Smart Controller Evaluation
In 2008, a Smart Irrigation Controller (also referred to as “Smart Controller” or “ET Controller”) Testing Facility was established by the Irrigation Technology Center at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. This testing program was initiated in order to evaluate smart controller testing methodology needed to determine controller performance and reliability under Texas Conditions from an “End-User” point of view. The first year evaluation (2008) evaluated the performance (depth of irrigation applied) of 6 controllers over a 60 day period. The second year (2009) evaluated the performance of 10 controllers over a 91 day period. A third year evaluation (2010) was conducted evaluating 10 Smart Controllers performance over a typical Texas Growing Season (9 months). In 2015, a summary report was produced that compared six years of performance data from the evaluation program. With the changes in Smart Controller Technology, the evaluation program was updated in 2017 to begin studying the performance of “WiFi-Based” smart controllers. Results of these evaluations can be viewed in the “Reports” section below.
Evaluation of Smart Irrigation Controllers: Year 2013 Results
ET Smart Controller 2006 Progress Report
Testing Equipment and Procedures
All smart controllers used in this program were donated by the manufacturers. Once programmed in accordance with a virtual landscape, the controller is connected to a datalogger through a set of relays (simulated valves). The datalogger records the start and stop time of each station (or zone) on the controller. These start and stop times are then entered into a database and an event runtime is calculated. Runtimes are then totaled for the testing period to determine the amount of irrigation applied by the controller.