Our Technology vs Toro's Sentinel Central Control System
While the Toro system does a lot of similar things to ours, the major difference is going to be way soil moisture data is used to control watering. Historically, Toro has offered wireless sensors, but not with the ability to control each zone of irrigation. Instead, they typically use them sparingly with one sensor controlling a part or all of an entire irrigation program. So, they are using one (or a few at most) data points to provide soil data and decisions for all zones. We are deploying moisture sensors (Digital not analog) in every zone of irrigation, so each zone is managed based on its own particular needs. Also, because they are using so few sensors they are relying in large part on ET for their data. ET, while a better technology than nothing, does not come close being as efficient in watering a landscape as a system like ours, that is using real time soil moisture measurements and a patented watering algorithm that learns how many minutes of irrigation it takes to manage each zone at a specified moisture target.
On top of precise irrigation management and control, we offer a web application that provides a full range of reports, alerts, remote control and alerting that when set up and dialed in, is fully automated.
We are currently running a small installation in Fontana, CA, which has utilized the Toro Sentinel system, and we are seeing a 71% reduction (52.5 hours) from January to March 2018 on just one controller and 21 zones.
Our Technology vs Irrinet
Much like the Toro system, the Irrinet system is going to rely in large part on ET and weather data to make irrigation decisions. They are using soil probes sparingly and using the few data points they get to manage large areas. This system is mostly used for Agriculture, and it would be surprising to see a city is using it. Our system would not integrate with the Irrinet.
Our Technology vs. Rainbird SP-SMTe with Weather Station
Uses soil moisture sensors to directly measure the moisture in the soil in each individual zone
User needed inputs for each zone
Desired soil moisture level
Cycle and Soak automatic
- Up to 6 different programs can be created per zone per day
- Web based application for remote configuration/control and viewing of real time soil data and irrigation
- Weather data available for viewing on web application. Can stop watering.
- Alert and reporting functionality
Uses onsite weather station and 8 year ET history for data
User needed inputs for each zone
o Soil type
o Zone type
o Sprinkler type
o Application Rate (gals/min)
o Cycle and Soak – slope degree
o Plant type
o Plant water need (high/low)
o Root depth
o Plant density
o Shade factor
o Refill Point
o Plant Maturity
Only 2 different programs to select from per zone
Weather data available for viewing on controller
The Rainbird SP-SMTe controller requires a strenuous amount of data input during setup, because it is trying to determine the amount of moisture in the soil, what moisture is lost each day and how much irrigation is required to replenish it. Because of this, the Rainbird SP-SMTe must be conservative in its calculations and therefore will water more than necessary to cover any inaccuracies that may have been input by the user (i.e. wrong soil type or sprinkler application rate). Our controller, on the other hand, uses direct soil moisture measurements and always knows how much moisture is available to the plant. The user simply adjusts the moisture target higher or lower depending on the needs of each individual zone of the lawn and landscape.
The other major difference is the web interface that we offer. With it, users are able to log in from any computer or mobile device with Internet capabilities and see their property, soil data, irrigation cycles and schedules. The system can also be controlled and configured remotely and custom reports and alerts can be set up and automated.