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Thread: Advice for a new system...

  1. #1
    Automated Home Lurker
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    1

    Default Advice for a new system...

    Lo all,

    New member here, but keen automater and heavy user of OpenRemote with a variety of Philips Hue, LightwaveRF, Home Easy and IP enabled kit being controlled...

    My house has an old (10 year+) Ariston Microgenus boiler, with built in time clock. I've previously nobbled the timeclock in favour of a HomeEasy HE105 heating controller, which has now been replaced by a LightwaveRF volt free relay, so I can turn the heating on/off via an app on my Android devices.

    There are 7 radiators in the house, 6 with TRVs (including the one in the hall) and one on lockshield (the one in the bathroom). The layout of the house was 'challenging' for someone to get a boiler where we wanted it (it's in the kitchen downstairs), and the bathroom (upstairs) radiator is the 2nd nearest radiator to the system other than the kitchen rad itself.

    Whilst waiting for clarity on the new LightwaveRF option, what can anyone suggest to go with for :

    a) zoneable ideally
    b) wireless (two way - I want to be able to read/set TRV and/or room stat temperature remotely)
    c) API accessible (Lightwave provides this, but some devices are one way only - not clear on the new ones yet)

    ...heating?

    The *old* Lightwave TRVs linked to room stats, but didn't (as far as I can see) have a thermostat/boiler interlink - but the new ones look annoyingly expensive.

    Am I going to need a new TRV/thermostat in each room, or can I get away with new TRVs on the rads and a thermostat in one location? What's the recommendation?

    Ta

  2. #2
    Automated Home Jr Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    41

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ptruman View Post
    Whilst waiting for clarity on the new LightwaveRF option, what can anyone suggest to go with for :

    a) zoneable ideally
    b) wireless (two way - I want to be able to read/set TRV and/or room stat temperature remotely)
    c) API accessible (Lightwave provides this, but some devices are one way only - not clear on the new ones yet)

    ...heating?

    The *old* Lightwave TRVs linked to room stats, but didn't (as far as I can see) have a thermostat/boiler interlink - but the new ones look annoyingly expensive.

    Am I going to need a new TRV/thermostat in each room, or can I get away with new TRVs on the rads and a thermostat in one location? What's the recommendation?

    Ta
    The new LightwaveRF stuff has been pushed back until March as far as I'm aware, it looks good on paper but it will be interesting to see how it stacks up against equivalent systems from say Heat Genius, HoneyWell, etc. Additionally there was a massive price increase at the beginning of the year that's just now making it's way into the Retail channels (old stock being sold at old prices first I guess). Unfortunately, in my opinion, this is pushing the LightwaveRF devices into the price range of much more competent kit like Z-Wave, Insteon and Plugwise.

    I personally believe that the "ideal" system will allow you to set individual set-points on a wall mounted thermostat / control for each room (so you can site it according to the rooms usage) across as many schedules as you like. The thermostat would then control the radiator valve to bring the room up to the right temperature and then report back to the boiler interlock when there is a demand for heat. If all rooms are at the right temperatures the boiler shuts down.

    My current systems is based on ELV / FS20 thermostats, radiator valve actuators and boiler interlock. It pretty much covers the above requirements very well, but it does have it's limitations - for example the thermostats respond quite slowly to external commands (from my HA software) so it's difficult to do things like instantly shut down a radiator if we leave the house for some reason.

    I'm intending to upgrade my system this year, probably to something Z-Wave based so I can bring it under the same controller as my other HA equipment - I currently use a MiCasaVerde Vera for this. I see that you're using OpenRemote - I believe that they can interface with Z-Wave too via a Raspberry Pi and a Razberry Z-Wave module? This would be a relatively inexpensive way to add some Z-Wave kit to your system and do some testing.

    If I go down the Z-Wave route I will probably go with the StellaZ radiator actuators and the Secure Thermostat / Boiler Receiver. There's quite a few new products on the horizon that I want to check out first though - for example there's a new Danfoss Z-Wave radiator actuator out imminently that replaces the previous version which should resolve the reliability problems that they had.


    Hope that helps!
    Martyn Wendon
    Vesternet
    Check out my Blog!

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