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Heating Control from Scratch


alex88
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I'm putting it out there to anyone that can help with my heating solution.

My situation is that I have a mid-terrace house with approx 12 radiators installed in 10 rooms including bathrooms. I have a combi-boiler that is controlled via a battery operated thermostat which I suspect simply sends a signal to turn the boiler on or off based on the temperature threshold that I program it with.

I would like to be able to measure the temperature within each room and turn on or off the radiator in that room when I need to, for example, if one or more radiators need to be turned on then the boiler will turn on and those radiators will turn on. Otherwise the boiler will be off and the radiators will all be off.

My other requirement is that everything be mains powered. I will make sure that I can make mains cabling available where ever possible, however the solution has to be reasonable in its requirements for cabling as exposing new mains cable will cost quite a bit extra.

I do not have any allegiance to any manufacturer and am willing to take on which ever technologies I need to make a stable system.

Can you please suggest a working, stable solution that integrates well with Fibaro, will not cost be an arm and a leg and will be manageable to implement, configure and maintain?

Please consider that from my research and given that I can not re-zone my house (the heating currently works off of a single loop) it seems like the best solution would be to install some type of TRV *thermal regulating valve" at each radiator and have Fibaro HC2 control these based on individual temp sensor readings used in conjunction with scenes. That said, I do not want to tell you how I should do this, but instead get your advice of the best solution for me.

Finally, I like the idea of having override capability in some rooms via a temperature control units like this one (

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) that I am planning on installing in a bathroom when I get under floor heating installed, but i can't see how this would work with Fibaro.

I know this is a big set of questions, so if there are any how-to guides out there that you know of please direct me to them.

Thanks in advance!

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You have described exactly what I would like to achieve. I hope we get a good response

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  • jonny,

    Glad I'm not the only one.

    I've considered buying the Danfoss Living Connect Z-Wave Radiator Thermostat and just connecting it to the mains via a transformer, but this seems like a bit of a hack. That said, it may be the best solution.

    Hopefully Fibaro will then release their 4 in 1 module, at a reasonable price. And hopefully it will also be mains powered, otherwise I'll have to consider mains powering it as well.

    And using the above still doesn't answer my question of how to integrate the system to an external temperature control unit.

    Fingers crossed there is a better solution out there.

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    Can you please suggest a working, stable solution that integrates well with Fibaro, will not cost be an arm and a leg and will be manageable to implement, configure and maintain?

    Think that just about excludes everything

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    /emoticons/default_icon_wink.gif" alt=";-)" />

    Seriously though, you need two points of control. Firstly, you need a remote controlled Thermostatic Radiator Valve (TRV), and secondly you need something that will remotely trigger the call for heat back at the boiler.

    Specifying Fibaro as mandatory means it has to be ZWave. The only ZWave TRV is Danfoss and that's not mains powered and doesn't work correctly with Fibaro judging from the forum articles.

    Other RF TRVs includes the

    Please login or register to see this link.

    , which has RF TRVs and a boiler relay unit and a central control panel, but, there's no integration to other systems. That would at least control your house on an individual room basis and at a reasonable cost.

    Other options.... The call-for-heat back at a boiler just requires a zero-voltage relay across two terminals on the boiler, so you could use a Fibaro Relay switch, but you'd still want to read temperatures in rooms and that means ZWave thermostats, or, build you're own 1-wire thermostatic probes (easily done) and interface to Fibaro Universal Sensor.

    Am just rambling but hope there's something useful in there.

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    Guest Kuuno

    actually i think i have better solution for you

    if you can still put wires around the place then:

    1.take 2 gauge wire to each radiator. you can use 24-60V DC or 110-220V AC whatever suites you best

    1.1 use 24 or 220v electronic valves - i can provide if needed:)

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    2.use 2x1,5kw modules to control different zones

    3.use universal sensor for temp readings 1 sensor for 4 spots

    3.1 if not possible use 3-1 or 4-1 sensors that are battery powered

    4.use fibaro heating panel to control each zone

    and life is good:)

    let me know if you need any help!

    EDIT: basically you need

    max 6 - 2x1,5 relays(if less zones than 10 then les smodules also)

    max 3 universal sensors (12 temp points)

    10 radiator valves

    regards

    Kuuno

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    @Kuuno

    Neat idea. I can see how the Fibaro would read the temperatures from each room/zone, and then activate the relay to open/close each radiator valve. Presumably, you're using a similar relay near the boiler to switch it on?? You'd need to have some sort of Boolean OR against all the temperatures, eg if thermostat #1 < setpoint #1 OR thermostat #2 < setpoint #2 OR thermostat #3 < setpoint #3... Switch boiler ON, else switch boiler OFF. Or does the heating zone handle the 'call for heat' ? Maybe a scene? Thoughts?

