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  • Vincenttor
    replied
    Thanks for the info Randy,
    as you have seen in the topic in the arduino forum i am having some difficulties at my parents house with the card.

    I am actually using it with USB connection instead of LAN.
    I can probably try to switch over to lan connection maybe this is more stable as USB since it gives from time to time a disconnect and is not able to reconnect anymore when pressing in the software reconnect.

    I did made an event also that it resets the board at a certain time , but this solution you have is also a nice one.
    I haven't thought about that.

    The Arduino board is a great solution and one of the cheaper solutions as well.

    I have been thinking of using a solid state relay, but the whole point of trying to save power use then is a bit lost since a solidstate always lets some power trough, so if a device is connected there is still usage.
    And with a LED light it will probably still light up or flicker.
    This is why i am going to use a mechanical relay at the sockets.


    Your way is as on the drawing i made (yes in paint haha) , drawing 2. forgot to draw the capacitor between the lines.


    But if i do it like this i would hear 2 clicks in a room, not that bad of course but i would have to add more wires to supply the power for the big/end relay.
    Most of them rated 30Amps or more are using 12 or 24 Volt.
    What is the problem if i take 2 lines that switch the end relay, so that it is like drawing 1 the cable is longer from the relay board to the end relay.

    more problems with interference ?
    Thanks

    ps. sorry for hijacking your topic btw

    Leave a comment:


  • rprade
    replied
    Originally posted by Vincenttor View Post
    This is an amazing system.
    I am planning to control all power sockets in the house, and i want to measure the usage as well, the system you are using seems to be doing it and with small clamps to wrap around the cable.
    The installation is also very tidy if you ask me, its more messy here

    Do you think since you are using the arduino a while now, that is will be stable enough to connect all the power sockets and lights in the house to a relay board to the arduino ?

    I am planning to build a relay in the socket or next to it , that will be switched by the relay board on the arduino.
    First, let me state that I have no idea what the electrical codes are in the Netherlands and what I suggest below is not approved under US electrical codes, though I would still consider it to be "safe".

    The Arduino connection and boards have been reliable enough for me to count on them for 100% of the time. I have created some events that check the boards and their connection on a daily basis and that will reset the board upon failure of that test. I also have another set of events that are triggered if any of the boards becomes anything other than connected. Since switching to genuine Arduino Ethernet shields three months ago none of disconnect events have triggered and the once-a-day tests have passed every time. That is one of the true beauties of the plug-in and the boards - you can design events that can trigger when the boards do not perform within parameters. My board test is simple. I short an output to an input and assign them in the plug-in as "test" pins. I trigger the test output pin to go "ON" then give 10 seconds for the corresponding input to go high. If the test fails, I reset the board.

    As far as the control of "power sockets", I would have no problem using the Arduino to control them. I would use optically isolated relays as a means of absolutely isolating the mains from the Arduino side. Most of the relay boards use relays rated at 10-15 amps, so I would also make sure that the main supply to the relay is protected by a circuit breaker or fuse equal to or less than the rated capacity of the relay contacts. If you want to control the sockets with a relay mounted near or in them (which is how I would do it), you would need three wires to the relay board - 5V DC, GND and a control line from the Arduino output. I would also put a small capacitor between the ground and the control lines at each end, the relay and the Arduino. A 0.1uf ceramic would probably work - this would hopefully snub any spikes picked up by the long wire run.

    Leave a comment:


  • Vincenttor
    replied
    This is an amazing system.
    I am planning to control all power sockets in the house, and i want to measure the usage as well, the system you are using seems to be doing it and with small clamps to wrap around the cable.
    The installation is also very tidy if you ask me, its more messy here

    Do you think since you are using the arduino a while now, that is will be stable enough to connect all the power sockets and lights in the house to a relay board to the arduino ?

    I am planning to build a relay in the socket or next to it , that will be switched by the relay board on the arduino.

    Leave a comment:


  • LCrawfo
    replied
    That was an excellent post and has given me some great ideas to pursue this fall for next year implementation!

