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New irrigation electrical control technologies could improve irrigation efficiency, promoting water conservation and reducing the environmental impacts. The objectives of this project were to avoid wastage of water and increase irrigation efficiency by using a PLC based irrigation system with the help of soil moisture sensor. It also improves the traditional irrigation system in Ethiopia enabling the irrigation system to have high efficiency and low water usage.The existing irrigation system being tedious, time consuming and very wasteful in water usage. The PLC based sprinkler irrigation system gives the best feature than the traditional one.

In order to successfully accomplish our senior project on PLC based automation of irrigation system with case study on ADAMA UNIVERSITY garden watering system the help of many people was very important and unforgettable. So our kind and deep appreciation and thanks goes to our adviser Ato KEMAL IBRAHIM for his advice, spending his golden time, knowledge and bringing materials from different concerned bodies for the success of this project. Our next thanks goes to M/r WOLFGANG, chief of GTZ/ECBP further training section, and all his subordinates for their endless support and attempt to help us with any regards in their disposal. We would like to tank AU water supply section and wood work sections for their kindly cooperation and patience. Finally we would like to thanks all the teachers in ELT department

Table of contents Page Acknowledgement Abstract

1. Introduction. 1.1 Background of the project.. 1.2 Statement of the problem 1.3 Objective of the Project. 1.4 Scope of the Project 2. Description 2.1 Programmable Logic Controller (PLC)... 2.1.1 History of PLC 2.1.2 Basic functional sections of PLC. 2.1.3 Expansion module 2.1.4 Programming a PLC 2.1.5 PLC scan cycle. 2.1.6 Advantage of PLC.. 2.2 Solenoid valve.. 2.2.1 Definition. 2.2.2 Function 2.2.3 Operation principle.... 2.2.4 Types of solenoid valve. 2.3 Soil moisture sensor... 2.3.1 Types of soil moisture sensor 2.4 Soil moisture sensor installation 2.5 Level sensor 2.5.1 Definition.. 2.5.2 Types of level sensor 2.5.3 Application of level sensor 2.6 Description of the project 2.6.1 Design .. 2.6.2 Implementation 2.6.3 Test 3. .Resources 4. Conclusion 5. Recommendation 6. References 6.1 Appendix

1.1 Background of the project Irrigation in Ethiopia has lasted for decades. Ethiopia covers 12 river basins with an annual runoff volume of 122 billion m3 of water with an estimated 2.6 billion m3 of ground water potential. This amounts to 1743 m3 of water per person per year: a relatively large volume. But due to lack of water storage capacity and large spatial and temporal variations in rainfall, there is not enough water for most farmers to produce more than one crop per year with frequent crop failures due to dry spells and droughts. Moreover, there is significant erosion, reducing the productivity of farmland. [Awulachew] So irrigation being compulsory for Ethiopia; the government has recognized Ethiopias irrigation potential and has identified the important role of irrigation development for reducing vulnerability to inconsistent rain fall distribution and poverty reduction of the people. Traditional irrigation is very old in Ethiopia. The traditional small-scale schemes are, in general, simple river diversions. The diversion structures are elementary and subject to frequent damage by flood. 'Modern' irrigation was started at the beginning of the 1960s by private investors in the middle Awash valley where big sugar estates, fruit and cotton farms are found. With the 1975 rural land proclamation, the large irrigated farms were placed under the responsibility of the Ministry of State Farms. Almost all small-scale irrigation schemes built after 1975 were made into Producers' Cooperatives. [] Ethiopia has an estimated irrigation potential of 3.5 up to 4 million hectares (Awulachew et al. 2007b). During 2005/2006 the total estimated area of irrigated

agriculture in the country was 625,819 ha, which, in total, constitutes about 18% of the potential (MoWR 2006); of which traditional irrigation accounts for 479,049 hectares while 124,569 hectares of land was developed through medium and large scale irrigation schemes ( MoFED, 2007).

According to the Ministry of Water Resource (2002), there are four broad categories of irrigation systems in Ethiopia, namely; (i) traditional irrigation schemes; (ii) modern small-scale irrigation schemes, (iii) medium- to large-sc irrigation schemes, and (iv) large scale irrigation schemes. About 75 percent of the developed irrigation is small-scale, about three-quarters of which is traditional, and is mostly based on local practices and indigenous knowledge. Given that the overwhelming majority of farming activities in Ethiopia is small-scale, there could be a unique opportunity for positive interventions to stimulate agricultural production, especially if certain fundamental conditions are met. Experience in many parts of SSA has shown that with adequate community involvement in planning, design and management, SSIs can be more viable and sustainable than conventional largescale schemes from a number of perspectives (Merry et al., 2002). Sprinkler Irrigation is a method of supplying water for irrigation in a method similar to rainfall. Water is distributed through a network of pipes spread out on a field. The water from these pipes into the air and so irrigates the entire soil surface through many sprinkler heads. Sprinklers provide better coverage for small to large areas and are suitable for use on all types of fields. Total area to be irrigated is divided into small segments called irrigation blocks or zones and these zones are irrigated in sequence according to the flow of water. It is also adaptable nearly to all irrigable soils since sprinklers are available in a wide range of discharge capacity. It is suitable for almost all fields, crops as well as Vegetables and gardens: Residential, Industrial, Hotel, Resorts, Public & Government Enterprises, Golf Links, Race Courses. Water is a valuable resource and therefore its usage should be in an efficient manner. Also, water scarcity is one of the most important factors driving growth in agriculturebased industries in our country Ethiopia. For efficient use of water for irrigation, labor cost, etc., drives the need for highly efficient automated sprinkler irrigation systems. Automated sprinkler system has the following categories (a)Time based system. Time based automatic sprinkler systems is better to avoid being bothered with the routine work of lawn watering, but tend to set them and forget them. This method of

watering accomplishes the task of keeping the lawn green, but over the growing season uses significantly more water than the grass requires. This problem contribute to water waste and are not often fixed because the lawn is unnoticed moist most of the time. (b) Quantity based system. In volume based system, the preset amount of water can be applied in the field segments by using automatic volume controlled metering valves. Sequencing of metering values can also be done automatically. Even though the amount of water applied can be excess because the discharging of the moisture may vary in time. (c) Moisture sensor based system In the moisture sensing system the operation of irrigation valves are controlled by a controller get values from the moisture sensors placed directly in to the root zone. If there is sufficient moisture, then the sensor will prevent the sprinkler system from activating and applying water. However, if it senses that the soil is dry, it allows irrigation to take place.

