Mechanical And Electrical Layers

Sensor Board

Customizable Sensor Board

The housing itself is a generic piece that fits over the customizable sensor board. The board iteslf allows for virtually any type of data sensing for a multitude of applications.


Figure 1: Sensor Board

Controller Hardware

The DevKit is comprised of the following pieces of hardware:

Hardware Description
ADC converter 3 channel, one common ground, 1.8V pull up for each channel.
Battery Voltage Converter Battery voltage to analog input 1 of the AIRcable controller.
Flow Sensor Frequency to voltage converter, reference voltage for the sensor, analog output to analog input 2 of the AIRcable controller. Has a little turbine inside with magnets on the fan blades. The blades turn when water flows through which measures the amount of water passing through the pipe.
Heat Exchanger Does as the name states, exchanges heat, in this case, lowering the initial temperature of the water coming out of the main water tank before it continues on up to the solar tubing on the roof. This will only run if the Water Tank Temperature Sensor indicates that the water is too warm. When the Heat Exchanger is triggered, the heat is transferrred to an external source. In Figure 2, “Flow System,” on page 18, the Heat Exchanger triggers the pool pump to begin flowing water through the system in order to transfer the heat away from the solar cold water pipe.
Sensor: Light Sensing voltage from the solar cell to run the pump as well as to charge the battery in the controller.
Sensor: “overheat” The “overheat” sensor measures the water temperature after it passes through the heat exchanger on the solar cold water line. This is the water temperature that will go up on the roof into the solar panel. If the water is too hot to be allowed into the solar coils on the roof, it will trigger the Heat Exchanger to cool the water temerapture down further and transfer the heat onto another external source such as a pool.
Sensor: Solar Water Temperature Provides a temperature reading of the water after it has been heated through the solar tubing.
Sensor: Water Tank Temperature Provides a temperature reading of the water initially coming out of the water storage tank.
Switch for pump #1 New MOSFET switch with TTL level gate. This pump works off of full pressure house water supply. Note: Pump runs off of solar energy which means that the pump only runs when the solar panel is converting sunlight to energy.
Switch for pump #2 (pool: used in this case as an external place for transferring excess heat to) A low power pump using low pressure water from the external water source (the pool). Note: Pump runs only when the Heat Exchanger triggers it to run water in order to transfer heat away from the solar cold water pipe.


Flow System Basics

The flow system on its most basis level works in the following manner:

  1. Water from the storage tank is pumped out into the cold solar pipe.
  2. The water runs through a flow sensor which reads the amount of water flowing through the pipe
  3. Next, the water runs through a temperature sensor which reads the temperature of the water (storage tank temperature).
  4. Next, if necessary, the water runs through a heat exchanger which cools the water before entering the roof top (You do not want hot water running up to the solar coils).
  5. The water reaches the solar coils on the roof where the sun heats the water.
  6. This heated water from the solar coils goes through another temperature sensor which takes another reading (solar water temp).
  7. The heated water runs back down into the water storage tank.

Figure 2: Flow System

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