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  • Michel
    replied
    Originally posted by Automate View Post
    Yes, that makes sense. I thought the furnace control board was only providing "dumb" relay functions, and that the function of calling for auxiliary heat was only done by the thermostat by way of the W1 wire. But it makes sense that it this could also be a function of the control board. You've got me thinking, and I'll need to experiment to prove this out.
    I'm almost certain this is what you'll conclude. And this might be why the Ecobee also "concluded" the same thing initially.

    ..then I'll need to monitor the aux heat in some other way. Not a huge deal, but this is why I bought a "smart" thermostat.
    Can you run more wires between your system and the Ecobee?

    For the control and monitoring, I'm working on integrating automation with ceiling fans to assist with air movement. It could wait the 5 mins, as it's generally not critical, but I'd like the control of a quicker response.
    Of course when you're sitting in front of the screen, (5) minutes is like forever. If I may suggest, air stratification is happening regardless of your heating system running status. Have you evaluate the possibility of having these fans run at low speed based on other and larger conditions like Winter/Summer or if outside temp is lower then XX.

    ..I want to be able to correlate the timing of heating (and cooling) events, with in-house events such as doors opening, or occupancy of rooms, etc.
    Again, only my two cents of advice. For many years I only had electric baseboards. I was initially very aggressive with the set-point lowering and increasing as soon as we were in or out. The thing is that the more you lower your in-occupancy set-point, the more energy you need when you get back. Then not only the air needs to be re-heated but also everything else ; wall, ceiling, floor, furniture etc... Heat always moves to the coldest elements. So I'm not saying that temperature setback is not a saving. Just that it is not as huge as we would think. One exception that I'm working on is by adding Door/window sensor to every opening. If in summer we open doors or windows for X minutes then turn off AC. Note that the 5 minutes polling is for retrieving information but command from the plug-in to the Ecobee are almost instant.

    Now, since summer 2018, I have an heat-pump with baseboard Aux. back-up. What I've learned is that heat-pumps are not suited for quick temperature changes and this is when your costly Aux. electric heat will come on. And in summer, if you cool to fast you prevent proper humidity removal. This is my second winter and I'm still tuning things but one thing is certain, I only set-back a few degrees (1-2C) and only if I'm away for quite some time. Since I'm not working, I don't have a fixed schedule that I can implement so for the moment I'm using geo-localization to lower/increase the set-point. Based on my region, if I'm away more then 25 km, chances are that I'm gone somewhere for a good part of the day.

    Again, the HVAC world is not a fast reacting ecosystem. Temperature, humidity, these things needs time to properly equalize.

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  • Automate
    replied
    Yes, that makes sense. I thought the furnace control board was only providing "dumb" relay functions, and that the function of calling for auxiliary heat was only done by the thermostat by way of the W1 wire. But it makes sense that it this could also be a function of the control board. You've got me thinking, and I'll need to experiment to prove this out. Yes, if this is how this particular furnace works, then I'll need to monitor the aux heat in some other way. Not a huge deal, but this is why I bought a "smart" thermostat.

    For the control and monitoring, I'm working on integrating automation with ceiling fans to assist with air movement. It could wait the 5 mins, as it's generally not critical, but I'd like the control of a quicker response. In addition, I'm trying to learn where my energy is going. I want to know when the system goes into aux mode - the Ecobee reports when it goes over the alert time, but this can only be set to a minimum of 30 mins. I want to be able to correlate the timing of heating (and cooling) events, with in-house events such as doors opening, or occupancy of rooms, etc. Having "instant" reporting to HS would make this comparison much easier.

    Anyway, it's all just an experiment at this stage to see what capabilities I can utilize to be a bit more efficient in my energy use.

    Leave a comment:


  • Michel
    replied
    Originally posted by Automate View Post
    Yes, you are correct. The heat pump and furnace are integrated: The thermostat lines from the Ecobee connect at the furnace as do the lines from the outdoor compressor. The control board on the furnace integrates all functions (heat pump/compressor, fan, aux electric) and will call the heat-pump/compressor as required for stage1 heating, then activate the electric heating element (Aux1) as needed fore stage 2.
    This is where I was heading. Since your heating system has an onboard controller taking car of the stages/Aux. requirements, the Ecobee now only serves has an On/Off command for Heat, Cool, Fan. Now that tech support has manually turned that "haselectric" flag to true mean this from my humble point of view :
    • The Ecobee will run it's internal algorithm based on time lapsed and temperature differential and eventually call for Aux. heat. At that point Spud's plugin Aux. Status will become On. But in reality that Electrical Aux. output and command is being handled by the heating system onboard controller. As is, there is no communication of that real status between the Ecobee and your system. So what I would expect is absolutely no correlation between HS Aux status and actual Aux. status.
    • Also only based on what I can see, in order to have the Ecobee control the Aux. heat and have the plug-in report that status, you would need additional wires from the Ecobee to your Aux. heat in order for it to control that Aux. and the Device status to reflect that state.
    • If the above is true there would be other way to pick-up your Aux. heat status.
    Like I mentioned; not sure if I'll stick with the Ecobee or try to build a z-wave solution for better response and control.
    Only because I'm curious, what kind of HVAC related sequence are you wanting that cannot wait the 5 minutes poll? Usually, HVAC system are running independently while the control integration reads statuses or change the setpoint based on some logic and unless you have a badly controlled steam boiler, not much critical things can change in 5 minutes. Again, it is just curiosity.