Automatic sprinkler systems have the potential to save water if they are well designed, installed and maintained and it will give a great advantage for the owners and workers.[ Brent Q. Mecham] So, our project is a PLC based sprinkler irrigation system using moisture sensor which can give the best feature in giving effective watering and intense satisfaction of job well-done to bring an irrigation development in our country Ethiopia.

1.2 Statement of the problem

Irrigation system has lasted years in Ethiopia which is traditional. Farmers are traditionally accustomed to directing flood (surface) water for supplementing their crops (spate irrigation).These irrigation systems have many drawbacks like wastage of water, high labor cost, timing problem, uniformity of water supply, so that each plant will not get the amount of water it needs, either too much or too little. Since the system is uncontrolled the soil is soaked too much .These systems have low requirements for infrastructure and technical equipment but need high labor inputs . So our project

comes up with a remedy to solve the above problem with high efficiency and low water usage.

1.3 Objective of the Project

The general objective of the project is to design automated control system sprinkler irrigation for the development of irrigation in our country.

Specific objective of the study are: 1. To design and implement a control system of sprinkler system for a Garden of Adama University 2. To minimize human intervention in agricultural irrigation industry . 3. To improve automation, control, and distribution technology in irrigation system. 4. To increase irrigation water utilization efficiency. 5. To enhance the transfer of irrigation technologies and management alternatives emphasizing economic and environmental benefits. 1.4. Scope of the project Sprinkler irrigation system in this project takes water from Adama University of the existing garden water tap to irrigate a garden by automated control system and the principle can be extended to a higher to large scale farms and small scale ETHIOPIAN farmers land irrigation for farmers specially who live in a place where water is very scares and water can be stored in well and/or there is another water body like lake, river, .etc but not suitable to surface irrigation system with the same control philosophy but pump- motor assembly instead of water tap with solenoid valve. 2. Project description In working principle of automatic irrigation system there are three in put parameters to the controller: 1. Soil moisture sensor signal. 2. Water balancing tank level signal.

3. Four push button signal. The controller is programmable logic controller and the controlled variable in this system is electrically controlled solenoid valve mounted on tap end. The final elements are the PVC pipes and the sprinkler heads.

State of the valve is controlled and determined by statuses of the three PLC inputs, 1. The two moisture sensors are installed at two different depths under the plant root. The shallow moisture sensor is installed at 1/3 of the rooting depth to sense the moisture at 1/3 of the depth .The second moisture sensor installed at 2/3 of the rooting depth of the plant to senses wetness. When the system starts the irrigation the shallow moisture sensor senses first and irrigation continued until the second moisture senses. At this point the controller takes an action and the main valve will be closed. 2. The second input is a water level sensor in the balancing water tanker. When defective sprinkler head or any other problem clog the irrigation pipe network develops high pressure. The pressurized water is stored as a relief inside a balancing water tanker placed at elevated palace and its water level is detected by the level sensor to take action by the controller to avoid the over flow of water. So when the water in the balancing tank reaches at a pre determined set point it closes or opens solenoid valve accordingly. 3. Other inputs are start, stop, emergency stop and test buttons which send command according to programmed parameters. These input parameters to the controller sets high whenever the user want to start, stop and test the irrigation system irrespective of the status of the level sensor in the balancing tank and status of moisture sensors in the root zone of the plant.

Programmable logic controllers (PLC) A PROGRAMMABLE LOGIC CONTROLLER is a solid state control system that continuously monitors the status of devices connected as inputs. Based upon a user written program, stored in memory, it controls the status of devices connected as outputs.

History of PLC The development of the industrial society led each manufacturing process to become larger in scale, and more advanced and complex, requiring many different forms of control systems. Up to now, control systems for automation were connected to related electronic components, such as relay, contractor, timer, counter, etc, depending on the circuit layout, which led to problems such as difficulty in the lining process and the amount of space for sequence control, and the slow of operation. Recognizing these problems, in 1968, General Motors, the American automobile manufacturer, suggested 10 conditions for PLC, as shown in, which became the starting point of PLC development. The chart is a brief history of PLC.

10 conditions suggested by General Motors (1) Should be easy to implement and modify program and sequence system. (2) Maintenance and repair must be easy and must be a plug-in type. (3) Should be more reliable than relay controller. (4) Output should be able to be connected to computer. (5) Should be smaller in size than relay controller. (6) Should be more cost effective than relay controller. (7) Input should be supplied with AC 115[V]. (8) Output should be supplied with AC 115[V], 2[A]. (9) Should be expendable without making much modification of the entire system. (10) Should be equipped with programmable memory, which is expandable to at least 4K words.

History of PLC Year 1968 1970 Progress The birth of the concept of PLC Introduction of logic control, 1K memory capacity and 128 I/O score handling 1974 Timer, counter, arithmetic operation, 12K memory capacity, and 1024I/O score handling 1976 1977 1980 Introduction of remote I/O system (first standard created by the US) Introduction of microprocessor PLC Introduction of high performance I/O module, high performance communication device high functional software; started to use

microcomputer as programming tool 1983 1985 Introduction of inexpensive small-size PLC Standardization, distributed and hierarchical control made possible by networking with computer 1991 Fuzzy logic implemented by fuzzy only package

Basic functional sections of PLC Programmable logic controller has five basic functional sections to perform its intended operation completely. These functional sections are: 1. Central processing unit (CPU). 2. Memory. 3. Input module. 4. Output module. 5. Power system.

