How to use a PLC to control your fish tank.

Discussion in 'Tutorials' started by ian_m, 3 Oct 2016.

  1. Zeus.

    Zeus. Member

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    Ian is more to expert than myself OFC.
    However the 24vdc modules do offer a larger use of different inputs. All expansion modules need to the same base voltage.
    I do have a pH controller signal linked to my PLC, which basically turns off my second CO2 injection for the rest of the 24hr cylce. Works well IMO as it drops the pH of tank in about 50mins, primary CO2 injection continues for rest of photo period, but I have that also tweeted with slight CO2 off periods whilst my lights ramp up in intensity. I use the DALI 0-10v ramping via the PLC software for my lights also. My rig wasn't cheap. Mine does temp monitoring also turning heater on and off plus slightly different temps for day and night and no heating on when dropping the pH off the tank. Works a dream and was great fun to make and program
     
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  2. Filip Krupa

    Filip Krupa Member

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    Why? I'm intrigued.

    Fil
     
  3. Zeus.

    Zeus. Member

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    CO2 uptake by water is lower the higher the water temp, so why heat the water when the main pH drop is taking place if you can, which I can easy so I do, how much difference it makes I dunno but just makes sense if all it takes is a little software design.
    Have a good play with the demo program, in fact design your whole program and the software will advise you what base modules you need;) then it's done when you get the modules ready to upload.
     
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  4. Filip Krupa

    Filip Krupa Member

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    You have a separate ph controller relaying information to your PLC? Or is it just a probe connected directly to PLC?
    How often do you calibrate/replace the ph probe?

    What have you used to split the co2 into two solenoids? A name or link would be great, Im totally lost looking for a suitable T.

    Thanks
    Fil
     
  5. Zeus.

    Zeus. Member

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    Separate pH controller that via relay sends signal to PLC, then software does the rest.
    Have had it on tank 18 months still on same probe but have spare. But pH controller is only on for just 90mins day, or when I switch it on via press button or mobile for short period to check the reading. Don't recalibrate often at all but have a decent Hanna pH pen to check the actual pH, just adjust the target pH of the controller to suit.

    Have duel stage reg with twin solenoids and regulators set at different BPS. Twin atomisers and reactors. PLC controls both solenoids.

    CO2 on time both injection lines on.

    About 50mins hits target pH signal both lines off for 5 mins then than one injection line comes back on with the injection rate that holds steady pH with lights on pre set intensity, but that intensity isn't reach for another hour as PLC slowly ramps up the spectrum and intensity of my four kessil 160 tuna suns, and turns on some T5 tubes. So during the ramping up of the lights the injection switch's on and off via software till the light intensity increases the plants demand for CO2 so the pH would increase then the injection stops going on/off . This is what I have found works best IME to hold a steady [CO2] from lights on to CO2 off with light ramping up significantly over time. Took some time and effort to get it set right.
    With intensity increasing over time CO2 consumption varies so with a steady fixed injection rate pH fluctuates OFC. Having a method to vary the CO2 injection rate enables a stable pH/[CO2] IME. The PLC can only do this via its software easily IMO.
    There are very few that have PLCs to control there tanks so very few have this fine level of control which the software gives you.
    Is the fine level control needed NO, is it good Yes. I don't just have a sunset, I have a moonlight Passover phase - one kessil on 10 mins on minimum setting at a time at the press of button or mobile phone, looks fab IMO.
    PLC does control twenty 240v socket outlets, controls temp, spectrum and intensity.
    Had to get stable pH via pH profile and adjusting injection rate, duel stage reg better of big tanks when you can adjust the working CO2 pressure as the injection rates IME are so high counting bubbles is hard, turning pressure up/down is easy.

    Got all the CO2 gear from CO2 Art. Told them what I was after via email they did a price placed order. On Holiday ATM so no access to the emails on home PC with details of parts
     
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  6. ian_m

    ian_m Global Moderator Staff Member

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    I think these are the part numbers for the old Logo 8.0 modules that Zeus and I have. The new 8.2 modules, replacing all the 8.0 (and 8.1) modules, have a web server in that allows rendering of web pages with browser clickable/editable things in to change settings. :grumpy: You are looking for the words "8.2" in descriptions.

