Techincal question: Do Automation systems have PWM outputs?

Option

Bronze Supporter
Feb 2, 2017
66
Sacramento/CA
Hello, the short version of my question is my VS pump has an input for a PWM signal and it's manual says the following:

"PWM Input 1: 70-125Hz 5-97 % Duty Cycle

When applying a PWM signal to Input 1, the motor speed is based on the duty cycle. A 97% duty cycle is 3450 RPM and a 5% duty cycle is 600 RPM. Intermittent speeds can be set by raising or lowering the duty cycle of the PWM signal."

If I am understanding that correctly, it would seem that the pump speed can be adjusted by an external source if that source sends a PWM signal that can be adjusted between 70-125HZ. If so, can anyone confirm if any automation systems have PWM outputs?
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
14,865
Tucson, AZ
What pump is that?

In the Pentair world, the EasyTouch panel communicates with the IntelliFlo pump via RS485 serial communication. All the PWM is handled on-board the pump. The ET panel does not output any PWM signal


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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
11,397
Bedford, TX
Option,

Could you please point me to the manual and page where you are getting this info.. :confused:

I think there is some confusion going on... :p Of course it could just be me...

None of the big brand name automation systems have any ability to provide a PWM control outputs that I am aware of... And, if one of them did it, they would all do it.

I did not see it in the manuals you referenced, but I must admit I just skimmed through them.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Option

Bronze Supporter
Feb 2, 2017
66
Sacramento/CA
Option,

Could you please point me to the manual and page where you are getting this info.. :confused:

I think there is some confusion going on... :p Of course it could just be me...

None of the big brand name automation systems have any ability to provide a PWM control outputs that I am aware of... And, if one of them did it, they would all do it.

I did not see it in the manuals you referenced, but I must admit I just skimmed through them.

Thanks,

Jim R.
Thank you for looking into my question and my apologies for not including this link in my original post. As you probably already know, my VS Pump isn't designed to receive control from an external automation unit out of the box. However, they do make an "Automation Adapter Kit" which is where I found that info. The parts about the PWM signal are on pages 5 and 18.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
14,865
Tucson, AZ
As soon as Lee finishes with PoolMath, he swears he's building a replacement for Tapatalk....I promise to switch over as soon as that happen :laughblue:
I see what you're saying. So rather than using standard relay activation inputs, the input pins can also accept a PWM signal.

Sorry, but I think all of the major brand name automation systems are out of the question. None of them output a PWM signal. You would simply have to use their relay output to control the input board on that adapter which, of course, means that all of the high voltage relays on the panel are worthless and that's a huge waste of features in the panel....
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
14,865
Tucson, AZ
There are folks on here playing around with Arduino's and Raspberry Pi's to do their own "custom" automation. That might be another avenue for you to consider - building a custom, PWM output module that can be controlled with WiFi and have some scheduling built in....lots of interest there just not sure how much support you'll get since that's not really TFP's main focus.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
11,397
Bedford, TX
Thank you for looking into my question and my apologies for not including this link in my original post. As you probably already know, my VS Pump isn't designed to receive control from an external automation unit out of the box. However, they do make an "Automation Adapter Kit" which is where I found that info. The parts about the PWM signal are on pages 5 and 18.
Ok, now I see where you are coming from...

So this adapter does what similar adapters from other manufactures do... Plus the additional PWM input that you have found.

First, the adapter allows you to control the pump using four discrete relay inputs, one for each speed you want.. The adapter turns the four relay inputs into a digital signal sent to control the pump.

As you surmise, it also appears that in place of the 4 discrete inputs, you could connect input 1 to a Pulse Width Generator of some type and that depending on the duty cycle, the adapter would convert that into a digital signal to control the pump speed. Obviously the advantage being you get a true variable speed pump vs. a four speed pump that you get using the relay inputs.

I commend you for finding this info... Unfortunately, I don't think that a PWM signal is available from any of the major brands of automaton.

I suspect that you could buy, or make a PW generator, that you could use to make it work. It would be an interesting project.

Please let us know if you continue down this path and what the outcome turns out to be..

Thanks for posting,

Jim R.
 

Option

Bronze Supporter
Feb 2, 2017
66
Sacramento/CA
I see what you're saying. So rather than using standard relay activation inputs, the input pins can also accept a PWM signal.

Sorry, but I think all of the major brand name automation systems are out of the question. None of them output a PWM signal. You would simply have to use their relay output to control the input board on that adapter which, of course, means that all of the high voltage relays on the panel are worthless and that's a huge waste of features in the panel....
Bummer! Well thank you for clearing that up, at least now I know. I do wonder why they included that functionality though. Oh well, so I guess my options are

1) Waste features on a panel
2) Waste a perfectly good VS Pump
3) Pay for separate dedicated solar and SWG controllers

Any recommendations on those three or suggestions of something I might have overlooked?\

**Edit** Wow, you guys are fast! It might be a bit over my head but I'll think about that Raspberry Pi idea a bit.
 

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