Central processing unit Central Processing Unit (CPU) is the brain of a PLC controller. CPU itself is usually one of the microcontrollers. Aforetime these were 8-bit microcontrollers such as 8051, and now these are 16- and 32-bit microcontrollers. CPU also takes care of communication, interconnectedness among other parts of PLC controller, program execution, memory operation, overseeing input and setting up of an output. PLC controllers have complex routines for memory checkup in order to ensure that PLC memory was not damaged (memory checkup is done for safety reasons). Generally speaking, CPU unit makes a great number of check-ups of the PLC controller itself so eventual errors would be discovered early. You can simply look at any PLC controller and see that there are several indicators in the form of light diodes for error signalization. Memory

System memory, today mostly implemented in FLASH technology, is used by a PLC for a process control system. Aside from this operating system it also contains a user

program translated from a ladder diagram to a binary form. FLASH memory contents can be changed only in case where user program is being changed. PLC controllers were used earlier instead of FLASH memory and have had EPROM memory instead of FLASH memory which had to be erased with UV lamp and programmed on programmers. With the use of FLASH technology this process was greatly shortened. Reprogramming a program memory is done through a serial cable in a program for application development.




divided into blocks having special functions. Some parts of a memory are used for storing input and output status. The real status of an input is stored either as "1" or as "0" in a specific memory bit.

Each input or output has one corresponding bit in memory. Other parts of memory are used to store variable contents for variables used in user program. For example, timer value, or counter value would be stored in this part of the memory.

PLC controller inputs

Intelligence of an automated system depends largely on the ability of a PLC controller to read signals from different types of sensors and input devices. Keys, keyboards and by functional switches are a basis for man versus machine relationship. On the other hand, in order to detect a working piece, view a mechanism in motion, check pressure or fluid level you need specific automatic devices such as proximity sensors, marginal switches, photoelectric sensors, level sensors, etc. Thus, input signals can be logical (on/off) or analogue. Smaller PLC controllers usually have only digital input lines while larger also accept analogue inputs through special units attached to PLC controller. One of the most frequent analogue signals are a current signal of 4 to 20 mA and milivolt voltage signal generated by various sensors. Sensors are usually used as inputs for PLCs. You can obtain sensors for different purposes. They can sense presence of some parts, measure temperature, pressure, or some other physical dimension.

Other devices also can serve as inputs to PLC controller. Intelligent devices such as robots, video systems, etc. often are capable of sending signals to PLC controller input modules (robot, for instance, can send a signal to PLC controller input as information














Adjustment interface also called an interface is placed between input lines and a CPU unit. The purpose of adjustment interface to protect a CPU from disproportionate signals from an outside world. Input adjustment module turns a level of real logic to a level that suits CPU unit (ex. input from a sensor which works on 24 VDC must be converted to a signal of 5 VDC in order for a CPU to be able to process it). This is typically done through opto-isolation, and this function you can view in the following picture. Optoisolation means that there is no electrical connection between external world and CPU unit. They are "optically" separated, or in other words, signal is transmitted through light. The way this works is simple. External device brings a signal which turns LED on, whose light in turn incites photo transistor which in turn starts conducting, and a CPU sees this as logic zero (supply between collector and transmitter falls under 1V). When input signal stops LED diode turns off, transistor stops conducting, collector voltage increases, and CPU receives logic 1 as information.

2.6 PLC controller output

Automated system is incomplete if it is not connected with some output devices. Some of the most frequently used devices are motors, solenoids, relays, indicators, sound signalization and similar. By starting a motor, or a relay, PLC can manage or control a simple system such as system for sorting products all the way up to complex systems such as service system for positioning head of CNC machine. Output can be of analogue or digital type. Digital output signal works as a switch; it connects and disconnects line. Analogue output is used to generate the analogue signal (ex. motor whose speed is controlled by a voltage that corresponds to a desired speed).

Output interface is similar to input interface. CPU brings a signal to LED diode and turns it on. Light incites a photo transistor which begins to conduct electricity, and thus the voltage between collector and emitter falls to 0.7V, and a device attached to this output sees this as a logic zero. Inversely it means that a signal at the output exists and is interpreted as logic one. Photo transistor is not directly connected to a PLC controller output. Between photo transistor and an output usually there is a relay or a stronger transistor capable of interrupting stronger signals.

Power supply

Electrical supply is used in bringing electrical energy to central processing unit. Most PLC controllers work either at 24 VDC or 220 VAC. On some PLC controllers you'll find electrical supply as a separate module. Those are usually bigger PLC controllers, while small and medium series already contain the supply module. User has to determine how much current to take from I/O module to ensure that electrical supply provides appropriate amount of current. Different types of modules use different amounts of

electrical current.

This electrical supply is usually not used to start external inputs or outputs. User has to provide separate supplies in starting PLC controller inputs or outputs because then you can ensure so called "pure" supply for the PLC controller. With pure supply we mean supply where industrial environment can not affect it damagingly. Some of the smaller

PLC controllers supply their inputs with voltage from a small supply source already incorporated into a PLC.

Extension modules Every PLC controller has a limited number of input/output lines. If needed this number can be increased through certain additional modules by system extension through extension lines. Each module can contain extension both of input and output lines. Also, extension modules can have inputs and outputs of a different nature from those on the PLC controller (ex. in case relay outputs are on a controller, transistor outputs can be on an extension module).

Programming a PLC controller PLC controller can be reprogrammed through a computer (usual way), but also through manual programmers (consoles). This practically means that each PLC controller can programmed through a computer if you have the software needed for programming. Today's transmission computers are ideal for reprogramming a PLC controller in factory itself. This is of great importance to industry. Once the system is corrected, it is also important to read the right program into a PLC again. It is also good to check from time to time whether program in a PLC has not changed. This helps to avoid hazardous situations in factory rooms (some automakers have established communication networks which regularly check programs in PLC controllers to ensure execution only of good programs).

