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Compatibility of Fibaro with Eurotherm Spirit Z-Wave Plus Electronic Heating Thermostat


Jan Zahradnicek
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Hello,

 

I would like to ask you a question as for the compatibility of the Fibaro system with the third party product - Eurotherm Spirit Z-Wave Plus Electronic Heating Thermostat. It measures the temperature and automatically adjust the heat level. Here is the link the the product details:

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As I understood the Fibaro Heat Controller is a remotely controlled thermostatic head to control temperature in a room and it works as the actor. Which means that it can react on events. Exactly on the same principle works also the Eurotherm Spirit Z-Wave Plus Electronic Heating Thermostat. I would like to automatically set temperature in a room depending on day time (time schedule), like it is possible to configure in the Heating Panel. But when I try to configure the Heating Panel in my Figaro system, I can not find any actor there except the Fibaro Wall-Plug (there is not included any other Fibaro device of the type actor in my system). Does it mean the the Fibaro system can recognize as actors only Fibaro devices? I believed that it can work with any other device which supports ZWave protocol (ZWave Plus):-(

 

When I click on Panels -> Linked Devices -> Linked Devices - Heating -> Add -> tab. Advanced -> Main Device : as a sensor is selected the sensor build-in in the Eurotherm Spirit Z-Wave Plus Electronic Heating Thermostat (or the temperature sensor build-in in the Fibaro motion sensor in this room). Then I click the button 'Add'. Here I can not find any actor except the Fibaro Wall-Plug. As I mentioned above, this is the only Fibaro actor in the network. 
 

I followed the same steps as mentioned in the e-learning site at

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but without any success. I also searched the community for the issue and checked your e-learning site at

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but did not find anything. 


Here are my system details:

Device type: Home Center 2
Firmware version: 4.160

The main reason why I chose Fibaro was the fact that it is compatible with any device supporting ZWave. But it looks that it is only a marketing strategy and the reality is totally different.

Thank you very in advance for any suggestion how to solve this situation.

Best regards
Jan

Edited by Jan Zahradnicek
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3 answers to this question

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Welcom to the forum, @Jan Zahradnicek

 

I understand you are new to Fibaro...

 

I've been around here for a while and I think "temperature control" is a tough subject. Much tougher to grasp and understand than electricity. It is more difficult to measure stuff...

 

I do not want to underestimate you... I just want to start at the basics to make sure everyone is at the same level of understanding by the end of this post.

 

This is copy/paste with some rework from my previous posts on this forum... I'll keep repeating and improving the explanation until everyone understands it... To my knowledge, no one on this forum has attempted to explain heating systems... until now. So please bear with me... I am not a heating specialist, but an engineer and passionate about HA so boiler control and temperature is part of my hobby. In this you will find at least partial answers to  your questions. I could have just answered those questions, but I prefer to give this complete post, because there is a certain structure to it...

 

Let's get some things straight.

 

