Getting smart heating control into holiday lodge

Discussion in 'Home Automation' started by ashtons99, 6 Nov 2017.

  1. ashtons99

    ashtons99

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    I’m interested in getting Hive,Nest or similar into our holiday home. There is no BT or other cable based system to the place so I’m guessing any comms would have to be via a data SIM.
    I believe that all of the smart heating controls work from a hub plugged into the home router.

    Is my approach viable, what components am I likely to need to make it work and would it actually work as I intend ie communicate with the place from my iPhone.

    Any experiences or suggestions would be appreciated.
     
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  3. Iamchamps

    Iamchamps

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  4. ashtons99

    ashtons99

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    That’s about what I was thinking of. I’ve found a pay up front data Sim on Three for £30 for 12 months. On top of that I obviously have the cost of the heating control system, Hive or whatever but in theory it would be a one off spend.
     
  5. ericmark

    ericmark

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    To my mind Hive and Nest are really for hot air systems as used in USA, for the British system you need to control boiler flame height, there are two main ways to control boiler output, OpenTherm will allow a wall thermostat to control boiler, but most boilers are not designed for OpenTherm the other method which is used by most boilers is the return water temperature.

    To control return water temperature we use thermostatic radiator valves (TRV) you can replace the head on the valve for an electronic version, the electronic version measures air temperature and water temperature so can compensate the air temperature measured to allow for heat from radiator so they are actually set to a temperature not some random number. Also you can set a program so temperature varies through the day, i.e. no heat in bedrooms during day and no heat in living rooms at night.

    After this we have some stand alone under £30 each, some are WiFi around £60 plus a hub, and the bees knees connect to a special hub called a thermostat which takes the demand from each TRV and decides if the boiler should run and if using OpenTherm at what output, that is EvoHome and although very good also very expensive.

    Hive and Nest do have a work around it is called IFTTT where they can using an internet server talk to TRV heads like the Energenie but with your internet connection that is not really a good idea. All you want is a remote switch, heating on or heating off with maybe a thermostat bypassing switch as frost protection.

    When I look at the hub for my Energenie the light is flashing all the time, as to how much it uses internet I don't know, I did a google for "sim card controlled switch" and found devices at under £14 that sounds a better idea to me, you can switch on/off but have all central heating controls local.

    The other option is a timer so one push and it works for 24 or 48 hours and when in the holiday cottage you push it once a day.

    There has been a thread where IFTTT was talked about, it seems there is a follow command where the Nest follows the TRV or the TRV can follow the Nest which means unlike EvoHome every room is at same temperature but it does mean change the temperature using your phone on one device and all the others follow. However there is a problem with most broad band in that the IP is not static, so to get around that problem a remote server is used, so each device asks the remote server what should I do, so home or phone talk to this remote server. This means a lot of data is passed, and for heating to fail because the sim card has run out of it's data allowance is not really what you want.
     
  6. jonm01

    jonm01

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    http://www.audon.co.uk/gsm_alarm/gd...iqULdM4P2V8Pne6nX3-9zttagXKRodqIaAinzEALw_wcB

    This, or similar, might work for what you want.
     
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  8. Mottie

    Mottie

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    Having just spent a week in a cottage with no thermostat and where the heating times and temperature were controlled remotely by the owner, I’d honestly say that I’d never do it again. Okay if it’s to warm the place up for your own use prior to your arrival or to prevent things freezing up if you are absent but the general consensus on here of the owner of the cottage I rented, was that he was a tight ****!
     
    Last edited: 9 Nov 2017
  9. ashtons99

    ashtons99

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    Crikey the last post seems a real Scrooge experience. I’ve just bought a TP link router with sim slot and. 3 month sim on EE for £12 so going to see what the signal is like before 8 spend on Hive/nest or whatever
     
  10. ericmark

    ericmark

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    I have in mother house Energenie heads on the TRV to get around the problem of morning sun through the bay window, it works, however if I was renting out my mothers house for a week or fortnight I would not want to be giving the tenants the access codes so they could alter the temperature, as if for any reason they were upset, they could play with heating when other tenants were in the house.

    Until your post I had not even thought about the problem, if a tenant copies a key he can return, but he would likely be seen by some one, and it means travelling to the property to do whatever. However accessing with internet is something else, there is no manual method to adjust the TRV heads other than a 1 hour boost, so would not really have an option, but to control heating remotely.

    OK could change passwords, but really I would not be wanting to do that all the time.
     
  11. Mottie

    Mottie

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    If I was renting out my house, I’d take a chance and let those who I have trusted to have control of a £300K cottage to also have control over five quids worth of gas per day in winter months. We once rented out a 4 bedroom, 4 bathroom villa with pool and air conditioning in the South of France and the first €100 of electricity was included in the rental with any extra being held back from our deposit. If the owner was that paranoid about fuel usage, he could have employed the same technique but to expect renters to be happy with him controlling the times and temperature of the heating while he sitting in a nice warm house somewhere else is just ludicrous. The ridiculous thing is that there was unlimited logs to use on the log burner, an outside light that was on 24/7 while we were there (couldn’t find the switch anywhere) and despite having unlimited hot water (combi system), there was no shower for a 2 bed, 4 person cottage in hiking country meaning that he could be potentially forking out for 8 bathtubs of hot water per day.
     
  12. ericmark

    ericmark

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    With a proper controller for the heating like the EvoHome there is no problem letting people adjust the levels, but I did it on the cheap, OK a mistake, but never the less the only way I could allow people to adjust the heating would be to leave a laptop in the house for them to use. Not actually a bad idea, but one would actually have to think about doing it.
    It really does annoy me. The PC shows this.
    upload_2017-11-16_17-9-12.png
    Which is enough information to control the boiler, very simple if target is below current in either room I want the boiler to run, but there is no way to actually use the information to control the boiler, at least not that I can find. The only difference between EvoHome and what I have is that human machine interface (HMI) which they call a thermostat which takes the information shown above and uses it to control the boiler.

    But once the mistake has been made, then what? The same page that shows the two TRV electronic heads, in my case also shows two sockets fixed, and a light switch, and an energy meter with switch. Non of these would matter if a visitor was allowed to alter them, however it could have a lot more, and once the mistake has been made, to correct is expensive.
     
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