    Leave a comment:


  • rprade
    replied
    Originally posted by karlismoto View Post
    Thank's for info!
    I will continue to prepare my projet... And will search wired units.
    I am little disappointed about HS no built internal house climate support with valves control for rooms radiatos and warm floors. (without thermostats in each room)

    Thanks!
    Sure. But I think you are missing the point of HomeSeer. HomeSeer is a program designed to bring together the control of many different devices thermostats, sensors, switches, lighting controls, etc. There is no program that can do what you are asking and even dedicated automated heating and cooling control systems have a thermostat in each zone. Certainly if you had a device to report temperature to HomeSeer and a relay or other device to control your heating equipment, HomeSeer could control it. I have done that with a OneWire temperature sensor and a small radiant heater and could have done it with my hydronic system as well.

    My point in the earlier post is that it would be very inconvenient for individuals not to have local control of the heat in each room. That would best be served by a thermostat. If you wanted to create events that turned the heat of and on by some sort of temperature sensor, HomeSeer could certainly accomplish that, but if you wanted to change the
    temperature to make the room (floor) warmer or cooler, you would have to use a HSTouch device or the HomeSeer web interface to change it.

    HomeSeer is by far the most capable, flexible and thorough home automation software on the market. If you can find a device that is controllable, it is more likely HomeSeer can control it than any other package out there. It is up to you to pick the best reporting and control devices for your purpose, then interface them with HomeSeer for automation.

    Leave a comment:


  • karlismoto
    replied
    Thank's for info!
    I will continue to prepare my projet... And will search wired units.
    I am little disappointed about HS no built internal house climate support with valves control for rooms radiatos and warm floors. (without thermostats in each room)

    Thanks!

    Leave a comment:


  • rprade
    replied
    Originally posted by karlismoto View Post
    Hi!

    Thanks for use full information and great ideas!

    I have a some questions about the house hvac.
    1. Can I control my home only with HS without room thermostats?
    You could use temperature sensors and dry contact devices, but it would be very inconvenient to have to go to a computer or touch controller to adjust the temperature. You would also have to find software that would allow you to easily change the setpoints for control
    2. If not good idea maybe only two thermostats one on first floor and second on second floor.
    3. What about the thermostats - can I find the wired version without 'z-wave' (I don't want to many radio signals in my rooms)
    there are IP based thermostats, the rest use radio.

    And one question of lighting theme:
    maybe you know good Dimmer module..
    I search one big central module for my house lights.
    (I don't like the z-waves dimmers who is put around the all house...)


    best regards from Lettland, Riga
    I don't know of any. The beauty of Z-Wave is that it takes no new or special wiring to add control. What you are describing would require wiring from every light back to the "big central module". I don't know about Latvia, but here in the US we are surrounded by all sorts of radio signals from TV stations and Cellular phones to WiFi in almost every home on the block.

    Leave a comment:


  • karlismoto
    replied
    Hi!

    Thanks for use full information and great ideas!

    I have a some questions about the house hvac.
    1. Can I control my home only with HS without room thermostats?
    2. If not good idea maybe only two thermostats one on first floor and second on second floor.
    3. What about the thermostats - can I find the wired version without 'z-wave' (I don't want to many radio signals in my rooms)

    And one question of lighting theme:
    maybe you know good Dimmer module..
    I search one big central module for my house lights.
    (I don't like the z-waves dimmers who is put around the all house...)


    best regards from Lettland, Riga

    Leave a comment:


  • rprade
    replied
    I've been accused of never giving a short answer, this one will be no exception. Why use ten words when a hundred will do

    The sensors I use are DS18B20, enclosed in a stainless steel sleeve, with about 3 feet of wire. They are rugged, reliable and very inexpensive. I purchased all of mine and about 100 for other friends and family on eBay. They arrive from China within two weeks and are about $17 for 10 delivered. This is the merchant I have been using.

    I use the EDS OWServer for my temperature monitoring. While Greig's Arduino plug-in does a great job with OneWire temperature sensors, there are some compelling reasons to use the OWServer.
    • has a direct Ethernet connection
    • supports up to 23 devices per server with up to 3 separate inputs
    • supports very long sensor runs using CAT5 cable. They claim up to 1000'

    One of the problems with OneWire devices is that they consume more current during the calculation phase of their operation. With a single device and a short run of cable a 2.2k-4.7k resistor works fine for the data pull-up. When you are connecting two dozen devices on 100 feet or more of cable, the pull up gets a lot more complicated. The OWServer uses a dynamic circuit to maintain current and voltage on the pull-up especially during the critical calculation phase of operation. It has a nice web interface that can tell you at a glance the status of your OneWire network(s).

