A textbook example on how embedded solutions increase people's comfort and save their time and money. The design checks all the boxes.
Luka Canj, one of our customers from Serbia, created a burner controller for biomass pellet stoves. Luka wasn't satisfied with using environmentally friendly fuel for heating to begin with. He wanted to optimize the burning process for maximum efficiency.
The system has 230V AC input and AC output for precisely controlling the fan that blows air into the burner, igniter and cleaner. Luka explains in more detail:
The burner’s fan is an AC one phase electromotor and it’s work is controlled by a triac. The microcontroller detects every time when a power sine wave goes through zero. When it comes through zero, the microcontroller starts the timer. When the timer stops counting down, the microcontroller sends an impulse to triac. The triac will give at that point a sufficient voltage to the burner’s fan. This is the way how the microcontroller hashes power sine wave, and controls the burner’s fan power.
In addition to the touch interface on the device itself, Luka also took advantage of the Ethernet capabilities of the particular MCU card he used:
The pellet burner controller is working like a small web server. This is the most practical and effective way to connect the controller and the PC, no matter which operating system does the PC possess. Why should the user always have to go down to the basement for turning the pellet burner on and off? Now the user can control the burner directly from his PC, which eliminates the need for a person to actually be physically present by the burner.
For more remote heating capabilites, the system also incorporates a mikroBUS™ socket for adding GSM click. This function is also under development.
The project is also an example of how to use our development boards as a source of reference for your own designs. Skimming through his blog we can see that Luka is an owner of an EasyMx for Stellaris. He probably created a prototype that satisfies your requirements, then incorporated only what he needed to his custom design.
The Pellet burner system also a connector for mikroProg for ARM so that users can debug the firmware directly on the board.
For regular updates, the MCU is equipped with a USB bootloader and the system has a USB connector.
Impressive project. For more, read Luka's blog.