Author Topic: Adjusting Duration based on Weather data?  (Read 6938 times)

dave4444

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Adjusting Duration based on Weather data?
« on: April 18, 2014, 01:43:50 pm »
Any plans to use the weather data for more than a simple on/off?
Use forecast to estimate ET and adjust durations daily instead of the seasonal programmed data?

bluespray_admin

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Re: Adjusting Duration based on Weather data?
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2014, 04:15:11 pm »
We are taking an wait and see approach with Et.  From our research, Et has not yet caught on with the consumers because it is difficult to use, and not reliable.

Not saying that we won't, just don't see a goo ROI for it.  We think our automatic seasonal water budget can save as much as Et and √≠ts easier to use.

Another reason why we're hesitant on Et is that we're seeing water restrictions are now being placed by water authorities.  With the drought affecting everyone and water is getting more scarce, water restriction will take precedent over Et.

We're also looking into soil sensor technology, which is gaining support in the industry, which can provide a more accurate means of watering.

dave4444

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Re: Adjusting Duration based on Weather data?
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2014, 05:06:05 pm »
Ya, measuring the conductivity of the soil (and in effect the moisture once a baseline is determined) would probably be useful. But picking the right spot to do this would probably be tricky.  Do you know of a sensor desinged for this already?

bluespray_admin

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Re: Adjusting Duration based on Weather data?
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2014, 10:44:36 am »
We plan to support multi sensors per installation.
We're looking at available EOM sensors right now.  But if we can't find anything that we like, we may make it ourselves.

john1963

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Re: Adjusting Duration based on Weather data?
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2014, 08:09:52 pm »
Yes soil moisture sensor are good but all zones do not need the same amount of water each day do to sun light.  You would need one on each zone for accurate readings.

kssjenni

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Re: Adjusting Duration based on Weather data?
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2014, 02:50:27 pm »
I'm a little confused. The home screen says your product supports soil sensors. I have one zone that doesn't drain well. I would like to buy a wireless soil sensor for this zone, and water only when the zone needs watering. Is this an option with the BlueSpray?

bluespray_admin

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Re: Adjusting Duration based on Weather data?
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2014, 03:41:38 pm »
We do support soil sensor, but current soil sensor on the market today is intended for 1 sensor per property (or controller only).  You can install this sensor and connect it to our rain sensor terminal, but if it tripped, it will tell the controller to delay all watering schedules, not just one zone as you intended.

rl1131

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Re: Adjusting Duration based on Weather data?
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2014, 01:18:52 pm »
How about adding a temperature table to the "Season" data for temperature based percentage instead of the single percentage slider.  This would allow the user fine control over the percentage when temperature is lower than expected in the summer and higher than expected during the winter.  Here in Southern California we experience cool periods in July and some very hot days in January.

<40:  0%
40-50: 0%
50-60: 40%
60-70:  65%
70-80:  80%
90-100:  100%
100-110: 120%
>110:  DOH!%

Thanks!

-Robert

bluespray_admin

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Re: Adjusting Duration based on Weather data?
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2014, 03:59:23 pm »
How would this be applied?  On the day that it's supposed to water?  That won't be accurate because the previous days or subsequent days might return to normal or colder or hotter.  Whichever way you guess, you'll be wrong.  On average?  That's what Et does and it also fails.

Weather guessing is very unreliable.  Even the weatherman doesn't get it right for the very next day.  Using it to guess again how much to water is even more unreliable.

We just haven't seen any weather based irrigation formula to be reliable.  Often it requires complex data that makes the system more difficult to use.  We think the future is in sensing technology.  The sensor technology is improving rapidly.  We think in the very near future, we will be able to incorporate soil sensors in order to water more accurately.

rl1131

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Re: Adjusting Duration based on Weather data?
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2014, 06:44:17 pm »
Any way it goes, it appears for now that the ability for the system to get NOAA data is being all but wasted.  This ability was one of the leading factors in my purchase of the BlueSpray system.

My suggestion below was exactly that, please don't take it as an affront to your product.  No solution is perfect considering the extraordinary number of individual situations; climates, soil types etc...

However, given that there are two major contributors to water usage, Percolation and evapotranspiration, it would follow that an ideal solution (no such thing... I know) would start with those factors, or at least take them into consideration.

Percolation can generally be taken care of by simply adjusting the watering time for the given zone and its soil type.  Possibly using multiple programs/schedules so that the water has time to be absorbed.

Evapotranspiration... not as easy.  But, the major contributing factors of evapotranspiration are temperature, humidity, and wind ... all forecast as a part of the NOAA data.  It would ensue that using this data to adjust watering time would make sense.  Not perfect, but better than nothing.

Providing just a time and a seasonal adjustment factor is a good start, but a factor based on weather data would help to save that much more water.

As for the accuracy of weather data, it appears from my experience to be fairly accurate for the coming 24 hours.  Sure its +/-10%, but that is more than accurate enough for a water factor.  And, since the soil provides a buffering factor this shouldn't make a big difference.

Please take my suggestion above, and the alternative suggestion below, digest these, think about them, mull them over with your team.  They are not intended to be a final solution.  Only food for thought.  If you decide to implement some form of a weather forecast based watering time factor... I for one will be an enthusiastic user.

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Another thought for weather based adjustments:

Instead of a single set of conservation parameters, provide a per-schedule set of conservation parameters.  That way, if a day is going to be hot, dry and windy, I can have a second schedule add a bit of water to replenish that lost to evapotranspiration.