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ON AVERAGE, GREEN RAIN USERS HAVE USED 35% LESS WATER TO WATER THEIR LAWN!
Green Rain takes sprinkler systems out of the 20th Century and utilizes modern technology. The system pulls historical, current and future weather data to determine when to run your sprinklers and for how long. Current systems don’t take into account rainfall or predict whether it is going to rain shortly after they run. The complex algorithm built into Green Rain ensures that you are saving the maximum amount of water you can while still being able to brag to your neighbors about having the lushest lawn on the block.
Interest Piqued. Why do I need a sprinkler system smarter than me?Green Rain will save you time, money, and help the planet, too! I have 5 live prototypes and the data from them shows an average of 35% savings off of their water bills! Did you know each sprinkler zone can use up to 15 gallons per minute? The amount of water and money saved is going to be dependent on the number of zones you have and the climate you live in. The more zones, the more you save! Also, you will be thrilled when it rains.
Sounds cool. Who thought this up?
I grew up with a number of physical disabilities and people telling me I could not do things. Being 26 years old and already sporting a fake hip and a spine held up by titanium, a lot of people would probably side with the nay-sayers. I’ve earned a Bachelor’s in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Notre Dame, been a web and systems developer, and now in my career have moved into a position where I am in front of the client and working with more real-world application of products.But technology isn’t just my job. My entire house is automated by a system I built and is controlled based on where my phone is. If my phone gets close to the door, it unlocks. If I walk into the bedroom, the lights turn on. My coffee maker turns on when my alarm goes off. No user interaction is the name of the game. It made so much sense that our sprinkler systems should do the same. Smart systems are way cooler than smart people!
How well has this been working?
There are 5 live prototypes who have been gathering data and working really well. I have worked through a number of issues with keeping WiFi connected and sorted out some issues with the Weather API.
You will notice in the above link that the amount of rain drastically decreases the amount of water used by the sprinklers. If this person put their sprinklers on a typical schedule, they would run it for 1.5 inches per week. BUT, with Green Rain installed, you will notice it only ran a full cycle ONCE in the last 3 months!
You got me! Full details, please!
Green Rain has a number of features that make it invaluable to your lawn:
- It's built to last. A Raspberry Pi is the system driving the brains of the system. The IO ports are converted to 24V so they can properly start and stop the sprinkler heads. The system can be on at all times with very little energy consumption. This system is capped off by a simple Wifi dongle built in. There is also an SD Card holding the brains which makes it very easy for me to duplicate. All of this is wrapped in an enclosure which can be mounted near your sprinkler controller.
It’s smart. It uses historical weather data, present weather conditions, and future forecasts to read the condition of the lawn and what weather is coming. If the lawn is saturated, or if rain is coming, Green Rain holds off watering. Likewise, if the lawn is thirsty, it turns on to keep the lawn perfectly hydrated.
It adapts. It pulls the weather results from yesterday and the prediction for the current day. In time, it will start to learn which predictions are most accurate. An 80% chance of rain may mean something completely different in Seattle than it does in Las Vegas.
It communicates. You will get emails notifying you of the lawn’s status and why the sprinklers did or did not run.
The Algorithm embedded in Green Rain has been filed for a US Patent
Beautiful. How hard is the set up?
You will need the following to hook it up
- An existing, installed in-ground sprinkler system
WiFi, but if you don’t have it, it does support a wired Ethernet connection to your router
- A zip code
But from there, setup is super simple
Connect Green Rain to your zones and power on the system
- Search for networks on your tablet or laptop and find the access point “Green Rain”
- Connect to that access point and navigate your browser to connect to the system
Green Rain will then guide you through the existing zone schedule and connecting to your home Wifi.
- YOU WILL NEVER NEED TO TOUCH IT AGAIN!
So what’s the plan? What will you do with my money?I need a little help to move this from a prototype to a final product. I have all of the coding done and an awesome prototype but it will be hard to distribute 500 units if I am sitting in my spare bedroom building each unit by hand. This thing looks exactly like you would expect it to having been produced in my home office. I want to turn this into a smooth-looking injection molded unit that you would be proud to mount on your wall. The brains of the system are there - the design around it is not. Unfortunately, that is the expensive part.
Where I want to take this
I would love to see Green Rain in thousands of households. At that point, we will see a significant water consumption impact made. A couple of ideas...
- An online login where you can easily view the amount of water and money you are saving. Share this with your friends and compare to other homes in your region and outside your region.
- A manufactured board that has the Raspberry Pi, Wifi and Sprinkler board built into one unit.
Enough questions. My promise to you
If setbacks arise, I will work through them. I really believe in this idea and am willing to work tirelessly or recruit whoever I need to jump any hurdles.
The main challenge here will be manufacturing and quality control. Currently, I pay a great amount of attention to make sure each prototype I create is working perfectly. I run a gambit of unit tests and do physical tests where I connect it to test sprinkler heads.I currently build each one and just mirror the SD card to bring them all to the same state. I am not afraid of producing this on a large scale and think it will be a lot of fun!
Please share my project if you made it this far! If you don't want to contribute, please let me know why!
To show you my appreciation
$20 - Umbrella to protect you from rogue sprinklers
$30 - Awesome T-Shirt to help spread the word
$225 - Green Rain Sprinkler Controller for up to 8 zones
$250 - Green Rain Controller for up to 16 zones
$500 - Green Rain Controller capable of 48 zones