    Dave

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    Guest Kuuno

    for boiler there should be a scene it think something like this:

    if zone1 or zone2 or zone N = open then start boiler

    i would not stop the boiler as it is more healthy for it to make long runs

    what do you think?

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    if zone1 or zone2 or zone N = open then start boiler

    I think I would be tempted, for safety reasons, to add this scene also;

    if zone1 and zone2 and zone N = closed then stop boiler

    So, two scenes;

    Scene #1: if zone1 or zone2 or zone N = open then start boiler

    Scene #2: if zone1 and zone2 and zone N = closed then stop boiler

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  • So it seems like there are a few options out there for controlling the radiators however how do you then integrate an external thermostat into the system?

    I have two needs:

    1) I want a separate override control in the house in case my HC2 is temporarily unavailable for any reason e.g. if it dies, if i do an upgrade and something goes wrong. I want to be able to still control the heating in the house, albeit with a single control point for the whole house, until the HC2 comes back on-line.

    2) I want a separate override in certain rooms to be able to control the temperature through another interface. The more I think about this option the less desirable it is as I'm thinking of relying more on HC2 to control everything, but I'd still like to see if/how it could work.

    Cheers guys for the feedback to date.

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    Guest Kuuno

    horstman has some thermostats for z-wave anf they seem the nicest looking.

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    At the moment I am running trials with the following system:

    all the radiators controlled with the Danfoss Living Connect. Which work perfect

    they are controlled with the heating panel.

    Now I am running into the following problem:

    To ask heat from the boiler you could use a relay which is switech with the "linked devices"

    By using a temperature sensor in each room, and connecting it through the linked devices to one relay for the boiler.

    BUT

    if two rooms ask for heat: the relay switches on.

    If one room does not need heat: it switches of the relay. and half a minute later the other room switches it on again.

    I don't want my boiler to go on and off every 30 seconds or so.

    This means that the heating panel with the linked devices is almost perfect, except it has to look at the other linked devices....

    One other thing is that:

    if you change the temperature via the radiator, or app, or control panel. The linked device still lookes at the temperature in the heating panel and not at the actual device....

    Any ideas Fibaro?

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  • Inquirer
  • At the moment I am running trials with the following system:

    all the radiators controlled with the Danfoss Living Connect. Which work perfect

    they are controlled with the heating panel.

    Now I am running into the following problem:

    To ask heat from the boiler you could use a relay which is switech with the "linked devices"

    By using a temperature sensor in each room, and connecting it through the linked devices to one relay for the boiler.

    BUT

    if two rooms ask for heat: the relay switches on.

    If one room does not need heat: it switches of the relay. and half a minute later the other room switches it on again.

    I don't want my boiler to go on and off every 30 seconds or so.

    This means that the heating panel with the linked devices is almost perfect, except it has to look at the other linked devices....

    One other thing is that:

    if you change the temperature via the radiator, or app, or control panel. The linked device still lookes at the temperature in the heating panel and not at the actual device....

    Any ideas Fibaro?

    Not that I have done this myself, but can you not use variables to control the command to the boiler?

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    No, the only thing that can read the heating panel are the linked devices.

    and the only thing the linked devices can control are relays....

    One thing I can think of is:

    Use a second relay; if the relay is switched on by the fibaro. have the second relay switch on aswell.

    if the first relay is later switched off by the fibaro, wait for a minute. if the relay is not turned on again then switch off the second relay. if the first relay is switched on again. You leave the second relay on aswell.

    I will need to implent this with a microcontroller.

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    or I could do it with for instance an arduino with an ethernet connection.

    That uses the http api to get all the thermostats and temperature sensors.

    and checks if the set temperature is the above or below the measured temperature.

    also you could add a display to change the temperature of one or several rooms.

    so infact make a Danfoss living connect LINK for the fibaro...

    any interest?

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    Guest MitchellOnline
    At the moment I am running trials with the following system:

    all the radiators controlled with the Danfoss Living Connect. Which work perfect

    they are controlled with the heating panel.

    Now I am running into the following problem:

    To ask heat from the boiler you could use a relay which is switech with the "linked devices"

    By using a temperature sensor in each room, and connecting it through the linked devices to one relay for the boiler.

