Challenge Team Interim Report


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    Team Number: 033

    School Name: Cuba High School

    Area of Science: Enviormental Science

    Project Title: Sprinkler Systems

Abstract
Interim
Final Report

Project Definition

In this experiment an automatic sprinkler system was made to water a lawn with very little excess water. This system would consist of a moisture and temperature sensor. The sensors would be used to check the moisture in and above the ground. The temperature sensor would be used to see if the temperature is below freezing. This would eliminate the problem of watering when the ground or air is frozen. It would also eliminate the problem of watering when the ground is wet or if it rains and the ground is not saturated yet. This system should solve the problem of efficient water use in sprinkler system.

Computational Plan
The algorithm that was developed for our problem was sprinkler systems that would turn on or off automatically by sensors that would detect humidity in the air and the moisture of the ground. One sprinkler would be used for the project and the moisture of the ground would be controlled. The output for the project would be that the sprinkler would turn on or off as needed. At this time more information is being gathered for more details and for the process.

#include iostream.h

float water;

float sprinkler;

float moisture;

main()

{

cout <<"Enter the moisture of the ground:\n";

cin >>moisture;

//We will only have two inputs for now. As time goes on we look to put in inputs for the temperature. This program will determine when to water and how much to water based on the moisture of the ground and the temperature of the air.

Expectations

In the project it is expected that a sprinkler system will be built to water a lawn or large amount of grass with no excess water. This would solve the problem of efficient water use in the situations like golf courses or the grass on the sides of the road in big cities. This system should be efficient and save money.

One of the major problems is that people do not pay any attention to their sprinklers and end up over watering the lawn. This is not very good for the grass and also is no good for the water system. If everybody would pay more attention to things like that, this problem would not occur, but most people do not. This is why more and more automatic irrigation systems are being developed. These systems are designed to efficiently water a lawn.

It is thought that this system will be a great water saver and cut down on the manpower involved in watering a lawn. The less manpower the better. That will help the product sell well because it is truly automatic.

Progress to Date
The problems encountered so far, are the rain sensors, which can detect an approximation of the amount of rainfall, but will not give an exact amount. The rain sensor may give a reading that may be true for the area in which it is installed, but it may not be true for all the other parts of the lawn. This problem will result in damages to the lawn. There is also the problem with determining which type of device will be effective for the detection of soil moisture. A soil probe, at this point, is not as accurate, because there are different areas in a lawn that are drier than other areas. This creates the confusion between which area needs watering and which area doesn't need water.

Next is the problem with the moisture in the air. If any moisture is detected, the sprinkler will automatically shut off. The real problem is when there's moisture in the air and the ground is dry, the sprinkler will shut off and the lawn will not receive any water at all. In order for the lawn to be watered evenly, the device that detects the moisture in the ground and the air must work together. This is where other questions come in about the highest amount of moisture a lawn must have in order to shut off the sprinkler system and the amount of moisture a lawn needs to sustain a healthy environment.

The problem with the temperature sensor is the temperature in the air and the ground will give different readings. Such as in the case where the air is warm and the ground is frozen solid, or vice versa. The temperature sensor must give readings of both the ground and the air and then determine whether it is too cold or warm enough to water the lawn. Also there's the problem with which temperatures are safe enough for the sprinklers to be turned on and what's the lowest and the highest temperature that the air and ground can have, for the sprinkler to turn on and not cause any damages to the lawn. There is also the issue with the time in which it is best to water the lawn and for the amount of time to leave a sprinkler on. These are the problems that have been encountered so far.

The team's progress includes the information gathered, which brings us closer to solving this problem of wasting large amounts of water, by the inefficient use of sprinklers. The team has agreed to use different sensors for the detection of temperature and moisture levels.

Bibliography
"American Water and Energy Savers." Online (Available) http://www.americanwater.com/49ways.htm , 1997.

Selby, Andrew. "Outdoor Water Conservation." 1996. Online (Available) http://www.gov/resources/outdoor.html

NBMS. "Water Conservation." 1996. Online (Available) http://www.geocities.com/RainForest/7575/#outside


Team Members

Sponsoring Teachers

Project Advisor(s)