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Thread: Dormant rad valves as input devices, under floor actuators

  1. #1
    Automated Home Lurker
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    Default Dormant rad valves as input devices, under floor actuators

    Hello Group,
    I have been dithering about the best way to setup smart home control of my central heating for a while.
    Although I'm not electromagnetic hyper sensitive, I like the idea of minimising radio frequency (RF) flying around my home so have been thinking a lot about methods that involve minimal RF transmission.
    There have been discussions here before about the use of plumbed in wired valves, like zoning valves and that's what I'd really like to do, used with a hub/computer like raspberry pie and a wired thermometer and presence sensor in each room.
    I'm not going down the Evohome router and might use Home Asistant or Domatix.
    I need an input device to set the set point temperature and rather than have a input device or thermostat on the wall I would have liked to have used a modified robotic radiator valve. I think this would be more natural and easier to fit than a wall mounted device.
    Besides, the general purpose Z-wave input devices I have looked at are very expensive.
    I've talked to Devolo and POPP about he idea of them modifying the firmware on their Danfoss re-branded valves to allow them to work as dormant input devices but haven't received any response from them so I don't think that's going to happen.
    The idea of initially using the valves in a regular fashion but with the option of them being down graded to dormant communications devices for use along with plumbed in valves and external thermometers would have been a nice option.

    Advantages:
    1. Avoid the EMF transmissions of robotic valves.
    2. Completely silent. Some people, due to illness or because they are used to hotter climates like to have the radiators on during sleep.
    3. Instant response to commands from the computer/controller. Conventional valves are asleep for most of the time to conserve battery power.
    4. Increased battery life compared to a wireless smart valve.

    The dormant valve would communicate with the hub only to indicate button presses. The hub tracks the set point temperature changes in response to button presses.
    The hub responds with an updated display for the valve in response to the button presses. The valve would need no state except to be able to maintain it's display.
    The display would normally show the set point temperature.
    The valve would not have to sit waiting for any communications so cutting battery usage and would not have to transmit except when buttons were pressed so cutting EMF.
    I'm envisaging an external wired thermometer being present in the room. Using the wireless thermometer built into the valve would still mean a significant amount of EMF.
    Just as valves can usually operate with external thermometers, this would extend the principle into operating with external actuators to control the valves

    There don't seem to be many wired radiator valves on the market or that would have been another option.

    If anyone has had success in using plumbed in wired actuators and relay and could recommend particular models, or could recommend a really good general purpose wireless input device to use to set the set point (desired) temperature then that would really help me.

    Very best wishes and Happy New Year to all,
    David

  2. #2
    Automated Home Ninja Dan_Robinson's Avatar
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    Heatmiser do very good wiring centres for. Multi Zone control. These can be linked to Control thermoelectric valves.

    The heatmiser thermostat interface is awkward though.

    You can then use thermoelectric valve actuators on rads.

    Honeywell have a better user interface.
    Last edited by Dan_Robinson; 6th January 2018 at 09:15 PM.
    Kind Regards - Dan Robinson (Jennings Heating Ltd)

  3. #3
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    Thanks for this Dan,
    With the Honeywell are we talking about Evohome or a wired solution please?
    I will look at the Heatmiser website again.

    In the short term a ready-to-go solution with a ready made controller would be nice though in the long term I would really like a solution that is fully controllable from a computer in the way that Z-wave rad valves would be controllable, so being able to receive information like temperature and button presses in the case of a rad valve and the ability to send commands to open and close the valve or actuator.

    Very best wishes,
    David

  4. #4
    Automated Home Ninja Dan_Robinson's Avatar
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    Honeywell would be Evohome. Which is wireless and not something Waze compatible AFAIK.
    Kind Regards - Dan Robinson (Jennings Heating Ltd)

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