Almost every program for programming a PLC controller possesses various useful options such as: forced switching on and off of the system inputs/outputs (I/O lines), program follow up in real time as well as documenting a diagram. This documenting is necessary to understand and define failures and malfunctions. Programmer can add remarks, names of input or output devices, and comments that can be useful when finding errors, or with system maintenance. Adding comments and remarks enables any technician (and not just a person who developed the system) to understand a ladder

diagram right away. Comments and remarks can even quote precisely part numbers if replacements would be needed. This would speed up a repair of any problems that come up due to bad parts. The old way was such that a person who developed a system had protection on the program, so nobody aside from this person could understand how it was done. Correctly documented ladder diagram allows any technician to understand thoroughly how system functions by communicating the programmer, computer, with the controller by means of RS 232 communication cable.

The following figure show price and functionality comparision of controllers.

PLC Scan Cycle

Self test | input scan |logic solve |output scan |Self test| input scan| logic solve |output scan | Self test | input scan |logic solve

One scan cycle ranges from <1 to 100 ms are possible time. SELF TEST

Checks to see if all cards error free, reset watch-dog timer, etc. (A watchdog timer will cause an error, and shut down the PLC if not reset within a short period of time - this would indicate that the ladder logic is not being scanned normally).


Reads input values from the chips in the input cards, and copies their values to memory. This makes the PLC operation faster, and avoids cases where an input changes from the start to the end of the program (e.g., an emergency stop). There are special PLC functions that read the inputs directly, and avoid the input tables. LOGIC SOLVE/SCAN

Based on the input table in memory, the program is executed 1 step at a time, and outputs are updated. Ladder logic programs are modeled after relay logic. In relay logic each element in the ladder will switch as quickly as possible. But in a program elements can only be examines one at a time in a fixed sequence. Consider the ladder logic, in the ladder logic will be interpreted left-to-right, top-to-bottom. Ladder logic scan begins at the top left rung and ends at bottom right of the rung. OUTPUT SCAN

The output table is copied from memory to the output chips. These chips then drive the output devices. Plc operation input scan takes a snapshot of the inputs, and solves the logic. This prevents potential problems that might occur if an input that is used in multiple places in the ladder logic program changed while half way through a ladder scans. Thus changing the behaviors of half of the ladder logic program. This problem could have severe effects on complex programs. One side effect of the input scan is that if a change in input is too short in duration, it might fall between input scans and be missed.




During its scan operation, the CPU completes three processes: (1) It reads the input data from the field devices via the input interfaces, (2) It executes, or performs, the control program stored in the memory system, and (3) It writes, or updates, the output devices via the output interfaces.

This process of sequentially reading the inputs, executing the program in memory, and updating the outputs is known as scanning. The input/output system forms the interface by which field devices are connected to the controller. The main purpose of the interface is to condition the various signals received from or sent to external field devices. Incoming signals from sensors (e.g., push buttons, limit switches, analog sensors, selector switches, and thumbwheel switches) are wired to terminals on the input interfaces. Devices that will be controlled, like motor starters, solenoid valves, pilot lights, and position valves, are connected to the terminals of the output interfaces.

3.14 Advantages of PLCS     The same programmable controller can be used for a very wide range of tasks. The program can be changed without changing the wiring. Once the program is created, we can copy it as many times as we like if a number of similar controllers are required. The program is the circuit diagram at the same time we can just connect up to a printer and output date documentation after each program change without technical drawing and without technical error. PLCS are economical even for applications that would otherwise need only five or ten contactors and timing relays.

Description of system operation


Emergency stop Start Button

Tank valve
Main valve Dry display Pipe Network

Sprink ler

display Moister sensor 1

Moister sensor 2 High Level sensor Low Level sensor Test button


Saturated display Need watering display Tank full display Manual Bypass Valve

Fig 1.Block diagram of the system

The system has seven inputs these are: Emergency stop button  Start button  Two moisture sensors, M1 (shallow soil moisture sensor), M2 (deep soil moisture).  Two level sensors, LL (low level sensor), HL (high level sensor).  Test button  The system has also six out puts: Main solenoid valve.  Tank solenoid valve.  Dry display.  Saturated display.  Tank full display.  Need watering display. 1. Condition to start the main valve The main valve will turned on if either of the following condition is satisfied.  Start button is pressed and both moisture &level sensors must not sense.

 If the valve is closed at the middle of the operation due to the statues of the level sensors that means if the balancing tanker high level sensor sense water main vale will be closed ,the main valve will be open if the following conditions are fulfilled: Moisture sensor 1 sense &moisture sensor 2 will not sense, both level sensors will not sense. 1. To turn off the main valve either of the following condition must be satisfied. y Or y Or y Or y Button is pressed. Emergency is pressed. Both moisture sensors sense soil moisture in the garden. Both level sensors sense water in the balancing tank.

2. The tank valve is open y When start button is pressed and it will be open until soil moisture sensor 2 senses. 3. The tank valve is closed y When soil moisture sensor 2 sense, or emergency stop button is press, or stop button is pressed. The program has real time displays which indicate the status of the system operation. 4. Dry will be displayed y When both soil moisture sensors do not sense moisture.

5. Saturated will be displayed y When both soil moisture sensors sense moisture.

6. Need watering will be displayed y When soil moisture sensor 1 sense but soil moisture sensor 2 will not sense. 7. Tank full will display

When both water level sensors sense water in the balancing tank.

8. The system has additional feature to operate the main valve manually if the system fails to operate the normal operation due to electrical power cut off or/and mechanical failures.

