The idea is to control some (3 or more) sets of split type airconditioner units with a central (master) unit. This master unit runs a time schedule by reading the onboard RTC, logs data and slave responces to a micro SD card, communicates with the slave units via RF24L01+ modules at 2.4GHZ and even takes care of local room temperature by reading a precision centigrade temperature sensor LM35Z and controlling the local airconditioner unit with an IR led that emulates the original (Hitachi's) infrared remote control. And last , but not least, an input from a power meter (like an Electric Owl CM160 ) monitors electric power consumed by all air conditioner units to prevent power overload.
Slave units comunicate with master via RF24L01+ modules, read temperature with a LM35's as well , and send infrared commands to the remote airconditioner units. In case of RF link failure they can even take over local control.
All units are based on Arduinos's MCU's. Behind the idea of centralised HVAC control is, of course the optimisation of mains power consumption. Below is a photo of a master unit prototype. On the prototype shield on top of an Arduino duemillenove, you can see the RF24L01+ module, the RTC module (a DS1307) with the backup battery, the infrared led and 2N2222 driver. The temperature sensor LM35Z is behind the RTC module adjacent to the analog pins of the shield. Sd card is an optional add-on . On the paper are my so-far failed attempts to decode the manchester-encoded pulses of the electric Owl's CM-160 receiver output. On the oscilloscope you can see the infrared pulses that control the shutter of a Pentax X-5 camera which plays the role of the receiving airconditioner unit just to make sure that no interrupt handling inside RF24,RTC,SD,SPI or WIRE libraries interferes with the time sensitive infrared carrier signal of 38.4KHZ Two buttons are also provided to send commands like "emergency Power OFF all units" or "set all units to SLEEP 1H mode".
|Master unit prototype|