Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 16

Thread: Which TRVs / home heating control system should I go for?

  1. #1
    Automated Home Jr Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    20

    Default Which TRVs / home heating control system should I go for?

    Hi all,

    After months and months of messing around, we are no longer having an air source heat pump installed and will be sticking with our LPG system for a while longer.

    Basically, the reason for this post is that I'm unwilling to pay for heating unless we really need to have it on, but it turns out my wife and four kids see things differently and think we should have it running 24/7! What I am attempting to achieve is retaining my fuel bill at the current rate, but pay out for a heating controls system as a single one-off charge which will mean that while the fuel bills are static, the house is more comfortable for us.

    To give you an idea of how much I dislike paying for heating, my kids get a bonus for every 2 weeks beyond 1st October that the heating is kept shut off by way of a takeaway meal which costs around 45/50 and is therefore paid for by the savings made not heating the house!

    Our system:
    Potterton Performa System 24 HE LPG boiler
    Baxi Megaflow CL250HB unvented indirect 250 litre hot water cylinder
    A wall thermostat in lower hall switches the heating on and off
    Thermostats on all radiators, excluding a single pass through radiator on lock shield valves
    Apollo GEM hot water controller (diverts electricity which would otherwise be exported back to the national grid to the immersion element in the hot water cylinder to help heat water)

    Hot water is heated by our LPG boiler and topped up by the Apollo Gem device. Usually around March/April we shut off the boiler and we heat water via the immersion heater and have it topped up during the day using the Apollo Gem device which is a far cheaper way to run it for us.

    Radiators:
    Living room 2
    Family room 1
    Dining room 1
    Kitchen 1
    Utility room 1
    Downstairs toilet - 1
    Lower Hall 1 with trv and 1 used as bypass with lock shield valves
    Upper hall 1
    5x bedrooms - 5 (1 in each)
    2x en-suites and 1x family bathroom 3 chrome TRVs on stainless steel towel rails

    Total valves:
    14x Myson TRV 2
    3x Danfoss RAS-D2 (towel rails, but I am happy for these to stay as is for aesthetic reasons as necessary)
    1x lockshield pas-through for the lower hall.

    Issues / what we are hoping to achieve:

    - Our heating system temperature and hot water are not independently adjustable, so while I want my LPG boiler to heat to 54 degrees only and the Apollo Gem device to throw any surplus power through the day at the hot water via the immersion heater. This would therefore stop the LPG boiler heating our water when it goes beyond the magical 54 degree limit
    - I work from home 3/4 days per week and my wife works for the NHS on shifts. I don't want the house to operate like a single switch on and off, despite the individual TRVs
    - We live in a rural location in Scotland and are fairly exposed to the elements. Our house was built in 2009, but to 2004 regulations (when the warrant was approved). Windows are pretty poor, but general external and loft insulation is good. Some form of weather compensation would be great (a key feature we were having built in to our ASHP design). In the 4 years we have been here we have seen temperatures drop to -16C (2009), -20 (2010), -12 (2011) and -9 (2012)
    - I am looking to be able to control rooms independently so we can minimise heating in 80% of the house when I am alone and control rooms as my family come through the door and start to occupy different rooms

    Current thoughts:
    - eQ3-MAX! has a LAN gateway and App for Android/iOS, but reviews not great on Google Play. No boiler control.
    - Conrad FHT 8 room stat + actuators. Has a boiler controller to allow the boiler to fire up only when valves call for heat.

    What do you guys think of these options?
    Is there anything else I should be looking at - pump/boiler/etc to minimise our annual outlay going forward?
    If it helps/makes any difference we use around 2500 litres of LPG per year, so not a huge amount considering the size of our house I think.

  2. #2
    Automated Home Jr Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    20

    Default

    Hi, can anybody help please?

  3. #3
    Automated Home Lurker
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    17

    Default

    The two options you mention look to be some of the most common for non-integrated solutions. Honeywell Evotouch is supposed to be a nice system, but would be a lot more pricey.

    Upcoming soon (upcoming soon for the past 2 years though it looks it mike actually be now) is LightwaveRF's solution. My guess is that'll be price comparable to the two you mention and possibly a bit more user friendly.

    Alternatively you're looking at something more custom. I'm personally hoping to get a z-wave system set up using indigo on a Mac mini as a home controller. Thats going to give me a huge amount of flexibility in a relatively easy to use package I think. The only issue being indigo doesn't currently handle the wireless thermostats very well in large numbers. Hopefully thats going to be sorted, but if not I'm going to have to consider using wired radiator valves with relays (not much difference in cost but a lot more hassle and poorer aesthetics, though I think might be quieter).

  4. #4
    Automated Home Jr Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    20

    Default

    Thanks for the reply.

    If there was an app for Evohome I'd certainly be looking that way, but I'm not sure about reliability on the other two.

    Any advice?

  5. #5
    Automated Home Jr Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    23

    Default

    I use fhem (free) as my server, andfhem(free) as my app on my phone, and use wireless actuators that are fs20 based. All works very well, and very cheap.

    Search this site for conrad fht theres load of info

    Fon

  6. #6
    Automated Home Jr Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    20

    Default

    Thank you Fon for your reply.

    I'm struggling to get my head around the setup you've mentioned. I'm only a novice techie!

