This is a final capstone project for Deep Dive Coding's Internet of Things Bootcamp in Albuquerque New Mexico. The concept and idea was to create a fully functional and self-cleaning/refreshed Swamp Cooler.
Swamp cooling or evaporative cooling, is a cost effective way to cool your home. Swamp cooling works best in the hot dry climates. Basic swamp cooler function starts with a pan filled with water that will automatically fill as water evaporates. The water is pumped from the base to a pad which absorbs the water and drains back into the pan. The wet pad filters the air that is drawn from outside by a blower motor and pushed into the house through a duct. As the air moves through the wet pad it cools down and gains humidity. All the space in the home will be conditioned by cooler air. The air moving through the house will absorb some of the heat and push some outside. The end result is a cooler and more manageable living condition during a hot dry day.
A normal cooler has a motor with a centrifugal fan, a water distribution pump, distribution hoses that wet the padded doors, a water float to control the amount of water being pumped into the cooler, and drainage hole.
Normally evaporative coolers require a fair bit amount of maintenance. One of which is water and pad refreshing. Not paying attention to these items will eventually damage the unit itself and pump abhorrent smelling bacteria, gases, and dissolved solids into the house.
What SWAMP CTRL does is adds a drainage pump, a Total Dissolved Solids sensor, a temperature sensor below the fan, a solenoid for the inbound water float, and a microcontroller that controls the functionality of the unit.
The microcontroller is utilized in several ways. The first of which is a method in which the cooler can be placed on a timer to clean whenever you see fit. When the timer is set, then reached, the motor, fan, and water pump will turn off, The drainage pump will begin to remove the "dirty" water, and the solenoid will lock into place preventing any new water enter the cooler. Once drained, the solenoid will unlock, new water will be introduced into the cooler, the fan, motor, and water distribution will kick-on and run as normal. 1 minute after normal operations resume a 2oz anti-microbial and algae prevention fluid will be pumped into the water and eventually clean the pads in the cooler.
There is also a trigger mechanism to run the timer process but upon a TDS level of 600 parts per million. The controller posts readings of TDS and temperature to a cloud dashboard that shows trends, gives customers flexibility with manual control of the unit, and reads the thermostat inside the house.
The thermostat inside the house is a bracketed particle argon that measures temperature, humidity, and air quality being pushed into the house from the swamp cooler. If the humidity reaches above an 80% threshold the vent/registers are triggered to be closed by a stepper motor.
Future iterations of SWAMP CTRL are pending development and execution.