DIY Solar Powered Automated Irrigation System

My mum, bless her grew up as a simple farmer in the rural back-end of Vietnam. She spent most of her childhood working in the rice paddies. 50 years on, and she still enjoys growing vegetables and plants. She probably wouldn’t admit it but I believe she gets a sense of achievement when the vegetables are ready to harvest, and the flowers are in full bloom. You can probably guess, we have a beautiful garden.

Unfortunately late last year she fell over and cut her hand open while doing some cleaning. It was a nasty deep cut that severed tendons and nerves and has left her hand unable to perform basic tasks let alone allow her to work in the garden.

One feature of our garden is our DIY melon patch. I don’t know what kind of melons they are, but they are quite impressive in size. The problem is they require lots of sun, and a lot of watering to produce a good yield. When I asked my mother whether she’ll be doing them again this year her response was – “no I can’t be bothered”… well something like that.

Her main objection was that it was too much effort to water them. Each night she would spent 5-10 minutes watering the plants.

Cue the DIY Solar Powered Automated Irrigation System project. The plan is to build a system that is powered by an Arduino that periodically waters the plants at specific times of the day – well, night. Not so much a sprinkler system but a watering system.

The preliminary concept is a simple servo control valve that opens allowing water to flow along a series of tubes that distribute the water via a series of drilled holes. Of course the system needs to consume low power and be powered by the sun. It could be an interesting Arduino project to build.


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