    Am I correct in thinking I would need the following for my set up: 11x actuators (FS20's)
    10x FS20 Indivdual Wireless Thermostat Actuator (570056 - 89) @ 23.99
    1x FHZ 1000 Wireless Control Centre (617499 - 89) @ 94.99
    1 x FHT 8W Wireless Demand Heating Control Relay IP65 (560098 - 89) @ 89.99

    I don't think I need:
    - FHT 80B Wireless Heating Control System (750404 - 89) - which seems to link actuators together for rooms/zones. At this point I'm not fussed by windows opening and the valves shutting down, the heating is off by that stage in our house.

    Is that all I would need to control the system with my phone/computer, or must I have a separate pc which is running 24/7 for them all to talk to?
    Also, I'm not sure how the boiler connect would work for our existing system with the exiting programmer and thermostat in the house, plus a stored hot water system.

    Sorry for all of the questions, and hope you guys can help.

  7. #7
    Automated Home Jr Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    23

    Default

    Take it one step at a time.

    You need one of these packs for each room,
    http://www.conrad-electronic.co.uk/c...w&insert_kz=8V

    This will let you put something on the rad, and have another box in the room that measures the temperature. The thing that measures the temperature will also be able to be programmed with a diary, of what temp you want the room at, at different times and days.

    The problem here, is that if the box in the room demands heat, it will open the rad valve. But the rad will only get hot if the heating is actually on, (currently this is controlled by your house thermostat.)

    Your need to replace your house thermostat with the fht8w. This will listen to how open the rad valves are, and switch the boiler on if heat is required. Your hot water programmer will still work as it used to on a timer. Your current timer for the heating will just be left permanently on.

    If you now want to modify a room, (say your going out and want to turn it off) your have to visit each room and individually press buttons on each box.

    To overcome this you have two options (You dont need both, its either, or)

    The fhz1000 wireless control centre, will allow you, from one box, to modify any room. You cant use your phone etc...

    Or,

    Buy a http://busware.de/tiki-index.php?page=CUL . (dont cheap skate on it, get one with a big old arial) This will allow you to control any room from a pc (must be switched on all the time). On the PC your need to run Fhem. If you take this route, then you can also control the rads from an app called andfhem on your phone (I have no idea if this works on the iphone, but it does work on android).

    This last route will take a lot of reading, trial and error, and programming. If your not that techie you may struggle. You may have to locate the PC somewhere central so that its wireless signal can reach all the receivers in the rooms.

    Hope this helps,

    Fon

  8. #8
    Automated Home Jr Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    23

    Default

    PS, all of this stuff can be found cheaper on ebay.de. But your have to find someone willing to post to the uk.

    Fon

  9. #9
    Automated Home Jr Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    20

    Default

    Fon, thank you for spelling it out to me. I'll need to have a think about the separate computer running 24/7. I bought a NAS drive just months ago, or else could have bought and used some kind of HP server I've heard people talking about, it could have been two birds with one stone. Just wish I'd known about it earlier.

    Sounds like I'll need around 1,000 to get this all up and running.

    I may be stupid here, but I'm struggling to establish what I'd need from a Evohome kit to do something similar. Seems like they use a specific controller which seems silly in today's times. It reminds me of when I first bought some Sonos kit and had to spend a couple of hundred pounds on a specific controller, whereas now all you need is a smartphone, tablet or computer to control the same kit. As Evohome appears to be very much tried and tested, would it cost much more to install? Shall I assume that Honeywell are looking upgrading in a similar vein to Sonos and dumping the controllers for a box which connects to your router and an app?

  10. #10
    Automated Home Lurker
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    17

    Default

    At the most basic level for EvoTouch its 211 for a controller and boiler switch and 68 per radiator. Thats good for up to 8 "zones" of heating.

    Then another 66 a time if you want to add in a room thermostat (for better measurement of the temperature and an easy way to adjust the room without having to find the main controller).

    Extra 193 if you want to add an outside sensor so EvoTouch can be a bit more intellient about when to put the heating on.

    Extra 283 if you want to control the Hot Water too. Either way if you have a separate hot water control you may need a degree of re-wiring as even with Hot Water control its two separate relays rather than one to do both like most programmable controllers.

    Chuck in another 211 if you need more than 8 zones (for an additional controller).

    So cost wise for say 10 radiators in an 8 zone system its from 891 assuming you've already got TRVs and have a Combi (or don't want to include hot water).

    For what I'm looking for where I'd like the whole shebang I reckon:

    2 x EvoTouch (inc. Hot Water) @ 705
    12 x Radiators @ 816
    3 x Room Thermostats (assuming an EvoTocuh replaces a room thermostat in two rooms) @ 198
    Outdoor sensor @ 193

    Total 1,912 parts only assuming no plumbing work needed (which is mostly true as I have Honeywell TRVs on most if not all of the radiators) and no re-wiring.

    Which would be a pretty great system but would mean no control by computer and no integration of my electric underfloor heating (which I've no idea how to integrate using EvoHome though I suspect it may be possible).

    If (and unfortunately its an "IF") indigo gets sorted to work with large numbers of battery thermostats I'd be looking at:

    indigo license @ 156
    MacMini (I have but if I didn't go this route I suppose I could sell second hand) @200
    Boiler and Hot Water controller @ 64
    5 thermostats @ 355
    12 Stella-Z radiator valves @ 576
    Temp sensor for Hot Water tank @ 50
    Outdoor sensor @ 50

    Total 1,451

    For which I lose some of the logic (and possibly reliability) but gain the remote access and integration with other home automation (and I sink the costs of indigo and the MacMini on something I can justify to the wife...).

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •