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Thread: Managing UFH Manifold and Mixing Valve

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    Automated Home Legend Paul_B's Avatar
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    Default Managing UFH Manifold and Mixing Valve

    For over a year now I've been (very) slowly converting a room to be much more energy efficient by increasing insulation and airtightness. The plasterboard has been replaced with Variotherm Radiant Panels (18mm Fermacell boards with UFH pipes modelled into the board).

    Now I need to connect the new manifold to supply the panels (~30-40deg C) to the existing heating system (60-80degrees C). I have the manifold but need to add a mixing valve and pump. In addition I'd like to control the setup via Cortex. Has anyone blogged, documented or had experience of setting up such a system with Idratek and Cortex?

    Paul

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    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    not yet, but been doing our homework, for a system with UFH, DHW, and solar - Wilo do some smart pumps, and Sauter do some good valves - for our situation anyway, for which we're aiming to go manifold-less, so have them on our short list ... ie :

    http://www.wilo.com/cps/rde/xchg/en/layout.xsl/1010.htm

    http://www.sauterautomation.co.uk/en...nd-drives.html

    http://www.sauterautomation.co.uk/pd...s_en474897.pdf

    http://www.sauterautomation.co.uk/pd...s_en464050.pdf

    http://www.sauterautomation.co.uk/en...ing-pn-16.html
    Last edited by chris_j_hunter; 25th August 2009 at 12:32 PM. Reason: repaired last link

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    Automated Home Legend Paul_B's Avatar
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    Cheers Chris I'll check these out tonight when I can give the docs the attention they deserve. Out of interest why have you chosen to go manifold less?

    Paul

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    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    manifold-less because they are expensive & a fiddle to balance & inefficient in terms of flow pressure-drops & turbulence ... plus Idratek / Cortex allows a smarter approach than has been possible before ...

    the Wilo pump self-regulates based on pressure drop, and the Sauter valves + controls respond to 0-10V, allowing good switching & regulation, zone by zone ...

    and no room thermostats (large time-lags & difficult to position representatively), but using temperature sensors* on feed & return legs to get more immediate feedback on heating demand (cooler return / larger temperature difference = more heat taken out = more heating needed) ...

    * eg:

    http://www.rapidonline.com/Electroni...-sensors/76422
    Last edited by chris_j_hunter; 25th August 2009 at 12:55 PM. Reason: typos

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    Automated Home Legend Paul_B's Avatar
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    Chris,

    Do you have a reference diagram for how this works? I'm struggling to try and picture it in my mind. Would you have a single circuit or multiple circuits? If the latter how do you control the distibution of heated water, is it centrally or on a ring?

    Paul

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    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    ideally multiple off-takes from thermal store ... else splitter just off the store ... with one pump & one valve per zone & two temperature sensors per zone ...

    BTW, AIUI, sensing return temperature, rather than having room thermostats, is not uncommon on the Continent ...

    DPS website has useful info' - would give you a link, but their web-site doesn't work that way, so you'll have to dig !

  7. #7
    Automated Home Legend Paul_B's Avatar
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    Chris,

    Thanks for the info, managed to find a specific URL relating to UFH options:

    http://www.heatweb.com/techtips/Unde...orheating.html
    My problem is that I am renovating over time so I have both radiators and now radiant panels. From my brief reading the 'best' option looks like an injection based system?

    I'm still a bit unsure as to whether I need to install multiple valves at a central location which then feed the individual rooms (is this very different from a manifold?) or a supply loop that has valves along the loop for feeding rooms?

    Paul

  8. #8
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    looks like DPS have (just) updated their website - better than it was & must have happened in the last week or two !

    injection system, yes ... 'though we've taken it as encouragement & then thought it out anew ...

    whatever, if you have the manifold, you might as well use it, I guess ! Not cheap, and will take time to set up, for best efficiency - to do it well, with a reasonable compromise, anyway - ie: v.long time-lags & difficulties in measuring what's going on ... good luck !

    OTOH, our approach is yet to be proven ....
    Last edited by chris_j_hunter; 26th August 2009 at 03:01 PM.

  9. #9
    Automated Home Sr Member MrFluffy's Avatar
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    Done it, but not with idratek...
    Last house had a manifold wirsbo system, and I switched the power lines from the transformer to the manifold solenoids with a pc relay switchbox as the relays are wax capsule ones, and work on some odd ac voltage to melt the wax to open.
    I then ran a serial network right round the house, and fitted ds1820 ibuttons (about 2 apiece) behind standard socket blanking patresses and connected the serial network back to the same computer (a dead pentium 100 laptop with a broken screen).
    I then installed linux onto the laptop, and wrote some rough software to watch the serial inputs and compare them to a database of temperatures for each room and switch the inputs corresponding to the manifold valve in that zone when it needed to go one way or the other.
    I used a vellerman k74 relay box on the parport to do the switching which came with sourcecode, and used the FUSE module to patch the ds1820's connected via a link45 controller, so they presented as text based files in the linux filesystem that my scripts could read easily.

    I wrote a quick web based gui to allow people to see what temperature each room was, what the trend for the day/month/week/year was, how well the desired temp followed the actual temp (so we could identify stuck valves quickly and other issues) and also a way to burrow down into each room, and set the desired temperature on a daily basis at a 15 minute resolution.

    Its ran happily for the past 5 years, without faltering and cost well under 150 to implement the sensor and switching part of the solution. Its now running the house for a tennant who's not really pc literate but loves it and my wife has asked me to do the same system for our new house, and throw the expensive wirsbo control system in the spares bin that came with the ufh kit...
    I never pressure balanced the system for flow or anything, probably should have but it just seemed to work...

    Id like to do it with idratek and linux instead of the serial network but only because a wiring fault on the ds1820's can bring the whole serial bus down.


    When something has such WAF that she insists you fit it again, you know it was right...

  10. #10
    Automated Home Sr Member MrFluffy's Avatar
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    The mixer thing is a seperate issue, to elaborate. It just blends water between the outflow and the intake to gain the desired temperate to run the ufh system.
    It should be mechanical and just consist of a thermostatic blending valve on a flowback loop between input and outflow from the two manifolds. Our first house didnt even have one, although this time around I am going to do so to stop tank variance in temperature skewing things (we ran a solar system for heatsource, and some days the temp of the water from the tank could get into the 90's).
    Fit this loop with a bypass system too, so when your computer controlled ufh system closes all the zones, the flow still has a route to take so it doesnt strain the pump. Or put the pump power under control of the pc and disable it when no demand is present (thought about this, but never did it, might this time round for more power savings)

    Another aspect to think about, you have a radiator system and corresponding heating, fit the cooler return from the radiator system into the ufh manifolds as flow, it will not have cooled down past the point of being correct for the ufh input.

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