    Here is a screenshot from one of mine showing 22 devices. It shows you the health of each device, loop times (update frequency) and other data. If you look at the temperatures it is easy to see that a DHW event was just completed as the tank (3B0000056B530A28) is 135.6, the boiler supply (9C000004CA9CC128) is 123.2 and the boiler return (6400000565E19B28) is 112.2. That screenshot was taken about 15 minutes after the cycle was completed.



    Click on any device and you get more detail on the device.



    There are also decent graphing capabilities on the web interface. The graphing is real time, not archival. Since it is queried with simple HTTP Get actions, you can access the web interface while it still actively updates HomeSeer.

    The temperature sensors are attached to the copper piping with hose clamps and a dollup of heat sink compound. The heat sink compound is probably overkill, but as long as I was at it - what the heck.



    I had a friend use the same method on his PEX system and says he gets very good accuracy even with plastic pipe. Since relative temperatures are often as valuable as absolute readings, the outside temperature of the pipes (whether copper or plastic) is adequate for monitoring. For my protection from the pipes freezing, I am only generally concerned with the pipe temperature and just keep it above 40 on cold days and 50 on really cold days. During December-February it can get below 0 in Denver, so I bump up the threshold at an outside temperature of 20 degrees or less.

    Since I initially wrote the posts starting this thread I have made some discoveries and changes. One thing I discovered was lost energy in the heating of our domestic hot water (DHW) in the summertime. We have a single 160,000 BTU boiler that takes care of our baseboard heat and DHW. In the wintertime the boiler is in fairly constant use, but in the spring and summer it is used very intermittently and sometimes only for DHW. The normal way for these systems to function is to call for heat to the indirect water heater. That heat call opens a zone valve and the limit switch on the zone valve starts the circulator. The burner is controlled thermostatically so that it runs until its high limit (200-degrees) is hit as long as there is zone demand. When I automated the system, I look at every zone valve status, zone valve actuator, temperatures at the supply and return of the boiler and all 9 zones. I also control the circulator and burner independently. Initially I was concerned about short burner cycles in the winter and that worked very well by delaying burner action based upon boiler supply temperature and zone demand. I also created sleep and work times for DHW, where it would not respond to demand, until it was near the times we use hot water.

    One thing I discovered when I was looking at temperature trends was the fact that in the summer, the boiler would get almost to its high limit every time there was demand for DHW heat. If I triggered the DHW to come on at 110 degrees, with a goal of 130+ degree water (we like ours hot), I needed to shut the DHW zone valve at 126-degrees. The energy from the 180+ degree boiler water in the indirect coil would continue heating the DHW another 4 or 5 degrees. The problem is that there is a cast iron boiler with quite a few gallons of water sitting at 180+ degrees doing absolutely nothing other than slowly radiating that heat into the boiler closet and basement. The change in function is that we now trigger demand at 115-degrees when there is or has been no heat demand - I know this because of the supply and return temperatures of the boiler as well zone demand for all of the heat zones. I still trigger at 110 when the boiler is already hot. This opens the zone valve for DHW, starts the circulator and fires the burner. In the summer or when there is no heat demand the DHW program shuts off the burner at 122-degrees, but leaves the zone valve open and the circulator running. This continues for 9 minutes. At the end of the process we have boiler supply, return and DHW temperatures all at 135-degrees. We have recovered a significant portion of the energy that would otherwise have been radiated into the room by the boiler. Looking at the raw data we have reduced the boiler burn times for DHW by 40%, effectively reducing our summer hot water costs by that same percentage. Granted, it is not a lot, but still amounts to about $10 per month in summer savings. In the winter when there is other heat demand, the program shuts the DHW zone valve at 128 degrees. The heat automation takes care of the circulator and burner.