    12/24V PLC: The RS part number is 165-3226
    Siemens LOGO! 8.2 Logic Module, 12 → 24 V dc, 8 x Input, 4 x Output With Display
    Siemens 6ED1052-1MD08-0BA0

    Below is the link to Siemens part numbers.
    https://c4b.gss.siemens.com/resources/images/articles/dffa-b10079-02-7600.pdf

    24V expansion: RS 825-1685
    Siemens 6ED1055-1NB10-0BA2

    However, if you are going down this route I would recommend you just buy a Siemens starter kit, as it can work out cheaper than just buying the bits individually.
    RS 165-3281.
    https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/logic-modules/1653281/

    This has 24V PLC with 4 relay outputs, 8 inputs of which 4 are 0-10V analogue, 24V 1.3A power supply, fully licensed Logo!SoftComfort 8.2, a super sexy Siemens industrial Ethernet lead, a Siemens screwdriver (of which I broke mine :() and WinCC which is used to programme Siemens LCD displays (of no interest to us) all in a nice industrial strength plast box.
     
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  7. ian_m

    ian_m Global Moderator Staff Member

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    Just edited page 1 to include a link to Zeus's PLC controller build notes for any one contemplating their own PLC controlled fish tank.

    Mine is still running 18669 hours (2.1 years) later. Same software, working 100% reliably. The bad old days of unreliable mains timers, dead fish, over fertilised plants seems so long ago now...:rolleyes:
    upload_2018-9-4_12-41-25.png
     
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  8. Smiler65

    Smiler65 Newly Registered

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    Evening all, I must admit I keep a reef tank rather than a planted tank, but I was pointed over here as I am also building a plc to control my tank with the help from the techies at work. I have come here looking for a bit of help on how to control a couple of tunze pumps and was hoping some one would be able to advice how it’s done. Here’s a link to my build if anyone is interested.
    http://www.ultimatereef.net/threads/using-plc-to-monitor-ph.836047/

    Thanks Gary
     
  9. Zeus.

    Zeus. Member

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    Hi Gary

    Which PLC model and modules do you have ? Not familiar with the pumps you which to control, But I assume they may be controlled by the DALI standard on a 0-10v rail if so the PLC can do it dependant on which model you have. I control my lights intensity and spectrum Via the PLC via the DALI standard but it did require another module but it only has two DALI outputs.

    Ian is more the expert than myself I'm sure he will be able to advise you better.

    Had a quick look at the thread you linked :thumbup: and Yes the Ethernet connection works great for the PLC if fact its all I have ever used to upload the software tweaks and monitoring the PLC via the mobile/smart TV etc via webadmin, I do prefer a web page on the PC all the same ;)

    Zeus
     
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  10. Smiler65

    Smiler65 Newly Registered

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    Hi Zeus

    I must say first that I have very little knowledge about plc’s, if it gets to technical bear with me as I would need things explained:(

    I have a Siemens S7-1200 with an extra analogue module used for the ph module,2 extra digital output modules giving me a total of 34, and a temp module fitted to the plc for temp control of a heater or a fan,which ever is needed at the time.

    The tunze pumps are dc pumps that have a little controller that can vary the power and pulse time.
    I am wanting to do away with that and have the plc control the pump with random flow and power upto a preset percentage.

    Gary
     
  11. Smiler65

    Smiler65 Newly Registered

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    Forgot to add, Tunze controller can take 3-8 V input
     
  12. ian_m

    ian_m Global Moderator Staff Member

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    Hmm, the S7 series are proper big boy PLC's for real serious industrial control but with a serious price tag and serious software development.

    I did look at them before going the Logo 8 route.

    In the end I really wanted a simple PLC with a display & buttons for "at the tank setting", tank status display, accessible via a web browser and programmable over Ethernet (rather than USB or memory cards). I felt the S7 was too expensive (and physically big) for my application. The basic S7 CPU is £200 odd and development software £200 odd. Also the software as not as easy to use as the diagram based development of the Logo, so would be a considerably greater learning curve.

    So sorry can't really help much as the S7 series are a completely different ball game than the Siemens Logo, the word Siemens being the only common part between the two families. Not familiar with the S7 series, other than my PLC investigations in late 2015.

    Unfortunately you are going to have to battle this one alone (along with your work mates), as the S7 and Logo are like apples and oranges, and we are orange experts here (a strange analogy if ever, but you get the meaning :rolleyes:).