  • The FGT-001 is a THERMOSTAT. Popp, Danfoss Living Connect (aka LC-12 and LC-13), Eurotronic TRVS, they are all THERMOSTATS. Technically, they are not "valves", they are "thermostatic heads" attached to a valve. It is customary to refer to the assembly (head + valve) as a "Thermostatic Radiator Valve" or TRV.
  • I will use TRV if I refer to some sort of thermostat to control water flow. I will use FGT or FGT-001 when I talk about the "Fibaro Heat Controller". I will NEVER refer to the FGT as the "HC" because that abbreviation is used quite a lot on this forum to reference the "Fibaro Home Center". If I accidentally use HC in a topic about heating, I mean "Home Center". I'll try to avoid that...
  • They do NOT use your controller, to regulate temperature. They do not use any sensor measurement of your Z-Wave system. They contain their own sensor (or sensors!) and the FGT has an optional external probe. That probe is not Z-Wave, it is Bluetooth Low Energy and it is specific to the FGT-001. But since the probe measurements are transferred to your controller, you will get (accurate) temperatures from the FGT. An FGT-001 without such a probe does not report measured temperature and this is by design. The Danfoss LC-12 and LC-13 do not report temperatures either. Popp does report, because it uses a modified firmware version on Danfoss hardware. But the sensor values are inaccurate because the TRV is not in the right spot to measure room temperature. They can be used for reference.
  • You tell the TRV to go to some set-point, for instance, 22 °C and it does that for you! It does not need a controller or a temperature reference, nor does it need a room thermostat and you also do not have to buy the external probe... It is an autonomous system. It uses hot water and a battery to control room temperature. You do not have to use the "heating panel" and you do not have to write any Lua code. If you take it out of its box, mount it on a TRV, it starts controlling temperature, even when it is not included on your Z-Wave network.
  • The FGT-001 can either use its internal sensor or the special extra bluetooth low energy "button" external probe. The extra sensor can be in a more optimal place: the right height, no direct sunlight, nearer to the spot where you want to control temperature. With this probe, the FGT starts reporting temperature too. It reports to the TRV every 10 minutes. To conserve power and reduce network traffic, the FGT only sends temperature to the controller about every 2-3 hours when the temperature readings differ by 0.5-1 degree from the last report.
  • You can turn the KNOB (or push buttons) to change the set point. No magic involved. For instance, on the FGT-001, turn the ring until it displays "cyan" and it will regulate the valve, until the temperature averages 18 °C. It does not need the extra sensor, because there is one (actually two) and the device itself has an algorithm to go to the set temperature. It also does not really need a controller, all magic is performed by the micro-controller in the TRV.
  • Your TRV does not need a connection to a controller to do its job. You can install a TRV, set the thing to 24 °C if you like that, and it will start to open and close the valve. So you can check the performance of your TRV by leaving it excluded, so you can be sure it is not influenced by code or "something on your controller". This way you can be sure it is not a communication problem, or a script changing the set-point. Of course, this degrades it to "a mechanical thermostatic head" - but we managed to live with that kind of control, did we not?
  • You get more interesting possibilities, with a Z-Wave controller. You can send temperature settings to the controller via your app, or using the browser interface. Like: "go to 23 °C for 4 hours". Because FGT-001 is a FLiRS (frequently listening routing slave) device, roughly one second after you change the temperature, it will take into account your new target value! So there is no "wake up" interval (and delay) like ordinary battery operated device. Older TRVs are not FLIRS so they kind of "request settings at regular intervals" - otherwise know as "wake up interval". To my best knowledge, the only other FLiRS device on the market is the "Spirit Z-Wave Plus". Danfoss has announced the LC14, it should be FLiRS based but I don't think you can buy one yet.
  • Some part of slowness of the "older TRVs" comes from the wake up interval. The FGT-001 has eliminated that. It will respond to commands "almost instantly". Older TRVs ask the controller at regular intervals "what is my set-point" (target temperature). It is recommended to set wake up > 300 and < 900 and set each older TRV wake up with 10 seconds difference to avoid collisions. FLiRS devices  do not have such a setting because they do not need one (they are nearly instant).
  • So, you have your TRV connected (included, added) to a Z-Wave controller? Then from now on you have a "remote control" for your thermostat. It still does not need your controller or a temperature sensor to control the temperature. Sometimes, it is more convenient to use your phone or a tablet. But it's not real automation (yet). Communication is bidirectional: the controller can set the TRVs set-point and the TRV will report the set-point if someone turns the knob. If you change the setting on the TRV, it sends that information to the controller, so you can immediately see in your app or on your browser... set-point has changed. You'll notice a timer too, this is something interesting to talk about but not right now. Just keep in mind changing the setting on the TRV acts as "an override with a timer" (it requires more explanation, I know...). The FGT-001 also reports temperature if it has an external sensor. It DOES NOT report sensor data without external sensor. To me, this makes totally sense, because the sensor is not in a good spot to measure room temperature. I have dedicated a separate topic to this. Popp is a modified Danfoss TRV. It reports temperature, but depending on your house and position of the TRV, its temperature reporting will not match the temperature at a key point in your room... If you want to know more, please read my other topic... 