    BUT

    if two rooms ask for heat: the relay switches on.

    If one room does not need heat: it switches of the relay. and half a minute later the other room switches it on again.

    I don't want my boiler to go on and off every 30 seconds or so.

    This means that the heating panel with the linked devices is almost perfect, except it has to look at the other linked devices....

    One other thing is that:

    if you change the temperature via the radiator, or app, or control panel. The linked device still lookes at the temperature in the heating panel and not at the actual device....

    Any ideas Fibaro?

    I have the same problem, I am going to solve this by buying 3 Fibaro 2x1.5KW Relays. With those relays I can control 6 heating zones in my house.

    When one of the relays switches on, my heating system switches on.

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    haha same solution I was thinking of, but it's just ridiculous for costs aswell. especially as it is doable through software... it just needs some small changes

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  • At the moment I am running trials with the following system:

    all the radiators controlled with the Danfoss Living Connect. Which work perfect

    they are controlled with the heating panel.

    Now I am running into the following problem:

    To ask heat from the boiler you could use a relay which is switech with the "linked devices"

    By using a temperature sensor in each room, and connecting it through the linked devices to one relay for the boiler.

    BUT

    if two rooms ask for heat: the relay switches on.

    If one room does not need heat: it switches of the relay. and half a minute later the other room switches it on again.

    I don't want my boiler to go on and off every 30 seconds or so.

    This means that the heating panel with the linked devices is almost perfect, except it has to look at the other linked devices....

    One other thing is that:

    if you change the temperature via the radiator, or app, or control panel. The linked device still lookes at the temperature in the heating panel and not at the actual device....

    Any ideas Fibaro?

    I have the same problem, I am going to solve this by buying 3 Fibaro 2x1.5KW Relays. With those relays I can control 6 heating zones in my house.

    When one of the relays switches on, my heating system switches on.

    How does this overcome the problem of the boiler being switched off when it should be on?

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    Guest MitchellOnline
    At the moment I am running trials with the following system:

    all the radiators controlled with the Danfoss Living Connect. Which work perfect

    they are controlled with the heating panel.

    Now I am running into the following problem:

    To ask heat from the boiler you could use a relay which is switech with the "linked devices"

    By using a temperature sensor in each room, and connecting it through the linked devices to one relay for the boiler.

    BUT

    if two rooms ask for heat: the relay switches on.

    If one room does not need heat: it switches of the relay. and half a minute later the other room switches it on again.

    I don't want my boiler to go on and off every 30 seconds or so.

    This means that the heating panel with the linked devices is almost perfect, except it has to look at the other linked devices....

    One other thing is that:

    if you change the temperature via the radiator, or app, or control panel. The linked device still lookes at the temperature in the heating panel and not at the actual device....

    Any ideas Fibaro?

    I have the same problem, I am going to solve this by buying 3 Fibaro 2x1.5KW Relays. With those relays I can control 6 heating zones in my house.

    When one of the relays switches on, my heating system switches on.

    How does this overcome the problem of the boiler being switched off when it should be on?

    Once one of the Fibaro relays switches on, my boiler turns on. Once one of the Fibaro relays switches off, my boiler turns off.

    The Fibaro relays are connected to the cable where previously my living room thermostat was connected to.

    The problem is, that you need 1 Fibaro relays per heating zone! You can't use one relay for all your heating zones. This is ridiculous, but it's how the HC2 works.

    But this is fixable with a software update from Fibaro....

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    /emoticons/default_icon_curve.gif" alt=":-/" />

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    +1

    Yep - this software limitation is what stops me from using the HC2 for heating control.

    Fibaro - do you plan to address this? If so will it be fixed for the v3 release?

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    Hi all,

    I've pretty much similar setup:

    6x Danfoss Living Connect radiator valves

    1x Danfoss Link BR (Boiler Relay)

    Sadly enough the radiator valves don't publish actual temperature, so I need extra temp sensors in each room as well to get the heating panel to control heat in each room.

    Bought 8x Danfoss Link RS (Room Sensor).

    Why?

    - nice design

    - temp display

    - battery powered, so can be mounted without wiring.

    But.....

    I succeeded to register the RS in my HC2, but immediately the RS looses connection.

    Anyone succeeded to get those Danfoss RS sensors operating correctly?

    Or am I trying to ride a dead horse? I noticed some posts on this forum and others Danfoss isn't really a help

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