Solenoid valve Definition Solenoid control valves are electromagnetic valves that are used with both gas and liquid are controlled by the starting and stopping of electrical current through a solenoid. A solenoid is the coil in a wire that changes the state of the value. Solenoid control valves dictate the flow of water or air, and are used in fluidics. Fluidics uses fluid to perform both digital and analog operations. Solenoid valves may have two or more ports: in the case of a two-port valve the flow is switched on or off; in the case of a three-port valve, the outflow is switched between the two outlet ports. The inlet(s) and outlet(s) are also known as "ports." Function Solenoid control valves are broken up into two main parts; they are the solenoid and the valves. The solenoid works to convert electrical energy into mechanical energy. This

allows the valves to open and control mechanically. Solenoid control valves have metal seals that allow the electrical interfaces to be easily controlled. When the valves are not activated, a spring is used to hold the valve open or closed. Operation Principle of solenoid valve A solenoid valve is an electromechanical valve that is controlled by an electric current. An electrical source can be either 220v AC or 24v DC. The electric current runs through a solenoid, which is a wire coil wrapped around a metallic core. A solenoid creates a controlled magnetic field when an electrical current is passed through it. This magnetic field affects the state of the solenoid valve, causing the valve to open or close.

Each of the two ports on a two way valve is alternately used to permit flow as well as close it off. A two way valve can be specified to be either Normally Open" or Normally Closed in its operation. With a normally open valve, the valve remains open until some type of current is applied to close the valve. Suspension of the electrical power causes the valve to automatically re-open to its normal state. A normally closed solenoid valve is the most common, working in the opposite fashion, remaining closed until a power source causes it to open. Three way valves come with three ports. Three way valves are commonly used when alternate pressure and exhaustive pressure are required for operation, such as in a coffee machine or dishwasher. Type of solenoid valve All solenoid valves, no matter the design, are specified to be one of two general types: either a direct acting valve or a pilot operated valves.

Direct Acting Valves In a direct-acting solenoid valve, a coil magnetically opens the valve in a direct action, lifting the shaft and the seat of the valve without depending on outside pressure. Pilot-Operated Valves In pilot-operated valves, the plunger opens up the pilot opening while built-up pressure causes the valve to open and close. Although piloted valves require less electrical energy to operate, they usually need to maintain full power in order to remain in an open state, and they perform at a slower rate than direct acting solenoids. Direct acting solenoid valves only need full power when opening the valve, as they can hold their open position even when operating on low power. Application of solenoid valve Solenoid valves are used to transport gases or liquids and have a wide variety of applications; including automatic irrigation sprinkler systems use solenoid valves with an automatic controller and industrial uses Solenoids offer fast and safe switching, high reliability, long service life, good medium compatibility of the materials used, low control power and compact design. I n s t a l la t i o n a n d S e r v i c i n g I n s t r u c t i o n s To insure peak performance, solenoid valves must be selected and applied correctly; however, proper installation procedures are equally important. The following instructions list the essential points for correct installation.

Soil moisture sensors Definition Soil moisture sensors measure the water content in soil. Measuring soil moisture is important in agriculture to help farmers manage their irrigation systems more efficiently. Not only are farmers able to generally use less water to grow a crop, they are able to increase yields and the quality of the crop by better management of soil moisture during critical plant growth stages.

Besides agriculture, there are many other disciplines using soil moisture sensors. Golf courses are now using sensors to increase the efficiencies of their irrigation systems to prevent over watering and leaching of fertilizers and other chemicals offsite. Connecting a soil moisture sensor to a simple irrigation clock will convert it into a "smart" irrigation controller that prevents an irrigation cycle when the soil is wet. Moisture Sensor usage in urban landscape irrigation will only increase over the next decade.

Types of moisture sensors 1. Capacitive moisture sensor 2. Pressure (tension meter) moisture sensor 3. Resistive moisture sensor 4. Electrical conductivity probes moisture sensor

1. Capacitive moisture sensor Capacitance sensors contain two electrodes separated by a dielectric. The electrodes are inserted into the soil or in an access tube in the soil and the

Soil becomes part of the dielectric.

Most soil moisture sensors are designed to estimate soil volumetric water content based on the dielectric constant (soil bulk permittivity) of the soil. The dielectric constant can be thought of as the soil's ability to transmit electricity. The dielectric constant of soil increases as the water content of the soil increases. This response is due to the fact that the dielectric constant of water is much larger than the other soil components, including air. Thus, measurement of the dielectric constant gives a predictable estimation of water content. A very high oscillating frequency is applied to the electrodes, which results in a resonant frequency, the value of which depends upon the dielectric constant of the soil. The moisture content of the soil will change the dielectric constant of the soil; therefore more moisture in the soil will change the frequency. This change is converted into a soil moisture measurement. This technology is very complex and quite expensive, but seems to provide high accuracy.

Disadvantages: y y Long-term stability questionable Costly

Advantages: y y y y y Theoretically, can provide absolute soil water content Water content can be determined at any depth Sensor configuration can vary in size so sphere of influence or measurement is adjustable Relatively high level of precision when ionic concentration of soil does not change Can be read by remote methods

2. Pressure (tensionmeter) moisture sensor Tensiometers measure the soil moisture tension or suction. This device is a Plastic tube with a porous ceramic tip attached at one end and a vacuum gauge on the other end. The porous ceramic tip is installed into the soil at the depth where the majority of the active root system is located. The vacuum gauge measures the soil moisture tension or suction. It measures how much effort the roots must put forth to extract water from the soil and is measured in cent bars. The higher the reading, the less moisture that is available and the harder roots must work to extract water. A lower reading indicates more available water. A tensiometer can be used to take manual readings or a special model can be installed to provide the capability for the tensiometer to be wired into the sprinkler system to provide control. Also the tensiometer needs routine maintenance to make sure enough liquid is in the tensiometer and that it hasnt broken tension because the soil has separated away from the ceramic tip. In climates where the ground freezes, tensiometers must be removed and stored for the winter months and re installed the following yea


1. Recommendation for irrigation policy develops with the tensiometers. 2. Inexpensive and easily constructed Works well in the saturated range 3. Easy to install and maintain 4. Operates for long periods if properly maintained 5. Can be adapted to automatic measurement with pressure transducers 6. Can be used with positive or negative gauge to real water table elevation and/or