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  • Automate
    replied
    Yes, you are correct. The heat pump and furnace are integrated: The thermostat lines from the Ecobee connect at the furnace as do the lines from the outdoor compressor. The control board on the furnace integrates all functions (heat pump/compressor, fan, aux electric) and will call the heat-pump/compressor as required for stage1 heating, then activate the electric heating element (Aux1) as needed fore stage 2. I think it's a pretty standard setup for forced air electric.

    Progress! Just now got an Email back from Ecobee confirming that they have manually changed the "hasElectric": false flag to "true" for my account. I now see the Aux heat on device, so I think we are good. Like I mentioned; not sure if I'll stick with the Ecobee or try to build a z-wave solution for better response and control. We'll see how it goes.

    Thanks for all the help!

    Cheers!

    Leave a comment:


  • Michel
    replied
    Just to confirm we see things the same way.
    • RC is your 24VAC from your heat pump
    • C is the Common from your heat pump
    • G is the Ecobee Fan command to your Heat pump
    • Y1 is the Ecobee Cool command to your Heat pump
    • W1 is the Ecobee Heat command to your Heat pump
    • So R,C,G,Y and W are ALL terminals on your Heat pump
    If this is the case, where does your electrical back-up connect to? Is it controlled by the Heat pump? I will need a bit more info on it.

    Cheers.

    Leave a comment:


  • Automate
    replied
    This is what I have wired:

    Click image for larger version

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  • Michel
    replied
    Can you share a more detailed picture of your wiring set-up using the attached terminal as a reference only.
    Click image for larger version

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  • Automate
    replied
    Sure! It's an Ecobee 3 running firmware 4.5.13.45 debug lists the model as "athenaSmart"

    Main heating is heat pump and aux is electric. I do have w1 connected to fire the AUX heat. W2 is not connected.

    I suspect it's related to an issue at Ecobee and have opened a ticket with them, although it's a bit slow going to get any sort of detail from them.

    Honestly, I think the ecobee is really lacking for my requirements and when I got it I expected that it wouldn't be long until they opened a local API. That was a few years ago, and it seems like that won't ever happen. I need fairly real-time response to be able to coordinate with other HVAC devices in the home. I'm investigating using a z-wave thermostat instead and having homseer provide the more advanced logic functions. The ecobee is a good thing with it's remote sensors, but the lack of the local API kills it's ability to integrate effectively.

    Spud,
    Does the plugin need to refrence the the "hasElectric" flag for the purpose of creating the aux heat interface? Could it not just rely on the "hasHeatPump", and ignore the state of "hasElectric"?

    Thanks!

    Leave a comment:


  • Michel
    replied
    I spent quite sometime playing with my T-Stat and heating systems in general. Feel free to detail your setup.

    What is your main Heating source?
    What is your Aux Heat?
    Can you share a picture of the wire terminals. Do you have wires tied to W1 and/or W2?
    Feel free to share your Ecobee.txt log

    Leave a comment:


  • Michel
    replied
    What model of Ecobee do you have?

    Leave a comment:


  • Automate
    replied
    Hi Michel,

    Thanks for the detailed explanation. I actually got that far in my further troubleshooting last night - but it's good to have here as I'm sure it will help others who may be searching and come across this tread as I did.

    I discovered the problem was the "hasElectric" flag. For some reason it is set to false, although I don't understand why that is. I went through the furnace configuration again on the Ecobee and found no specific choice for fuel type. The Ecobee is set for forced air (vs boiler) and the "hasHeatPump" is set to true, so all that is working. I have opened a ticket with Ecobee on how to get the "hasElectric" flag changed. I'll update once I learn more.

    Thanks again!

    Leave a comment:


  • Michel
    replied
    Originally posted by Automate View Post
    What config file contains the "hasElectric" = true and "hasHeatPump" = true - I don't see it in the ecobee.ini file.
    Hi Automate,
    • First, you need to make sure that "Aux. Heat" is enabled in your thermostat. It is not a flag that you turn on or off in an Ecobee.ini file.
    • If the "Aux Heat Status" device is not created by the plug-in in HS, you can confirm if the plug-in is being given that proper setting in a Debug file called Ecobee.txt, located in "YOUR HOMESEER SOFTWARE PATH\HomeSeer HS3\Logs"
    • In order to have that log file you first need to go into the "Config" page of the Ecobee plug-in. On the "General" tab, check "Log to file" and select "Debug" from the drop down list.
    • The plug-in polls information every (5) minutes so you will need to give it some time to create the log file.
    • One you have a file I suggest you turn "Log to file" Off as it will only add more information and make it harder to navigate.
    • It is a dump file so not formatted at all. I suggest you use the "Search" function of your notepad lo locate the "hasElectric" and "hasHeatPump" flags.
    So in short it is NOT the plug-in that decides if you have Aux. Heat or not. It comes from your thermostat settings.

    Let me know how you make out. And feel free to post your Ecobee.txt file if I can be of any help.

    Leave a comment:


  • Automate
    replied
    Hi All,

    I'd like to see the running mode as well, but I don't see this new device listed with all my other ecobee functions. What config file contains the "hasElectric" = true and "hasHeatPump" = true - I don't see it in the ecobee.ini file.

    Thanks

    Leave a comment:


  • Michel
    replied
    Spud,

    With 3.2.0.32

    "Aux Heat Status" appeared as expected on the T-Stat having "Aux. Heat" and not on the second that does not have the feature turned-on. So this is behaving as expected.

    Doing a really quick test, "Aux Heat Status" also seems to be properly tracking.

    I'll monitor the situation during a few days but all seems to be working properly.

    As usual your promptness and plug-in's quality is greatly appreciated.

    Best regards.

    Leave a comment:


  • spud
    replied
    I think I found the problem, please test version BETA 3.0.0.32

    Leave a comment:

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