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Heat Controller setup


winromulus
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Question

Hello,

 

I'm new to the forum and I do apologize if this is not the correct location to post this. If incorrect, please move this topic to the correct category.

 

Preamble:

I want to use Fibaro to automate heating inside my apartment and create heating zones. The heating source is an apartment boiler which needs to be turned on/off to heat the agent that gets circulated through the heating pipes and radiators. I have the boiler control set up with Fibaro switches and it works very well.

I am planning on installing Fibaro Heat Controllers on all radiators to control heating zones, but my problem is knowing when to start the boiler. As an example, for two rooms, Room1 and Room2, if Room1 needs heating, I need to know to turn on the boiler and rely on Room2 heat controller to not allow heating agent in that room's radiator.

 

My question:

Do the Heat Controller thermostats have any way of reporting that they need heating or that they're open to circulate heating agent? The direction I'm going with this is to query the thermostats in a scene to determine if they're open and then start the boiler which will pump agent through the whole system. If none of the thermostats are open, then stop the boiler.

I cannot keep the boiler running all the time due to expense and strain on the pump.

 

Any thoughts or insights?

 

Thanks

 

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Just found this post +1 for an option to read from the HC if the valve is open or closed to manage the boiler.

@Fibaro please enable this option in the read out of the HC :-)

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Welcome to the community @winromulus!

 

13 minutes ago, winromulus said:

I'm new to the forum and I do apologize if this is not the correct location to post this. If incorrect, please move this topic to the correct category.

Don't worry, you posted it here correctly!

 

25 minutes ago, winromulus said:

I have the boiler control set up with Fibaro switches and it works very well.

If you have made this using heating zones then your system is ready just to install new Heat Controllers.

 

If you made some other interactions, you need to configure your heating via heating panel.

 

All in all, your Heat Controller with extra sensors will measure the temperature and heating zone will turn on, accordingly, any actor it has for heat management.

 

 

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  • 5 minutes ago, I.Srodka said:

    If you have made this using heating zones then your system is ready just to install new Heat Controllers.

     

    If you made some other interactions, you need to configure your heating via heating panel.

     

    What I have right now is a scene that checks the temperature sensor and turns on the boiler if there is a difference there, but I think this needs to change because the boiler should only start when at least one thermostat is open.

    Is there a way to query the heating zone if it's on? Is that something the heat controller brings in or the heating panel?

     

    Thanks

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    Hi @winromulus!

     

    First of all check:

    Please login or register to see this link.

    Please login or register to see this link.

     

    You need to create a heating zone with a desired temperature.

     

    You link a sensor and an actor. Then you put those Heat Controllers in the corresponding rooms and they act accordingly under that sensor and actor configured.

     

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  • I think I'm falling in love with you right now :)

     

    So please correct me if I misunderstood this:

    For each room I create a Linked Device with the temperature sensor and the switch that turns on the boiler. I assign that device to the room.

     

    I create heating zones containing the rooms. When a heating zone becomes active (difference between the linked device temperature sensor and the setting for that zone), the zone becomes active and the switch turns on. Can I assume the thermostat will be open at this point? (So the boiler doesn't push agent in the system with the radiators closed?).

     

    If the above is true, do you know if two zones are active at the same time and one of them becomes active, will that shared switch be turned off?

     

    Thanks again for this! This is really exciting and way better than what I had planned. I just hope I understood it correctly.

     

    Regards,

    Romeo

     

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    Guest spazpeker

    U

    17 minutes ago, winromulus said:

     

     

    If the above is true, do you know if two zones are active at the same time and one of them becomes active, will that shared switch be turned off?

     

    Thanks again for this! This is really exciting and way better than what I had planned. I just hope I understood it correctly.

     

    Regards,

    Romeo

     

    unfortunately you will need a different actor for each zone, in your scenario above the actor would cycle on and off every minute

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    @winromulus, unfortunately is not so easy.

     

    Those zones would overwrite each other. Just as @spazpeker said, you need two actors.

     

    Alternatively, you can set some scenes which could manage the boiler on the basis of your heat controllers and temepratures in those rooms.

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  • Thanks @spazpeker and @I.Srodka

     

    Do you know if there is a way to query the heating panel settings from LUA? I'm thinking of creating a scene that turns on the actor if there is a temperature difference between the temp sensor and the heating panel setting for that room. But I would need a way to find out what the heating is set to for a room. 

