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Newbie Requesting HS3 Integrated Thermostat Advice

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  • Newbie Requesting HS3 Integrated Thermostat Advice

    My current setup:
    I live in a large house which is heated and cooled by four heat pumps, each controlled independently by its own thermostat (Honeywell 7-day programmable, about 18 years old). The heat pumps are all two-stage with heat strips and geothermal assist from well water.

    My problem:
    I live in a rural area that suffers frequent power outages. Most of them are caused by falling trees during winter storms. A typical winter produces a half dozen or more outages which last anywhere from a few minutes to several days. Most outages occur during cold weather, and my quality of life drops in proportion to the inside temperature.

    My existing partial solution:
    I have a propane fueled 12 KW backup power generator which is supposed to kick in automatically when mains power fails. It is not working reliably, but that's another story.
    The automatic transfer switch locks out the heat pumps when the generator is in use because they require too much power. I am able to keep the well pump, the water heater, and all the outlets powered by the generator, but no heat.

    My visualized solution:
    1) Possibly replace the existing backup generator with a larger one, perhaps 20 KW, likely diesel fueled.
    2) Implement an intelligent load sharing system. Power draw from the generator would be continuously monitored. The intelligent system would continuously compare available generator power with heating requests from all of the thermostats, honoring or denying requests as needed. A central algorithm would enable at any moment from zero to four heat pumps, respecting constraints imposed by available generator power, differences between requested and measured temperatures at each thermostat, and system requirements such as waiting at least five minutes after a compressor is turned off before it is turned on again.

    I believe there are some win/win aspects to the approach I have described. First, some heat is better than no heat. Second, the occupant can elegantly express his druthers by adjusting the controlling thermostats: during the day I care most about the temperature of my office, in the evening, the living room, and at night, the bedroom. And finally, I'm told that diesel generators work most efficiently when they are nearly fully loaded. A proper load shedding algorithm could smooth out the total load.

    What now?
    I am willing to spend the money for a bigger generator, and for new replacement thermostats. I have done some work on the algorithm, but it is not complete. I think I see a potential for new thermostats that integrate with HS3 via appropriate plugin. My load shedding algorithm could be implemented either by a set of events, or by one or more scripts, or by Arduino code. The implementation platform is fuzzy.

    My critical question is: what specific thermostat model and associated existing plugin would you recommend for my project? And, can this be made to work?

    Current Date/Time: 11/19/2018 10:35:34 PM
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  • #2
    There are many different thermostats that should do the job for you. I have two Honeywell YTH8320ZW1007, and they have worked very well so far. No plug-in required (other than the Z-wave one that you already have).


    • #3
      I would suggest at least a 20Kw generator and maybe even as much as a 50Kw. Depending on manufacturer there are options for ensuring that certain [things] won't run while other [things] are. For instance, maybe it would run one HVAC zone, but not when the water heater is on. Around here (hurricane prone), the choice fuel is propane, but YMMV. Get a few quotes and compare hardware between them. You are not talking trivial money, here....

      As for a thermostat, having made this mistake, myself, I would contact HS and ensure that [thermostat XYZ] is fully operational under HS3.
      HomeSeer Version: HS3 Pro Edition
      Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 Pro - Work Station

      Enabled Plug-Ins: AmbientWeather | BLLock | BLUPS | Device History | EasyTrigger | MeiHarmonyHub | 3.0.6681.34300: UltraCID3 | 3.0.6644.26753: UltraLog3 | 3.0.6554.33094: UltraMon3 | weatherXML | Z-Wave | 3.0.51: HS Touch Designer | Z-Seer+


      • #4
        Consider getting yourself an energy meter or two like the Aeotec home energy meters and run the heat pumps individually and all at once so you can get a better profile of your energy use and, in particular, your peak use when heating / cooling. You can have one meter on your generator output and one for the house consumption so you can detect if the generator is producing power or if the power is coming from the utility service. With this setup, you could then use HomeSeer to watch the energy production / consumption state and, if the energy is from the generator, and the home consumption exceeds set levels, you could trigger and selectively turn off heating / cooling zones. I have a similar setup for my system - I don't do this for monitoring generation states; instead, my home is peak / off-peak metered and I control heating / zoning using the Honeyewll WiFi Thermostat plugin as the schedule changes and energy use rises / falls.