I need to automate my plant room, having a few water tanks and pumps.
Will RPi 3 Model B be reliable for this purpose?
It will need to be 24/7 monitoring.
Any mathematical formulas to find the reliability of Pi?
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Yes, Rpi3B systems can be run reliably 24x7 for long periods of time.
No, there is no mathematical way to predict longevity that I am aware of. So you just begin and do your best to build it well. Then plan for how you would recover if one fails.
Such as using Win32DiskImager to store image backups off your Rpi SD cards.
I suggest you look into PiGPIO:
to see how the RPi can handle the sensing and controlling.
You asked for an example. My solar plant uses a handful of them coupled with Arduinos (for the I/O) as data loggers. I call them Piduinos. It is a hybrid system.
They produce plots (gnuplot) that I directly access from a large screen using Windows Remote Desktop to monitor the operation of the systems.
The communications between the Pi and Arduino is a normal USB programming cable and the Arduino IDE runs on the Rpi3B units. All connected by WiFi.
Then I also have also a Ubuntu 16.04 server which periodically (every 15 minutes) collects the latest plot files, puts them together as a montage (using Imagemagick montage). This montage is mated with the proper HTML and uploaded to my hosting service using
It can be viewed at https://www.SDsolarBlog.com/montage
Some of the RPis have to work in the harsh outside weather conditions yet they have proven to be a whole lot more reliable than I expected.
One thing you do learn about when assembling such a system is fault-tolerance. Preparing for failure.
Backups, backups, backups.
Extra hardware and Rpi SD card Images saved so if one fails another can be swapped in quickly. It is rare, but can happen.
Meanwhile, to properly form your question, I suggest you try something. Build something. See how it works.
Then return here if you hit a roadblock - and be sure that you ask a Raspberry Pi-specific question.
There are too many points of possible failure. Even if the Pi's MTBF meets your requirements, how about the micro SD card? I have a SD card that killed my system after a year of 24x7. How about your power supply? How about your LAN?
It's so complex that the practical way is to build in redundancy. Ensure that the functions performed by the Pi are either provided by another system or another Pi.
The same applies even if you use something else instead of the Pi.