Soil water tension Disadvantages: 1. Limit range of 0 to -0.8 bars not adequate for sandy soil. 2. Difficult to translate data to volume water content Hysteresis 3. Requires regular (weekly or daily) maintenance measurements 4. Subject to breakage during installation and cultural practices 5. Automated systems costly and not electronically stable 6. Disturbs soil above measurement point and can allow infiltration of irrigation water or rainfall along its stem depending on range of

3. Resistive moisture sensor (general) Description:

Electromagnetic techniques include methods that depend upon the effect of moisture on the electrical properties of soil. Soil resistivity depends on moisture content; hence it can serve as the basis for a sensor. It is possible either to measure the resistivity between electrodes in a soil or to measure the resistivity of a gypsum block is that the calibration changes gradually with time, limiting the life of the block
Resistive Sensor (Gypsum)
1. Description:

One of the most common methods of estimating matric potential is with gypsum or porous blocks. The device consists of a porous block containing two electrodes connected to a wire lead. The porous block is made of gypsum or fiberglass. When the device is buried in the soil, water will move in or out of the block until the matric potential of the block and the soil are the same. The electrical conductivity of the block is then read with an alternating current bridge. A

calibration curve is made to relate electrical conductivity to the matric potential for any particular soil. Using a porous electrical resistance block system offers the advantage of low cost and the possibility of measuring the same location in the field throughout the season. The blocks function over the entire range of soil water availability. The disadvantage of the porous block system is that each block has somewhat different characteristics and must be individually calibrated. The main disadvantage of the Electrical resistance blocks measure soil moisture tension with two electrodes embedded in a porous material such as gypsum, or a sand-ceramic mixture. The block allows moisture to move in and out of it as the soil dries or becomes moist. The electrodes measure the resistance to electric current when electrical energy is applied. The more moisture in the block, the lower the resistance reading indicating more available moisture. The blocks use gypsum or similar material to be a buffer against salts (such as fertilizer) that would also affect resistance readings. The sensors using a granular matrix seem to work well and last for a longer time as compared to gypsum blocks.


y y y y

Each block requires individual calibration Calibration changes with time Life of device limited Provides inaccurate measurements

5. Advantages: Inexpensive

4. Electrical conductivity probes Measure soil moisture in the soil by how well a current of electricity is passed between two probes. In many ways the concept is similar to resistance blocks but the probes (electrodes) have direct contact with the soil and are not buffered as in resistance blocks. The more moisture in the soil the better the conductivity or the lower the electrical resistance. This method is very sensitive to the spacing of the probes as well as being influenced by soil type and salts that come primarily in the form of fertilizers

For our project we select Electrical conductivity probe type moisture sensor. This it is easily designed from the

type of moisture sensor works when electric current pass through the two probes or when it conducts. We select this sensor because

materials that we have. It start to conduct when the resistance value reduces from infinity to 6k.. At this value it start to conduct and the controller takes an action. The controller conceders the value from infinity to six kilo ohm as low (open) and from six to zero resistance it conceders as high (closed). The sensors installed with 5cm separation and a depth of 8cm to 12cm depending on the type of the soil(sandy loam). This type of sensor has the following benefits, features, and applications which is summarized as a table below.



y y y y y y y y y

y y

y y

Instantly measure soil moisture, electrical conductivity/salinity, and more Optimize soil analysis and irrigation Enables measurement of native (undisturbed) soil Low risk: 10 years of field-proven science Measure flow and movement of the wetting front through a soil profile Performs well in high-salinity soils Review real-time soil data and trends from the office

y y y

y y

Instantaneous sensor response time Serial addressable: multiple units on one cable Maintenance-free No calibration for mineral soils Compatible with most data logging systems Digital or analog output Compact & rugged for years of in-soil use

Long/short-term soil monitoring Spot checking of soil Golf & sports grass field management Precision agriculture Geotechnical measurement Weather/climate studies Agriculture research Soil & ground water remediation Flood control forecasting

Soil moisture sensor Installation To begin, sensor placement is very critical for proper function of soil moisture sensors. The sensor should be placed in a typical spot of the land. It shouldnt be the wettest spot since it would inhibit the sprinklers from coming on and if it is in the driest spot, then the sprinklers would be allowed to water too frequently. Choosing the representative spot requires good site observations. The sensor should be in the middle of the sprinkler pattern. Usually the sprinkler zone with the soil moisture sensor will need to be wired into the controller as the last sprinkler zone. The sensors typically are installed or wired to interrupt the common wire going to each of the valves of the system to permit irrigation. How the sensor is actually placed in the soil takes care and planning. For the sensor to work the best, the soil around the sensor needs to be representative of the soil for the whole site. After an installation hole is dug, some sensors can be easily installed into undisturbed soil. This is the best because achieving the same bulk density of disturbed soil may take weeks or months of time. Otherwise the sensor will be placed in a situation where the disturbed soil will be replaced into the hole and tamped or compacted or watered in a way that will make it different than the surrounding soil. This difference will affect how well the sensor is sensing the soil moisture that is supposed to be representative. For almost all soil moisture sensors, new wires will need to be installed from the sensor location to the irrigation controller. This effort may take substantial time effort and expense to achieve. But this will be necessary if only one sensor will be used for the entire sprinkler system. Many times the cost of installing the additional wires will be more than the sensor and its controls. If a new sprinkler system is being installed, run additional wires from the field to the controller. The cost of doing this is minimal and allows flexibility for the future. Usually five correctly sized wires will be sufficient for even the more complicated sensors. Another option would be to place a sensor and its control at each zone in the system. This is a good alternative when valves are spaced far apart and eachsensor is only for a particular zone.

