Battery pack & controller for latching solenoid.

Thread Starter

Aspireto

Joined Aug 11, 2020
5
Hi,
I am building a “flushing unit” using 2 https://www.betavalve.com/Product-Detail?prodref=1175BB+6V&description=1175B they will run for approximately, 3 minutes, twice per week in sequence so as not to cause an overflow
The unit will be used in a remote area, hence the battery operation and use of a latching solenoid to save power?

Is there an of the shelf dual controller with battery pack I could use or will I have to build the timer/battery pack/ controller.

Apologies for the simplicity of the question, I have plumbing skills rather than electronic engineering skills.

Thank you.
 

Tonyr1084

Joined Sep 24, 2015
5,224
they will run for approximately, 3 minutes, twice per week in sequence so as not to cause an overflow
That's going to require more clarification. Do you mean that both valves will operate at the same time as a single source of water? Or do you mean you're flushing two different things, each controlled by its own valve? A drawing or sketch would be helpful.

There are commercially available programmable timers that can give you long periods of inactivity with very short active stages. If you're operating two valves at different times then you'll need two of them. Just google "Programmable electronic timer switch". I'm sure something will come up that may spark an idea.

[edit] Here's one on Amazon. Not making a recommendation, just showing you what's out there.
 

Thread Starter

Aspireto

Joined Aug 11, 2020
5
Hi Tonyr1084,
thank you for your reply, attached is a schematic, so the plan is to open the hot water valve at say 8am Monday and Thursday for 3 minutes and the cold water valve, 9am Monday and Thursday for 3 minutes. the schematic shows temperature transmitters but this will be version 2!!!.

So, I can build the pipework, have a 3D printer for the housing to enclose the parts and now need to manage the timer and battery. If something like your example would work, it would be brilliant. Showing my naivety, does this timer come with a battery or is this separate?

Thank you for your time.schematic.PNG
 

Tonyr1084

Joined Sep 24, 2015
5,224
@Aspireto As to whether it has a battery internal, I can't say for sure. I suspect it has. I own some 110 VAC switching timers that have their own internal battery. One sat in the drawer for years without being plugged in to an outlet. Its battery went dead. I plugged it in and within a half hour it held plenty of charge. I last used it for Christmas lights. Housed it inside the swamp cooler (winter time the cooler wasn't being operated). Every evening the lights would turn on at 4:30 PM and stay on until 12:00 AM. It could be programmed for a specific day and time, different for up to 20 settings. So given that mine has a built in rechargeable battery I'd imagine the one I linked to probably does as well. I'll revisit the link and see if it claims to hold time when no power is available.

As for your battery to power the valves goes - that can be achieved with a solar panel large enough to charge the battery(ies) you use. Keep in mind the kind of battery you use is also important, as some batteries must be charged in a very specific manor. Haphazardly charging the wrong kind of battery can result in anything from a failed battery to a fire. Electronics are nothing like they were when I grew up and learned about them. So many changes I have not kept up with. So getting solid advice from others here is your best bet. I have the utmost confidence in my contemporaries here. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Even if you think they're dumb questions. There's nothing worse than neglecting to ask an important question only to find you've destroyed your project. Or worse, burned down the house or killed someone.
 

Tonyr1084

Joined Sep 24, 2015
5,224
Regarding the LCD display, the spec says this:
Built-in battery. Power off memory function. Easy to read LCD screen. Panel mounted.

Regarding the power requirements the spec says:
Specifications:
Number of memory programmable: 16 on/off week or day

Control Capacity: 0-250V AC, 1000W

Power Supply: 12V DC/AC battery/supply.

Working temperature: - 20 ℃ ~ 55 ℃

Overall size (Approx.): 2.36" x 2.36" x 1.25" (L*W*H)

  • Tips:

  • The JVR timer is powered by a 12V DC/AC battery/power supply.

  • The JVR timer has no voltage conversion function and no voltage output.

Best I can guess is that it requires a steady 12 volt supply. The suggestion that it can be powered from a solar panel suggests there MIGHT be an internal battery, but I'm not sure. Whether the battery reportedly for the LCD also holds a memory - that, too, I'm not sure of.

To be certain: This is not the only one out there. I'd bet you can find one that has a battery backed up timer function so that programming is not lost. Also, you asked about 6V and the one I quickly linked to is 12V. I think I saw others that came in 5V 12V and 24V versions. You just have to search them.
 
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Thread Starter

Aspireto

Joined Aug 11, 2020
5
I didn’t envisage some of the challenges mentioned! I’m not in the lucky position to be able to use solar as the unit will be installed indoors.

Reading up on the subject, I’m not sure if the plug and play controller/battery unit is possible.

So, from what I see;

I need a controller, a battery pack and solenoids.
The controller is powered by the battery pack.
The controller at predetermined times sends will send power from the same battery pack to the solenoids.
Because they are latching valves, the controller must first energise the valve to open and again when the time is up to close the valve. From my understanding, a latching valve will consume less power and hence batteries will last longer between charging or replacement.

To date, I have 6 volt latching solenoids.

A friend suggested I should use an Arduino Nano and have it coded for my requirements.

As mentioned above use Rechargeable Batteries. If I put a couple of these; https://uk.farnell.com/varta/55123505012/battery-pack-nimh-aa-1800mah-6v/dp/2082838?ost=55123505012 would they have enough power that I wouldn’t be changing them every week. I would rather spend the money on more batteries to reduce the frequency of charging replacement.

Is this the right track.
 

djsfantasi

Joined Apr 11, 2010
6,959
WRT using a Nano...

Are you familiar with programming? Using a Nano, in addition to learning how to use the Nano, you’d have to learn how to use the IDE (Integrated Development Environment) and develop the electronics necessary to drive the valves.

The Nano can be programmed to use very little power. It can be put to “sleep” during the long periods it isn’t necessary; only powering up during the four hours you need to operate the valves. It could also sleep during the hour that the valves are operating. This technique would minimize battery usage.

Since you’re driving only two valves, you may be able to use an ATTiny45. I’m not sure if they can sleep. And they require purchasing or building a programmer.

Finally, without an external RTC (Real Time Clock), you may find the times will drift. The accuracy over such long times may not be stable enough for your requirement.

I’m an Arduino user and professional programmer, so using a Nano would be my choice. But it may not be practical if you don’t have the background or find the learning curve too steep.
 

Thread Starter

Aspireto

Joined Aug 11, 2020
5
Thank you djsfantasi,
the person who suggested it, can programme Nano's so hoping they will help?

Does a Nano have a RTC or is that another item to my list above.
 

Thread Starter

Aspireto

Joined Aug 11, 2020
5
Every day is a school day, its now on my list.

Regarding the sleep/wake programming, I will discuss, with all this information, he might think I know what I am talking about;)
 

Tonyr1084

Joined Sep 24, 2015
5,224
I'd bet those latching solenoids will also operate on 5 volts. If you have them in hand, test one manually to see if it functions. I have 24 VAC solenoids that work with 12VDC. I don't know if the DC will overheat them but I might use them as cardboard rocket launchers where the solenoid only operates for a brief second then closes again so as to not expend all the stored air in the tank. But I think your 6V solenoids will operate on 5V as well.
 
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