US Patent No. 10,225,996

CONTROL MODULE FOR A WATER HARVESTING SYSTEM


Patent No. 10,225,996
Issue Date March 12, 2019
Title Control Module For A Water Harvesting System
Inventorship Jeffery J. Kremicki, Cardiff by the Sea, CA (US)
Peter J. Woytowitz, San Diego, CA (US)
Assignee Hunter Industries, Inc., San Marcos, CA (US)

Claim of US Patent No. 10,225,996

1. A control module for a water harvesting system, the water harvesting system including an irrigation controller having a microcontroller that initiates a watering schedule and a pump/master valve output that provides an energized signal when the watering schedule is initiated, a water collection cistern with a water level sensor, a pump coupled to the water collection cistern, a pump start relay connected to the pump, a first master valve coupled to the pump, a second master valve coupled to a point of connection (POC), a plurality of station valves electrically connected to the irrigation controller and coupled to at least one of the first and second master valves, and a plurality of sprinklers coupled to the plurality of station valves for watering landscape vegetation, the control module comprising:an operator interface configured to allow a user to enter user preferences, the operator interface comprising a display and at least one manually actuable input device configured to accept user input indicative of one of at least a first operational mode and a second operational mode and to provide an indication of the user-indicated operational mode;
an input circuit, separate from the operator interface, operably connectable to the pump/master valve output of the irrigation controller, and configured to receive the energized signal from pump/master valve output of the irrigation controller when the watering schedule is initiated, the input circuit further configured to provide a watering indication responsive to the receipt of the energized signal;
wherein the energized signal from the pump/master valve output of the irrigation controller is the only signal communicated between the irrigation controller and the control module;
a memory configured to store an operational program;
a processor operably connected to the at least one manually actuable-input device and the memory, and configured to execute the operational program, the processor further configured to receive the indication of the user-indicated operational mode from the operator interface, to receive a signal representative of a water level in the water collection cistern detected by the water level sensor, and to receive the watering indication from the input circuit;
a first switching circuit, separate from the input circuit, operatively connected to the processor and connectable to the pump start relay, the first switching circuit configured to energize the pump start relay to control the pump;
a second switching circuit, separate from the input circuit, operatively connected to the processor and connectable to the first master valve, the second switching circuit configured to turn the first master valve ON and OFF to direct a flow of water; and
a third switching circuit, separate from the input circuit, operatively connected to the processor and connectable to the second master valve, the third switching circuit configured to turn the second master valve ON and OFF to direct the flow of water;
wherein when the watering indication indicates that the irrigation controller has initiated the watering schedule and the water level sensor indicates that the water level in the water collection cistern is above a threshold, the processor causes the first switching circuit to energize the pump start relay, the second switching circuit to turn ON the first master valve, and the third switching circuit to turn OFF the second master valve to water the landscape vegetation with water from the water collection cistern;
wherein when the watering indication indicates that the irrigation controller has initiated the watering schedule, the water level sensor indicates that the water level in the water collection cistern is below the threshold, and the indication of the user-indicated operational mode indicates the first operational mode, the processor causes the first switching circuit to de-energize the pump start relay, the second switching circuit to turn OFF the first master valve, and the third switching circuit to turn ON the second master valve to water the landscape vegetation with water from the POC; and
wherein when the watering indication indicates that the irrigation controller has initiated the watering schedule, the water level sensor indicates that the water level in the water collection cistern is below the threshold, and the indication of the user-indicated operational mode indicates the second operational mode, the processor causes the first switching circuit to energize the pump start relay, the second switching circuit to turn ON the first master valve, and the third switching circuit to turn ON the second master valve to provide water from the POC to the water collection cistern and to water the landscape vegetation with water from the water collection cistern.