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    Guest spazpeker
    1 hour ago, winromulus said:

    Thanks @spazpeker and @I.Srodka

     

    Do you know if there is a way to query the heating panel settings from LUA? I'm thinking of creating a scene that turns on the actor if there is a temperature difference between the temp sensor and the heating panel setting for that room. But I would need a way to find out what the heating is set to for a room. 

    you can modify Dave Harrison heating overide

    Please login or register to see this link.

    that has the code that decodes the info for a room

    on your browser you can type in the address "http://192.168.1.7/api/panels/heating/16"

    that shows you the content for in my case zone 16

     

    -- ID of virtual device
    local vdID = fibaro:getSelfId()
    -- create http client for controller with set IP address
    HC2 = Net.FHttp("127.0.0.1",11111)
    -- ID of heating zone
    local zoneID = 16
    -- get data for Holiday panel as json
    response ,status, errorCode = HC2:GET("/api/panels/heating/" .. zoneID)
    -- convert json to table
    jsonTable = json.decode(response)
    -- Get Set temp
    local settemp = tonumber(jsonTable.properties.currentTemperature)
    fibaro:debug(settemp)
    fibaro:call(vdID, "setProperty", "ui.Label1.value", settemp .. "°c   ")

    Edited by spazpeker
    more info
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  • Thanks @spazpeker that helps a lot!

    I'll play with it this weekend and see how far I get.

    My current plan is to use the above solution to read data from the heating zone and monitor the room temperature sensor and heating zone setting for differences. If there is a difference, I will start the boiler.

    For radiator control I will actually go with a Fibaro switch + a motorized valve (see attached image). The reason for this is that I need to ensure that the radiator is open when the boiler starts pumping the heating agent. It's a shame I can't use the Fibaro heat controller but the stress it can add on the pump (and the excess fuel burned) due to it not being open when the agent circulates makes it a big problem in my case. There's also the risk of differences in temperature measurements between the way the heat controller measures ambient temperature and the way the temperature sensor does.

    One curiosity is if the Fibaro Heat Controller would accept commands to tell it to fully open or fully close. If it could, then it would make it a great replacement for the motorized valve and I could rely on it as the actor for radiator flow control.

    Please login or register to see this attachment.

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    @winromulus, apart from the issues discussed above, you may want to take a look at the technical beginnings with your Heat Controller ; )

     

     

     

     

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  • Okay, see there's not a lot of details there. If the thermostat head with it's algorithms considers that it's time to close because heating inertia will reach the desired temperature (ex: set temperature is 23C, current measured is 22C but the readiator is hot, the thermostat will start closing the valve), the boiler would continue to pump heating agent although that thermostat is closed or almost closed. Problem is that the pump in the boiler is under strain due to the short heating circuit while it continues to heat up agent and circulate it. The ideal situation would be to know if the radiator is closed, thus turning off the boiler.

     

    Maybe someone from Fibaro can provide more insight into this, but I had a similar issue with Danfoss thermostat heads, where it decided to close off the radiator at 1-2 degrees before reaching the desired temperature (had some sort of "predictive" algorithms), but the boiler was still running for about 10-20  more minutes (again, waste of fuel + strain on it) before the desired temperature was reached. I had to give up on them. I know that those predictive algorithms are a nice touch (so you never overshoot the desired temperature) but they're a problem for systems that turn on/off on demand. If this was central heating or building level heating where the heating agent is always being pumped, then sure, it makes complete sense, but in Romania at least 90% of the population has apartment/house level boilers for heating that are only economical if they are only turned on when heating is required.

     

    I think due to the lack of more in-depth specs, I'm out of options :(

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    I fully agree,

     

    Have same scenario, already bought several Fibaro TRVs.

    Will give them a try and see if I can manage them and predict, what they are going to predict :)

     

    It should be best, if TRVs reports their open state, but unfortunately, I did not find such functionality.

    Wished Fibaro could provide more support on the topic.

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  • @chapa

    It would be awesome if you can provide some insight into this!

     

    One test I did with the TRVs from Danfoss was to set their temperature to min/max and see if they react. This way they can be used as valves (though the temperature set dial will become useless). Still, it beats having to wire the radiator with motorized valves. Less expensive too.

    Result: The Danfoss ones ended up staying either closed or open when they were on the radiator. Basically (from what I could tell), their algorithms didn't work well when predicting the inertia. Although  the room as at 22C, and I had them set at 28C, it took 3 hours for them to react and open, which is absurd considering that the boiler was still running the entire time.

    I look forward to your insights since you have the Fibaro TRVs. I don't want to have to buy these and experiment since I already have 6 Danfoss ones which gather dust and make nice figurine stands...

     

    For Fibaro (since they're mode flexible and open minded, and hopefully they look at the forum), I would suggest that the TRVs post their status when the valve changes (should not be that much of a problem on the batteries). This way it would solve all issues. If valve open, boiler run, if valve closed, boiler stop. It would even work awesome with the window open functions, since it would stop the boiler too, not just cut off the radiator.

     

    Thanks

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    Hi guys,

    sorry for maybe re-posting something that was mentioned somewhere, but i want to get your feedback to make sure it would work before i spend money and replace all my radiator heads with Eurotronis Spirit heads (12pcs)

     

    basically im trying to make a set up like this:

     

    ground floor - floor heating with water pipes from boiler through a separate water pump (zone 1))  boiler will have the Secure Boiler Receiver, a 2-channel Z-Wave relay which will control the two water pumps for ground floor and 2nd floor, it will be linked to the Secure Wall Thermostat on the ground floor  which will control the ground floor temp together with the HC2 heat panel.

