My grandparents passed away some years ago leaving a beautifully mountain farm behind. As no-one lives up there we have to leave the farm unattended for months at the time. This is a challenge in winter time as we fear the water pipes with freeze. The farm actually got internet installed so it is possible to use internet to create a remote controlled automation system.
Using Internet for anything you need to address security. Using Windows these days is not an option, so I am happy for Raspberry PI as base units. I am no web service expert, but I believe I can communicate directly between my home and the mountain farm by using a Address Lookup Service that we need to create. Basically the HMI and PLC both connect to internet and get details of whom to communicate with through a public service. Once the address is known they create a secure tunnel for communication. I will deal with security later, for now lets just assume this works and that we can use mobile devices as HMI.
The system I want to create will consist of a range of modules:
- Redundant PLC Base with mains, battery, wired and mobile internet connection as well as connection to sensors and actuators.
- Sensors for temperature, humidity, water leaks, light, movement etc.
- Camera, speakers and microphones. Actuators swithing on/off heat, opening/locking doors etc.
I use the mountain farm as design base because it present a few challenges. And I obviously want to control this using Plain.