates the resistance value to measure the moisture level. If there is more water in soil then soil will conduct more electricity, means less resistance value along with high level of moisture. In the same manner if there is less water in soil then soil will conduct less electricity, means high resistance value along with low level of moisture.
For updated version of this system please visit my blog ntb1learnngrow.blogspot.com