     

    2nd floor has radiator heads which will be replaced with Eurotronic Spirit heads which have a built in temperature sensor as well, so i can control each room individually with its own temp sensor.

    this will be linked to the Boiler receiver to control the 2nd water pump for heating the 2nd floor based on demand of each radiator head.

     

    for each relay output i would have to link a separate relay to give a signal tot he boiler to actually turn on  (some electrical work, but possible) this would basically open a normaly closed circuit on the boiler which woudl give signal to the boiler to turn on.

    i dont want the boiler to be constantly running hot water to the pipes eventhough there is no heating need. so this way the boiler would turn on only when either one, or both, water pumps get a signal to turn on from the 2ch Boiler receiver.

     

    my question is, if this is possible?

    i have read some posts where it says that the boiler cycles on and off every minute or so. but i really dont know why it would do that.

    i would assume that the heating panel in HC2 would properly manage this.

    Even if two radiator heads call for heat then the heat panel or the TRV directly linked to the boiler receiver should control the boiler relay   and send signal to turn on.

    if one of the radiators gets up to the desired temperature, then that TRV head should close, and once the 2nd radiator gets to the desired temp then that head closes and also turns off the boiler.

     

    isn't this how it should work?

     

    i really want to avoid making some LUA coding since i have no clue how to do it. but was hoping that the heat panel would take care of this and make it work.

    can you  guys tell me if this would work like i hope it should ? :)

     

    thank you so much for your help guys.

     

    JD

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    It seems like a fundamental flaw to not provide the `boiler call` functionality.  I would imagine the majority of homes in Europe have a similar configuration: a centralised boiler with radiators. It doesn't even seem possible to have a scene call the boiler as the only parameters you can base it on are "Off", "Max" and "Heat" (which isn't actually heat but just means not Off or Max as far as I can tell). Also within the Heating Panel the lowest one can set is 4 degrees, so Off never actually happens unless manually set.  I imagine there is some way to write a Lua script to read some additional parameters that aren't available in the block scenes this but it seems madness that such basic functionality would require that.

     

    In fact, apart from read-only parameter bit 3 "provide heat in order to maintain set temperature" which I doubt is what we are looking for, I don't think there is a parameter.

     

    I'm on the verge of returning all the Heat Controllers and home center as it's just not fit for purpose without this basic feature. 

     

    @Fibaro can you please advise if there is a solution or I should return my system?

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    Godzinę temu, ryce358 napisał:

    It seems like a fundamental flaw to not provide the `boiler call` functionality.  I would imagine the majority of homes in Europe have a similar configuration: a centralised boiler with radiators. It doesn't even seem possible to have a scene call the boiler as the only parameters you can base it on are "Off", "Max" and "Heat" (which isn't actually heat but just means not Off or Max as far as I can tell). Also within the Heating Panel the lowest one can set is 4 degrees, so Off never actually happens unless manually set.  I imagine there is some way to write a Lua script to read some additional parameters that aren't available in the block scenes this but it seems madness that such basic functionality would require that.

     

    In fact, apart from read-only parameter bit 3 "provide heat in order to maintain set temperature" which I doubt is what we are looking for, I don't think there is a parameter.

     

    I'm on the verge of returning all the Heat Controllers and home center as it's just not fit for purpose without this basic feature. 

     

    @Fibaro can you please advise if there is a solution or I should return my system?

    fibaro does not control your boiler but the thermostat, i.e. it regulates the temperature in the rooms.
    The ideal solution is the ability to control the boiler.
    If you want to control the boiler, you need a suitable tool, such as VD, which is in contact with and operates the boiler.
    Of course, as far as it allows, I am trying to make just such a tool for my boiler with the help of my colleague 10der who, despite the lack of a control panel that I have, almost created for me a 90% working VD code.
    Apart from errors, the fibaro system also allows a lot.
    If you know lua then you will do much more with this system. ;)

     

    This is my boiler control at the moment.

    Please login or register to see this spoiler.

     

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    Most combi-boilers can be turned on/off with a contact, that is what is generally done and the whole point of getting the heat controllers is to add radiator control but without this `boiler call` contact, it is not fit for purpose. @XTeK - If you can propose a way of achieving this most basic of requirements, then I'm all ears...but so far I think you have misunderstood the problem.

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    I know what you mean, and you're a little right about thermostats, but you can't have everything. ;)

    The gas boiler has a contact that can be connected to the smart imlant if it is potential-free and then the lua code can be controlled.

    There are many options and these are just thermostats, unfortunately, although a lot of information from them can be used in scenes.

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    Hi @winromulus,

     

    You could try the plug-in " Heat prioritizer".

    Has some glitches in the HC 3, so I removed it, but maybe it suit you're needs in the HC2.

    Think it only works with the Fibaro heat controller.

    Beware that if all you're radiators are equipet with a thermostatic device you better install a bypass to prevent to much pressure in the system.

     

    Please login or register to see this link.

    Please login or register to see this link.

    Edited by Flash
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