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5. Garage and Yard > 68. Adapt Sprinkler Schedules and Solar Water Heating to A...

Adapt Sprinkler Schedules and Solar Water Heating to Available Sunlight

If you have a solar-assisted water heater, or if you want to adapt your garden watering schedule to the day’s conditions, this hack will get you started in the right direction.

This hack creates an irrigation and water-heating schedule based on the weekly forecast. Like most algorithm-based control programs, the most complicated issue is that of defining thresholds—that is, deciding how the values affect the decisions of when to irrigate, turn on the water heater, and so on. It took a few trials and errors, as well as constructive criticism from family members [Hack #14] , to arrive at the values that work for me.

The system incorporates the five-day weather forecasts into its algorithm for deciding on irrigation and solar water-heating control. You can manage irrigation schedules and solar water-heating control more efficiently by considering the five-day weather forecast. This makes sense because both are impacted by the weather conditions. For example, passive solar panels need to be supplemented with an electric heating element when it’s cloudy, but when the sun is out, the water is heated naturally via the solar panel and the electrical heater can be shut down. Similarly, irrigation is redundant when rain is expected, and it needs to be turned on only during dry spells.


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