Installation is easier, but costs increase because of the total number of sensors being used. Where the sensor is placed in the root zone is also critical. Ideally the sensor should be where the majority of feeder roots are growing. Typically the sensor will be about 4-6 inches for grass. Again it is very important to place the sensor properly to gain the best benefit for controlling irrigation. Another often overlooked aspect is to make quality water-proof wire connections. If more wire is needed than supplied by the manufacturer, make sure it is approved for underground burial. Level sensor Definition Level sensors are used to determine the water level which is contained in the tank. A means of measuring the level of water in the tank sensors. Level sensors may be categorized in several ways. One way is to determine if the level is to be measured at a given set point, or if it's to be measured continuously from minimum to maximum. The sensor that determines the level at a single point is called a point-contact sensor, and the sensor that measures the level from minimum to maximum is called a continuous level sensor. The substance to be measured can be inside a container or can be in its natural form (e.g. a river or a lake). There are many physical and application variables that affect the selection of the optimal level monitoring method for industrial and commercial processes. The selection criteria include the physical: phase (liquid, solid or slurry), temperature, pressure or vacuum, chemistry, dielectric constant of medium, density (specific gravity) of medium, agitation, acoustical or electrical noise, vibration, mechanical shock, tank or bin size and shape. Also important are the application constraints: price, accuracy, appearance, response rate, ease of calibration or programming, physical size and mounting of the instrument, monitoring or control of continuous or discrete (point) levels. Types of level sensor is accomplished by a variety of


level sensors are available. Most of these types of level sensors include a

switch that is activated when the level reaches a specific point. Each of these types of level sensors are:1. Float-Level Sensor 2. Displacer-Level Sensor 3. Vibrating-Tines Level Sensor 4. Two-Wire, Conductance-Level Sensor This section will explain the operation of the sensors used to determine the level of water. 1. Float-Level Sensor The float-level sensor is the simplest level sensor to understand. From the diagram in Fig. 1 notice that a float is connected, to an arm, and the arm will activate a limit switch when the arm is raised. The float will be lifted when the level of the liquid is high enough. The limit switch can be adjusted so that the exact level where the switch is activated can be set.

Above: Fig. 1: A float-level sensor that uses a float and arm to activate a limit switch when the liquid level is high enough.

Another type of float switch uses a magnetic-activated switch. From the two diagrams notice the float in this type of switch has a rod connected to it just like the previous type float-level sensor. This type of sensor has a permanent magnet connected to the end of the rod. Fig. 2b shows that when the float raises with the liquid level, the magnet is moved into position so that it's near the magnetic-activated switch that is mounted in the head of the sensor. When the permanent magnet on the rod is in the correct position, it will pull the movable magnet that activates the switch. When the movable magnet is pulled to the magnet on the rod, the switch contacts close. Notice in that when the liquid level drops and the float allows the rod to be lowered, the magnet will no longer have any attraction to the switch. Small springs will then cause the contacts to move to their normally open position. (Notice that the switch has a single-pole. double-throw configuration so that the common terminal can be connected for normally open or normally closed operation.) .

Above: Fig. 2 (a) A float-level sensor that uses a magnetic-actuated switch. This figure shows the sensor at low level. (b) The float-level sensor with the sensor at high level.

2. Displacer-Level Sensor The displacer-level sensor has a displacer element located directly in the liquid. The displacer element has a rod that connects it to a switch, and when the level increases, the displacer element rises with the level and moves the rod so that it activates the switch. The switch in this sensor is exactly like the magnetic switch explained in the float-level sensor. Fig. 3 shows an image and Fig. 4 shows a diagram of this type of sensor. Notice that when the rod moves up, the magnet on the rod moves to where it's located close to the magnet that activates the switch. The magnet in the switch activator is movable, and when it's pulled toward the magnet on the end of the rod, it will activate its contacts. When the level drops and the displacer drops and the magnet on the rod drops, the magnet on the rod will no longer have any effect on the switch magnet. Small springs will cause the contacts to move back into their original position.

The major difference between the float and the displacer element is that the float is totally supported by the surface of the liquid, and the displacer is partially submerged. This is known as the buoyancy principle. The displacer element must be slightly denser than the liquid that it's used in. Since the displacer element is partially submerged, it's not subjected to the action on the surface of the liquid. Since pumps and agitators tend to make the surface very rough, a float sensor may be subjected to false actuation, or it may wear prematurely. If the surface is subject to floating debris or suspended solids, an additional displacer may be used that is submerged further below the surface so that it can activate safely.

Above: Fig. 3. A displacer-level sensor from Tempsonics.

Above: Fig. 4 (a) An example of a displacer-level sensor. The displacer element uses the buoyancy principle to allow the sensing element to be partially submerged so that action on the liquid surface does not interfere with the sensor's action. (b) The liquidlevel sensor is measuring liquid level at an intermediate level. (c) The liquid-level sensor is measuring liquid level at a low level.

3. Vibrating-Tines Level Sensor The vibrating-tines level sensor uses a set of tines that acts like a tuning fork to determine when the level of material or liquid has exceeded the level set point. An electronic circuit makes the tines oscillate at a specific frequency. When the level of water rises and covers the tines, it stops them from oscillating. An electronic circuit detects the change in the oscillating frequency and activates a switch. Fig. 3 shows an example of this type of level sensor.

Above: Fig. 3 Example of vibrating tines used to determine the level of material. The tines are oscillated at a specific frequency. When the level of water reaches a point where it covers the tines, they will stop oscillating. The change of frequency is detected, which activates a switch. 4. Two-Wire, Conductance-Level Sensor Another way to determine the level of certain liquids is to mount two wires at different heights in a tank where the level is measured. One wire is mounted near the bottom of the tank, and the second one is mounted at the high level. When the liquid level rises to a point where the second wire is covered, it conducted through the liquid between the ground wire and two wires. This conduct to the electronic circuit activates a switch. When the liquid level is below the second wire, the system will not conduct. Some applications of this type of sensor use additional sets is of wires that are mounted at several points along the side of the tank to detect the level of the liquid at more than one point. It's also important that the liquid has the properties that make it a conductor.

