Introduction to automation

27 Jan 2008
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Llanfair Caereinion, Nr Welshpool
United Kingdom
Takes me time to understand all that. Better speak to the plumber to see if he understands what we need to do.
A plumber by definition is a worker of lead, not sure if from Greek or Latin, but today we only use lead for IT stuff and Organs, seems the non leaded solder alters the tone of the Organ, and with some circuit boards lead free solder has been failing, but although a plumber may not be working in lead any more, he is doing the same work, flat roofs, and pipe work, the latter small stuff, copper and plastic, the larger pipes are do by a pipe fitter, 42 inch pipes are well out of the plumbers domain, and so is often central heating control.

We call the guys who do that heating and ventilation engineers, I am only an electrical engineer, but an engineer is normally trained above level 3, be it HND, HNC, or degree, it is over the level learnt in a technical collage, you need to go to a collage of higher education or University to get them.

But back to basics to start with, idea is to have each room individually controlled from one central heat source.

In the main this means the TRV is king. I would say we have four types of TRV head, body is likely the same for all.
1) A wax or bellows controls the temperature with no automatic changes through the day.
2) An electronic arrangement allows the set temperature to change through the day. (Programmable)
3) The unit also sends information to some base so boiler is electrically controlled (linked)
4) It has algorithms built in to work out when the room needs to start heating so that it is to required temperature on time. (Smart)

Each one also does what lower numbers do as well, there are some extras found in some models, like open window detect, and telemetry or geofencing that works out how far away your phone is, some will work alone, other need some sort of hub, to correlate all the information.

In the main the TRV tells the boiler what to do, either due to return water temperature, or some wireless connection, there are exceptions, Energenie has the wall thermostat tell the TRV what setting is required when electronic linked, but more work the other way around.

The Drayton Wiser TRV head is from reports "Smart" it works out how long it takes to heat the room, and turns on heating so it is warm when required, not a clue if any others are really "smart"?

But in the main central heating is installed to a price, it is easy to fit the best and just let it do it's job, it takes skill to select cheaper options which will do the job near enough as well, we laugh at the idea of near enough engineering, but in real terms that is what we want.

But we are talking to date about a boiler and radiators, there are other ways to heat a room, the inferred heater is near enough instant, we could have a sensor detect some one is in a room and switch up the heat, or some switch.

In fact years ago we did just this, we had light switches at entrances to a room, and had bulbs which emitted both light and inferred so in the evening the room felt warmer without the air temperature increasing. The same with the simple coal fire, it was not just the air temperature, but inferred and ambiance.

We can still combine heating, we are looking at the time to heat a room, I have a base line of 16ºC and even without the room being in use, I keep the room to 16ºC only warming to 18ºC during the day, and 20ºC in the evening, when in use. Where a room is seldom used, the radiators are not big enough to raise it 4ºC in a short time, so be it inferred or fan assisted, we are looking at speed, not just temperature.
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