    In reviewing your project....both positive and negative comments below (please don't take it too personally...:cool:).
    - Well done in getting something hardware working.
    - Well done in getting some software working.
    - Well done in getting hardware and software working together.
    - Well done for choosing something "big boy", so you are unlikely to run into hardware and software limitations. I am using 380 out of 400 blocks in my Logo, so further software expansion is rather limited.

    But...(please don't cry).
    - Possibly serious overkill (cost and complexity) for this type of project. Yes marine is more complex, but more than one simpler and cheaper Logo units could be used. (too late now I know).
    - Not understanding the software (and not having access to its development system) and getting someone else to write it for you could be a serious problem.
    - Only you understand the finer details of you tank requirements.
    - Your developers do not understand marine tanks and it's complicated requirements.
    - Not possible for you to do simple fixes and updates.
    - Not possible to simulate the software. The Logo SoftComfort has a simulation feature, absolutely fantastic, allows you to simulate and test your design before you let it loose (over Ethernet !!) on real hardware.​

    Any way I will follow your developments, so if ever I get a marine tank, I will know how to programme it.:cool:
     
  13. Smiler65

    Smiler65 Newly Registered

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    Thank you Ian for taking the time to reply.
    I do agree it is we’ll overkill for what i need to do, but you use the tools you have around to do the job. I was in a very lucky position that i have only needed to buy certain parts, if i had had to buy the plc, the touch screen and some other freebies as such this project wouldn’t have gone down this route as you say purely on cost.

    I am also not having to pay for the software etc but do have to learn how to programme, this was part of the deal, how long it takes me to learn is a different matter.

    I will have to keep searching for solutions to my own problems, im sure ill get there.

    Its your thread that got me going down this route anyway so thanks for the great info, im sure ill be referencing back to it when i start the dosing project.
    Thanks :thumbup:
     
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  14. ian_m

    ian_m Global Moderator Staff Member

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    Please continue to document your PLC project, documenting the failures is just as important as documenting the clever successes.

    During my PLC research, I found many people who started forum threads about PLC controlled aquariums, about how they had "obtained a PLC" (Ebay 2nd hand is very common as well as work), got the programming software, did a bit or wiring and then the thread just stopped, no further info in last couple of years. Either they finished their design and never reported back or more likely, from the odd later feed back, abandoned the project as too hard.

    If you ever throw it all in the bin :eek: or for you 2nd tank :D decide to go for a Logo solution, come back here for advice. The Logo V8.2 has quite a competent web server now built in and can render quite complicated web pages with buttons, levers etc that you can click on to operate and trigger Logo internal programming blocks.
    [​IMG]
     
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  15. Smiler65

    Smiler65 Newly Registered

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    I will certainly keep things going and will update the progress.
    Its moving in the right direction, im sure ill have stumbling blocks but hopefully i/we will get over them.
    My search for 1-10v control continues.
     
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  16. ian_m

    ian_m Global Moderator Staff Member

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    Whilst doing PLC research I did find someone who build a huge marine tank in garage/house, that did have quite a monster PLC system controlling it. It was using Allan Bradley commercial PLC kit, a huge wall mounted box. It was supplied and programmed by a marine tank specialist company. I think it cost £12k odd, for PLC and associated wiring electrics and programmes. I think it was on ultimatereef.net in supersized members tank section.

    What was nice was it had multiple touch LCD displays around the equipment room, showing what was going on in each area (skimming, calcium reactors, filtration etc). Also had equipment age recording (for maintenance schedules, new impellors, add more calcium etc) and a small printer that printed out daily status, daily to do log and ages/schedules of the equipment. Fantastic if wallet thickness supported such equipment. Biggest issue I think he had, was false water leak alarms due to condensation on detectors, shutting down the system, closing valves and leaving just in tank water recirculation mode. Cured by putting heaters around the leak detectors.
     
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  17. Filip Krupa

    Filip Krupa Member

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    Wow. That sounds like proper professional setup. Perfect for breeding.

    Fil
     
  18. ian_m

    ian_m Global Moderator Staff Member

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    I think it was done to seriously reduce maintenance workload, especially on a large tank, by automating as much as possible.
     
  19. Smiler65

    Smiler65 Newly Registered

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    I’m a member on that site so will have to go searching for it. When I did go searching on google it brought yours and Zeus threads up.

    Funnily enough we were talking about data logging today so I could keep a record of temp and ph with a chart to show the variation across the day.
    The amount of things you could put into place is only limited by your wallets contents I suppose.
     
  20. cfrancop

    cfrancop Newly Registered

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