Details of the Water Saving Irrigation Sensor

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Overview of the Water Saving Irrigation Sensor

I have designed the Water Saving Irrigation Sensor to control your irrigation system. It responds to changes in weather conditions in much the same way that plants do.

The Water Saving Irrigation Sensor (Figure 1) combines the principles of both a Pan Evaporimeter and a rain gauge. A Pan Evaporimeter is an instrument used to measure evaporation rates. Rain gauges are used to measure precipitation. Meteorologists and irrigators use both evaporation and precipitation rates to predict a plant or crop's need for water.

Figure 1

water saving irrigation sensor

The Water Saving Irrigation Sensor is a miniature version of a Pan Evaporimeter and a rain gauge combined into the same unit. It contains an electrical switch that operates in response to both changes in evaporation and precipitation.

The Water Saving Irrigation Sensor detects when the weather is cool and humid, when rain has fallen, or when irrigation has taken place. The Water Saving Irrigation Sensor then electrically disconnects your Automatic Landscape or Garden Irrigation Controller/Timer from the low-voltage electric irrigation solenoid valves. This safely interrupts the flow of electricity to the valves, stopping water from flowing to your garden.

When the Water Saving Irrigation Sensor detects that the plants need irrigation, it reconnects the power from the Automatic Landscape or Garden Irrigation Controller/Timer to the solenoid valves. This enables your irrigation controller's preprogrammed irrigation cycles to take place normally.

Both the watering frequency and the duration are fully adjustable.

Tests show, that the rate of evaporation of water from a free surface, is a reliable indicator of the rate at which plants use soil moisture.

How does the Water Saving Irrigation Sensor Work?

Referring to Figure 2. Rainfall or irrigation water landing on the adjustable Catchment Top flows down the Chutes and fills the Water Reservoir. The Water Reservoir is connected to the right-hand end of the Pivot Arm. The left-hand end of the Pivot Arm contains a Counter Weight.

The Pivot Arm rests on 2 Pivots. The right-hand pivot is adjustable. This sets the irrigation frequency.

Figure 2

water saving irrigation sensor
Figure 2. Water Saving Irrigation Sensor showing the Main Parts.

When the mass of water in the Water Reservoir is greater than the mass of the Counter Weight, the Pivot Arm tips down to the right. This operates a micro switch, breaking the electrical circuit and disabling further irrigation.

When the Pivot Arm tips down to the right, it also operates the Swiveling Chute directing any further water falling on the Catchment's Top away from the Water Reservoir. This ensures that once the Pivot Arm has tipped and disabled the irrigation, no further water will enter the Water Reservoir.

When a critical volume of water has evaporated from the Water Reservoir, the Pivot Arm tips down to the left and again operates the micro switch. This makes the electrical circuit, enabling irrigation.

The Catchment Top opening is adjustable. This controls the ratio between how much water enters the Water Reservoir compared to how much water is applied to your garden. An adjustable slide above the catchment is used to adjust the catchment's area. It is represented by dotted lines because it's position changes.

When using the Water Saving Irrigation Sensor, the watering cycle will be at its maximum frequency during hot dry weather. During cool, humid or rainy weather, the Water Saving Irrigation Sensor will delay irrigation cycles to the lowest frequency.

Rain and/or irrigation water replenishes the Water Reservoir and disables the irrigation system. Dry weather evaporates water from the Water Reservoir and enables the irrigation system.

Both the Pivots and the Catchment Top feature a wide range of adjustment. This makes the Water Saving Irrigation Sensor useful for a wide range of plant types and growing conditions, from indoor nurseries to large parks and gardens.

A lid covers the pivot arm and switch to weatherproof the unit. The switch is also housed in a box to keep it dry.

The arm stabilizer and a small v shape guide below the left hand pivot prevents the arm from being bumped out of place.

The Unit is constructed of durable stainless steel.

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