Another version of this type of conductance-level sensor uses one or two probes

instead of the wires. If one probe is used, the side of a metal tank is used as the other probe. When the liquid level increases to a point that it touches the tip of the probe, a small current is conducted between the probe and the side of the tank. If the sensor has two probes, a small current will flow through the liquid as it rises and touches both probes. Provides a diagram that shows examples of the probes being used as level sensors and for alarm points. Notice that one of the sensors has four separate probes of different lengths to indicate when the tank is one-quarter, one-half, three-quarters full, and completely full. Each probe is connected to an indicator lamp.

Above: Fig. 5 Example of conductance probes being used to sense the level of liquid in a tank. The probes are shown as alarms to indicate high liquid levels and low liquid levels.

APPLICATION OF LEVEL SENSOR To determine the level of water in the tank two wires are mounted at different heights in a tank where the level is measured. The first and the second plate are mounted at the bottom and upper of the tank respectively. The third plate is mounted throughout the internal body of the tank to act as a common ground. . When the water level rises to a point where the first plate is covered, a small current is conducted through the water

between the first plate and the third plate which is called ground. This small current is detected by the plc .When the water level rises to a point where the second plate is covered; a small current is conducted through the water between the second plate and the ground. This small current is detected by the plc to indicate the water tank is full .As a result of this the plc program will shut down the solenoid valve which is used to control the flow of water into the tank. Resource used Material Resources

no Item 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Solenoid valve 1inch Solenoid valve inch Reducer 1inch to inch Sprinkler head type1 Sprinkler head type2 PLC (Logo) PLC expansion module Galvanized pipe 1inch Galvanized pipe inch

Unit 1 1 2 2 2 1 1 1 3 2 2 4

rate 680 1100


195 60

10 Level sensor 11 Moisture sensor 12 Push button


13 Emergency switch 14 LED 15 Water tank 16 T-joints(Galvanized pipe) 17 Elbow(Galvanized pipe) 18 conduit 19 Wire 20 Relay 21 Breaker 16A 22 Socket 2 in 1 23 Wire 2.5mm 24 Wire 1.5mm 25 connector 26 plug

1 4 1


50 1

27 Control Panel 40cmX60cm 1 28 Track 28 Fisher 29 Cable 1 4

Human resource

1. Plumbers with two labor workers to dig and find the source of 1 inch pipe and to make all the plumbing installation 2. Carpenter to make a control panel CONCLUSIONS The selected PLC type for out project is logo PLC. We select the logo plc due to its simplicity, easy to work on it, require less space etc. The logo we used is enough to

drive the loads we have and also when we compare with S7 It is cheap and does not need large space, additionally it has in built timers like a weekly timer and yearly timers which is easily programmed for a week and also for a year. From this Project We got different knowledge and we developed our conference in order t o do any parochial work with the help of the knowledge we have in future. This project helps as to apply the different courses we took. After doing our project we are able to achieve our objectives. In this project we have shown the design and implementation of PLC based automated irrigation system with programmable logic controller, sensors and actuators. With the flexibility, simplicity, ease of troubleshooting and minimized cost per unit product in its useful life time characteristics of PLC automated systems is possible to build a highly safe, dependable and intelligent control system that would require minimum human involvement to keep daily follow-up of its operation. Considering the availability of low price PLCs, it would be profitable for many of Ethiopian large and small scale farms irrigation system control and to have industries their control system automated by PLCs to increase their profitability by decreasing down time and off set point operations, increasing overall efficiency.


In doing our project, from starting day to the ending day we earn different knowledge from theoretical as well as practical aspect. We also face many challenges since the practical part of our project has mechanical parts which are out of our field like pipe fitting etc; this needs people with that knowledge. The lack of materials also was one of our problems in order to do this project which is supported by practical work; it needs material to make it real. For this reason these types of problem will be solved if the project is done in cooperation with mechanical department. The other challenge was to have oisture sensors because it is not available in the arket.

Even if it is available, the cost is too

uch there for it was not possible to have. This

problem leads as to search for the different types of moisture sensors from different web site after this we decide to work it with material we have, after we see the conductive type moisture sensor from website we decide to test whether it works or not in our specific application, and we done it from the material that we have in hand after all when we cheeked it, it works successfully. After these challenge we encourage people to tray different possibilities rather than staying idle by looking for readymade instruments.

At the implementation stage the solenoid valve clogged by gravel and red ash (gravel) that comes with water flow through galvanized pipe so this blocked the main valve not to be closed. A mechanism to filter the water should be done to the pipe lines.

The pipe from which we tapped for our system is 1 inch besides the project garden site but the pressure we get is not satisfactory. The pressure varies: decreases at the day time because the line from which we tapped gives service and increases after dusk when there is no service. So a mechanism to get a better and constant pressure should be worked on. The other case is during implementation we used DC 12/24V LOGO Controller having DC 24V expansion module which needs an extra dc power source and 24V dc relays as a switch between the LOGO and ac voltage working outputs. This made the circuit complicated that should not be if the controller had been an AC V LOGO which simplifies all these. On the other-hand two of outputs of the DC LOGO are not working this hindered to implement all the displays. So AC V LOGO is mandatory. Since this project is done on the control of an irrigation system, for a quantitative and qualitative value for the irrigation system a further study of a hydraulics and irrigation should be done. Not only this must an agronomic study also be included. So it needs an intervention of who have the knowledge in these fields. Even though we implement this project for the garden of this campus as a sample having shortage finance, this PLC program can be implemented for small-scale and large-scale farms. Generally, the poor farmers and entrepreneurs should use a developed irrigation system for a better efficiency and yield so to implement this project it needs the support of governmental and non-governmental organizations.

References 1. NEWNES- programmable controller an engineer guide. 2. Automation manufacturing system, version 4.2, April 2003, HUNG JACK. 3. Programmable controllers theory and implementation, second edition, L.A. BRYAN L.A. BRYAN 4. 5. Siemens logo plc manual. Different web sites.


A. ladder diagram

B. Functionblock diagram