Parts + How it works…

To demonstrate our project we have made a sink and tap. This is purely just to show how we have used an Arduino and flow sensor to measure the flow of water passing through a system. Our product could be connected to a shower, toilet, etc.

We have come across some issues for example if we were to have an actual tap the build up of pressure would brake the pump. So we have decided to go with a copper pipe, which will allow the water for flow freely.

Another problem we have had to face are connecting the pipes to the flow sensor, pump and copper pipe. However we managed to find a 1/2″ to 8mm coupler and piping to set it up.IMG_0708

Water Efficiency


I live with 6 friends in a Georgian town house, our water usage could definitely be more efficient, however it is hard to manage without having a gauge to look at.

Washing Machine Usage

Every time we use the washing machine, we use up to 80 litres of water. We use the washing machine 6 times per week. During the year, we use approximately 24000 litres of water at a cost of £70.06 per year

As it is a student house we do not have the choice to change to a more water efficient model. I calculated, we could save 9000 litres per year at a cost of £26.27.

If you did one less washing load each week, you would save 4000 litres per year. This could save me £11.68 per year.


Dishwasher UsagePicture2

We wash all our dishes by hand. This method can use less water than a dishwasher, but also depends on how often you wash the dishes, if you put plug in, have a full sink load or run the tap. I try to avoid washing just one or two items at a time. I also, remember to put the plug in and I don’t wash dishes under a running tap. If we washed the dishes half as often, we could save 7500 litres per year at a cost of £ 21.89 per year.

However it is hard to keep control of everyone’s washing up habits, unless something is there to help as a deterrent. After working this out it makes a lot more sense to use the washing machine because people keep the tap running instead of filling the sink which is far more efficient.



Flow Rate Sensor


‘The Arduino flow meter works on the principle of the Hall effect. According to the Hall effect is the production of a voltage difference across an electrical conductor and to an applied magnetic field perpendicular to the current (discovered by Edwin Hall 1879). Here, the Hall effect is utilised in the flow meter using a small fan/propeller-shaped rotor, which is placed in the path of the flowing liquid.’

We are using a flow rate sensor to help change the attitude of other around us by fitting it to faucets/showers/toilets. The flow rate sensor will measure the amount of water coming out of the tap and when the daily allowance in used the user/s will be notified.

We were initially considering a traffic light system above the sink as this would inform the user at the time. However, we thought that maybe more people should know; for example if it is a rented house, the landlord could be notified. According to my research the majority of tenants would feel more conscious of using more water than they should, if they knew that their landlord had an eye on it.

Wk 1/2

Infared – We use infrared transmitters almost every day; when you turn almost anything on remotely, for example TV remotes.

Infrared travels at the same speed as light, it will travel forever however, on earth in some cases – not very far. In others, it will happily go through all the atmosphere.

The level of attenuation (the opposite of transmittance) of infrared is well known, and there are windows where it has very high transmittance.


Light below 1 is mostly visible light and near infrared. Visible light cannot travel through the atmosphere as far as mid-wave infrared light, between 3 and 4 microns. From about 5 to 8 nearly all infrared is absorbed through the atmosphere, so infrared viewers avoid this area of spectrum most of the time.


To measure it in kilometres it is important to consider the density of the air, so the figures above are for the thickness of the atmosphere. So, for air at sea level, that means the transmission of IR would be specified for about 120km of air.


Based on this, for a particular part of the IR spectrum, you could work out how much light was lost over a distance, and therefore work out how far it would go before you felt the signal was below the noise level.



 Pros & Cons



  • IR Transmitter and Receiver pair form a simple circuit which can be easily built.
  • Can be used for simple remote controlling applications, small data transfer, etc.
  • IR Transmitter and Receiver pair as a module can be used in security applications, proximity sensors, distance measurement applications, etc.



  • IR Transmitter and Receiver require line of sight communication i.e. they need to be facing each other.
  • The range of IR communication is less and is reliable for short range and small

amounts of data.

This IR sensor module consists of a PIN diode and a pre amplifier which are embedded into a single package. The output of TSOP is active low and it gives +5V in off state. When IR waves, from a source, with a centre frequency of 38 kHz incident on it, its output goes low.





Automatic Gate Sensor

#include <LiquidCrystal.h>
LiquidCrystal lcd(13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8);

#define PIR_sensor 14
#define m11 0
#define m12 1

void setup()
lcd.begin(16, 2);
pinMode(m11, OUTPUT);
pinMode(m12, OUTPUT);
pinMode(PIR_sensor, INPUT);
lcd.print(”    Automatic    “);
lcd.print(”   Door Opener   “);
lcd.print(“CIRCUIT DEGEST “);

void loop()
lcd.print(“Movement Detected”);
lcd.setCursor(0, 1);
lcd.print(”    Gate Opened    “);
digitalWrite(m11, HIGH);         // gate opening
digitalWrite(m12, LOW);
digitalWrite(m11, LOW);          // gate stop for a while
digitalWrite(m12, LOW);
lcd.print(”   Gate Closed    “);
digitalWrite(m11, LOW);           // gate closing
digitalWrite(m12, HIGH);
digitalWrite(m11, LOW);            // gate closed
digitalWrite(m12, LOW);

lcd.print(”   No Movement   “);
lcd.print(”   Gate Closed   “);
digitalWrite(m11, LOW);
digitalWrite(m12, LOW);