    I have expanded the use of OneWire devices. I have not figured out what to do with the data yet, but I monitor my Air Conditioning system as well. We have 2 LG Mini-split ductless systems. A single system for the family room/dining room/kitchen and a multi-split for the bedrooms. I have sensors on the supply (liquid) and return (gas) lines to the outdoor units, the ambient and exhaust air for both outside units and the return and outlet air for the four indoor air handlers. The data did show me I was low on Freon on the multi unit because of lower temperature drop on the air handlers. It could also be seen in the line temperatures. Hopefully I can hook into HomeSeer's new graphing capabilities down the road.

    As you can tell I love granular data, sometimes it is useful, sometimes just interesting - but more data is more gooder
    Last edited by rprade; September 6, 2014, 01:59 PM.

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  • picta
    replied
    rprade, thanks for the great write-up, I wonder if you could post some pics of your temperature sensors on the pipes and a link to where you bought them from.

    We have a similar setup to yours, 11 zones of radiant heat and a boiler. We have used the Brultech devices and ultrajones plugins since 2010 and our energy cost savings over that period is in the thousands of $$. Here in CA our rates are sky high, PG&E offers several plans, we are on a "predictable" 5-tier plan. By tracking the current tier we can optimize our energy cost both automatically and by some discretion on usage of high power devices.

    It is amazing how much energy cost can be optimized with HA and simple monitoring, unfortunately it is not promoted to the masses as much as the "alternatives", like leased solar panels. These are pushed at people in places like Home Depot, but when I really looked into a contract (reading all the fine print), I found that it will result in the higher total cost over the 20 year deal period, besides the extra lien on the house and many other issues in exchange for the initial $15 savings from the current monthly bill.

    Leave a comment:


  • rprade
    replied
    Originally posted by ehinkle27 View Post
    That is what I am trying to do. We have a 9am -9pm plan where electricity cost more during that time and more depending on the energy demand. That is why I want to be able to control what is coming on during those times to reduce demand.

    Sent from my LG-V510 using Tapatalk
    The Brultech will give you the granularity to chase down usage to a circuit level. Your best results will be to schedule high usage devices like water heater, hot tub, etc. Those devices can be turned off during the higher cost periods. The clothes dryer is a little more problematic because all you can do is suggest that loads be run after 9. If you try to control it, you may be in for some domestic disturbance

    Leave a comment:


  • ehinkle27
    replied
    That is what I am trying to do. We have a 9am -9pm plan where electricity cost more during that time and more depending on the energy demand. That is why I want to be able to control what is coming on during those times to reduce demand.

    Sent from my LG-V510 using Tapatalk

    Leave a comment:


  • rprade
    replied
    Originally posted by ehinkle27 View Post
    Thanks for the write up, this is great information.

    I am working on something similar to what you have. I have the brultech modules and was thinking of geting the plugin to monitor the system. I have an all electric house and want to be able to control my water heater and A/C units to reduce electric bills.

    Can the ultrajones plugins wattage readings be used to trigger events. I would like to configure homeseer to monitor the power usage and if the house power usage is above a certain value, prevent the water heater or other devices from turning on (via High voltage power switches).
    Yes, you can use any of the devices from the plug-in as event triggers or conditions. I use the power consumed by the washing machine and dryer to trigger events that let my wife know when each machine has finished its cycle. The resolution of the Brultech is so good that here is no limit to how creative you can be creating events. You could look at the circuit to your refrigerator and create an alert if it has not cycled on within a specific time frame. You can compare your overall consumption with time specific energy cost tiers. Where I live there is one tier, we pay one price for the first 500kwh in a month and a higher price for usage above 500kwh. There isn't much that can be done since we average above 1000kwh per month.

    Leave a comment:


  • ehinkle27
    replied
    Thanks for the write up, this is great information.

    I am working on something similar to what you have. I have the brultech modules and was thinking of geting the plugin to monitor the system. I have an all electric house and want to be able to control my water heater and A/C units to reduce electric bills.

    Can the ultrajones plugins wattage readings be used to trigger events. I would like to configure homeseer to monitor the power usage and if the house power usage is above a certain value, prevent the water heater or other devices from turning on (via High voltage power switches).

    Leave a comment:


  • travisdh
    replied
    Id like to second some of the comments. Thanks for putting up such an informative writeup on how you have set your system up and what it can do. I think it is especially impressive how much you have been able to do with the Arduino's

    Leave a comment:

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