HotWater – Intro

Hi!  Welcome to Embedded Bliss.  In this first post, I’ll begin documenting my first electronics project, HotWater:

Background

In July 2009, I became aware of the existence of the Arduino physical computing platform. I immediately set off to find a possible application to implement with it. I remembered my desire of years to automate my home’s electric water heater, having discarded the several commercially available options known to me. I thought Arduino offered me the ideal platform to build a control that perfectly suited my needs.

What Is It?

HotWater (admittedly a very un-creative name) is an electronic water heater controller based on the Arduino simplified electronics platform called. Which is to say, it’s a device designed and built by me (not an electronics expert) thanks, primarily, due to the capabilities made available to people like me by the Arduino and its associated community.

What  Does It Do?  What Is It Used For?

What sets HotWater apart from similar products available on the Net and hardware stores is that:

  • Through a PC application, HotWater can be scheduled to turn on the heater in any combination of 10-minute segments throughout the week. There is no prestablished pattern – each of the week’s 1,008 possible segments can be separately scheduled. The PC is not needed for HotWater to work – once the schedule is transferred, the device is unplugged and works independently of the PC.
  • HotWater allows manual control of the heater, replacing the original switch with an electronic one at the same spot and with similar behavior. The HotWater control panel overrides automated operation; it allows turning off and manually turning on the heater, guaranteeing in this latter case that the heater will turn off automatically after a user-selectable time has elapsed.

What’s Next?

On my next post, I will describe how I built HotWater.  Stay tuned!


5 Responses to “HotWater – Intro”

  1. [...] HotWater has been “in production” for about four months now.  It works well, but I’m [...]

  2. [...] HotWater ya ha estado “en producción” por unos cuatro meses.  Funciona bien, pero he hallado [...]

  3. [...] you have read previous entries, you’ll see that the HotWater project so far dominates my incipient efforts in embedded electronics.  I had barely sent the Mark [...]

  4. [...] HotWater: the apparently never-ending saga of the Pursuit of the Perfect Heater Timer saw two new releases this year.  Mark II was the first time I had a custom PCB designed and built, and the first time I had to do surface-mount soldering.  It was OK, but it had shortcomings  – for which I’m grateful, since this resulted in HotWater III, which I expect to be the last installment of the saga for a long time to come [...]

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