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  • The next step would be to use "the heating panel". The heating panel is nothing but a scheduler. It contains time/temperature settings (pairs). And all it does is send the schedule to the TRV. Again, the FGT or Danfoss is fully autonomous after it receives the schedule. Older thermostats get only a set-point change. The FGT-001 gets a complete schedule. The effect is largely the same. You can override the schedule by turning the knob, or by using the app. You get manual override and holiday mode as a bonus. You need to understand the concept of zones and rooms and maybe take into account that one FGT remote sensor can send temperature to three FGT-001 heads. It might be a little bit more complex than I suggest... one thing that trips people is how "time" plays a role in overriding the schedule.
  • If this still isn't enough control, you can use Lua to send a set-point to the TRV. Even in this case, you still do not need an extra temperature measurement... The FGT is FLiRS and responds almost instantly to your commands. The older valves get a setting at the next wake-up (typically set to anything between 5 an 30 minutes). Of course, you can use some sensor in the room to estimate the performance of the TRV and nudge the set-point up and down, to compensate for the fact the TRV is not in a good position to measure room temperature. I do not present scripts to do this... You can use Lua with or without the heating panel,. If you want to make your own scheduler, you can do that, no need to configure the heating panel.
  • The setting "The main thermostat:" on the  "room settings tab" can be used by Lua scenes, but I do not think it is used in any other way.
  • The setting "The main temperature sensor:" on the  "room settings tab" selects the sensor for the temperature gauge in the top left corner of a room (app + browser) for display purposes. It does not in influence temperature control, unless you use or write Lua scene(s).
  • All the TRV needs is... a steady source of hot water and battery. And this brings us to the issue of room thermostat and boiler control. The boiler should take care of the hot water problem. It has a boiler thermostat, and possibly some settings and maybe an external probe. You see, I do not mention a "room thermostat" when I talk about boiler control, this is intentional. I might discuss this another time.
  • For sake of completeness... other TRV systems exist. If you are interested in a mains operated, completely silent actuator (not a thermostat!) look up "thermoelectric actuator". notice: "actuator" is not "thermostat"... You need a thermostat to control that kind of actuator. It is something to keep in mind: all Z-Wave TRVs make some noise!
  • There is one rather peculiar device on the market, which causes a lot of confusion: "Danfoss RS 014G0160 Thermostat". On a HC 4.160 you can use this as a kind of remote control. It does not act as a real thermostat, because the device does not control any output (on a home center). You can use Lua to intercept "value" and "timestamp" as with any other thermostat.
  • Also for sake of completeness...You can turn a sensor and a switch (relay) into a basic thermostat using "linked device". It only works with a relay, not a thermostat. I am not a big fan of this setup, if communication fails and the relay gets stuck "open" or "close" your room might get very hot or cold. You can by thermostats with a relay instead.
  • FGT-001 has issues, we are waiting on a device specific firmware update.

Are you still with me?

 

Any questions? Go ahead! There are no stupid questions... I learn from people asking questions, either because it makes me formulate the answer or makes me aware of things I do not know! Thats good!

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  • Hi,

    thank you so much for your reply and very detailed explanation. I really very appreciated that. I already saw and read your explanation while I was searching through this user group. I am also the engineer and a developer as well. You were right, I am new to Fibaro but in the area of smart homes and ITTT (If This Then That).

    Right at the beginning, I must say that as of this morning my Eurotronic TRV works as expected. No firmware update nor Fibaro HC update. I did the same steps as before and I was surprised that it has been working now. Temperature on the Eurotronic TRV is automatically adjusted according to the time schedule of the Heating Panel. I hope that it was not a problem between a keyboard and the chair :-( 

    So I can say that Fibaro was really good choice and it really can work with third party products supporting ZWave technology.  I have another third party products in my network working without any issue. So far :-) 
    It is always a matter of a device firmware how it can interpret commands received from another devices or detected by the device it-self. 


    Best regards
    Jan

    Edited by Jan Zahradnicek
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    Hi @petergebruers and @Jan Zahradnicek, thanks for the clear explanation. I have installed several of the Eurotronic TRVs earlier this week. 

    I have three four questions:

    - Do you know how the two thermostat devices shown HC2 relate? (See attached screenshot.)

    - From the manual, I do not really understand the difference between heating and energy safe heating, do you?

    - When using the heating panel, the changed set temperature also changes 'energy safe heating' to 'heating'. But, the changed set temp is only taken up by the device if (and when) I (manually) switch back to energy safe heating. Do you have any clue what is happening here?

    - From your description, do I understand that it is impossible to use e.g. a smoke detector temp sensor? Is this correct? Also in the context of what the

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    calls 'manufacturer specific mode' that would allow for direct valve operation?

    Thanks!

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    Edit: added Q3

    Edited by 3JL
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