Newbie with questions!

Posted on
Sat Oct 24, 2015 3:40 pm
petematheson offline
Posts: 581
Joined: Sep 14, 2014
Location: Southampton, UK

Newbie with questions!

Thanks for the awesome work you've done on this plugin - from what I can gather it should do exactly what I'd like it to!

That said - I'm struggling to get my head around my heating system following my recent purchase of the Stella's.

I have a Nest Thermostat which is already set up on it's own learned schedule. My issue is always that some rooms get boiling vs some rooms that are freezing, however much I play with the TRV's.
I have sync'd up and configured a single Stella TRV so far, I'm just struggling to get my head around how it all ties in with each other.

My plan was to:
* Nest thermostat to control the main heating schedule
* Key TRV's can be scheduled to turn on the rads only when rooms are being used. I.E - Bedroom is on 7 - 9am every day but turns off / on etc.. when the temperature reaches 19 degrees
* Other TRV's can be manually turned on (via Indigo) when the rooms are used. (the study)

I think I've configured this - however I also want the TRV's to be set to a reasonable temperature in the daytime (say 19 degrees) so that when the Nest detects that we're home outside of the scheduled windows, it will still switch on and the 'general rooms' (Living room, Kitchen etc..) will still warm up.

Would it be a stupid thing to disable the schedules from within Stella, and configure a trigger of when the Nest starts heating, then switch 'On' all TRV's. When the nest stops heating, then switch 'Off' all TRV's ?
I could then set schedules via Indigo schedules to turn on / off particular rads, and trigger others along the lines of 'If motion is detected in Study for more than 30 minutes, then turn On study radiator'.

Posted on
Sat Oct 24, 2015 4:10 pm
autolog offline
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Joined: Sep 10, 2013
Location: West Sussex

Re: Newbie with questions!

Just picked up your questions - I will have a think about it and get back to you tomorrow :)

Posted on
Sat Oct 24, 2015 4:17 pm
petematheson offline
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Joined: Sep 14, 2014
Location: Southampton, UK

Re: Newbie with questions!

Cheers, appreciate it!

Posted on
Sun Oct 25, 2015 6:24 am
Ksullivan offline
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Joined: Feb 22, 2014

Re: Newbie with questions!

Hi
Have a look at Jay's heating schedule script works great for me + I use the motion sensors to boost the heating in each room by 1.5 degrees for 20 minutes if their phone is in the home geofence (this means if the kids are out and the wife goes in their room the boost is disabled)

Posted on
Sun Oct 25, 2015 7:46 am
autolog offline
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Location: West Sussex

Re: Newbie with questions!

Looks like you want the on/off schedules to be controlled by the Nest which rather goes against how the plugin is designed to work i.e. on a room-by-room basis.

By this I mean, that any Stella-Z can call for heat depending on its predefined schedule and/or manual control (via the Plugin). So when a Stella-Z calls for heat, the boiler control device (controlled by the Plugin) will turn the boiler on to provide the heat. So for example, in our house and at this time of year, the only rooms we heat by the radiators are the Master Bedroom and Ensuite Bathroom as we have a multi-fuel (wood/coal) burner in the Living Room which provides the required heating.

If the Nest is controlling when the boiler is set on/off then if a Stella-Z called for heat and the Nest wasn't, then you wouldn't get any heat. So this would only work if you could guarantee that the Stella-Z would only call for heat within a period that the Nest would be turning the boiler on. Another problem is that the Nest (maybe located in the Living Room?) could be in a heating period but have turned the boiler off because it has reached its desired setpoint. In the meanwhile, your bedroom could be calling for heat and get none because the Nest has turned the boiler off.

You can control the Stella-Zs by action groups and so your idea using your own schedules might be OK and/or use Jay's script? :)

Posted on
Sun Oct 25, 2015 8:25 am
durosity offline
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Newbie with questions!

Would it make more sense for him to abandon the nest and just get a dumb z-wave heating controller?


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Computer says no.

Posted on
Sun Oct 25, 2015 8:25 am
petematheson offline
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Joined: Sep 14, 2014
Location: Southampton, UK

Re: Newbie with questions!

Good points. Out of interest, can your plugin call heat from a Nest thermostat? I had to disable validation to get it to let me select it.

I don't like the idea of hard fixed schedules - as if we're not in the house at the time it's pointless heating any room. So that's my reason for sticking with the Nest for schedules & detection over when we're home.

If the nest is active on a schedule and at its heat point already, but one of the rooms is still too cold, then I could do something to turn up the heat point on the nest for 30 minutes perhaps? This would heat the room we want, but none of the others since those TRV's will be switched off as they'd already reached their target temperatures ... That would mean that the hallway, where the nest is - would already be too warm though.

Questions questions !

Posted on
Sun Oct 25, 2015 8:40 am
autolog offline
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Joined: Sep 10, 2013
Location: West Sussex

Re: Newbie with questions!

As I haven't got a Nest, I am not sure how to request it to provide heat - I need to investigate. :)

I use a Horstmann ASR2-ZW/Secure SSR302 to turn the boiler on and off - It was fairly simple to wire it in to the boiler wiring as it just replaced the original thermostat wires that called for heat.

Maybe if you had one of these it could be wired in parallel with the Nest - so either could request the boiler to be turned on. With my Plugin you really need a Stella-Z on each radiator (or a TRV as a minimum) as if any radiator calls for heat then any other radiator that doesn't have a TRV will heat up until the original calling for heat radiator turns off.

I will investigate the Nest and take a look at Mike's documentation to see if I can work out how to get it to work with my Plugin - If it can work I might even be persuaded to get a Nest ;)

I am out for a short while now but will take a look at this when I get back :)

Posted on
Sun Oct 25, 2015 8:54 am
petematheson offline
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Re: Newbie with questions!

No worries, thanks!
That would be fine based on what you've suggested that will happen if a single TRV requests heat. Since on that basis the house will be occupied, so the general house will warm up (kitchen, hallway etc) as well as the specific rooms that are in use.
I basically wanted the StellaTRV's to shut off the rooms that aren't in use as often, but are still in use. I.e - Study, dining room, bedroom etc

Since there's a nest plugin, I could do something along the lines of when the Stella needs heat then set a variable, another trigger can listen to that variable and switch on/off the nest as need be. Unless it can call for heat directly - again not sure how, like you say there'll be both on/off and target temperature to contend with

Posted on
Sun Oct 25, 2015 9:01 am
petematheson offline
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Location: Southampton, UK

Re: Newbie with questions!

Also if this helps, I think you might just need an underscore in the hvac value to get it working?!
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Posted on
Sun Oct 25, 2015 12:06 pm
petematheson offline
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Location: Southampton, UK

Re: Newbie with questions!

Quick question - what / how can I look at Indigo and tell if the radiator / Z-wave is currently pushing heat through?

Are the top half here requesting heat but the bottom half not?
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Posted on
Sun Oct 25, 2015 12:56 pm
autolog offline
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Location: West Sussex

Re: Newbie with questions!

The ones with the flame on are ON and the others (bottom half) are OFF.
The ones that are ON will only be calling for heat (Stella-Z valve open) if the setpoint is higher than the ambient that the Stella-Z is measuring.

Have you added these to my Plugin and if so what do the Plugins thermostats show? Look at the mode custom state.

Posted on
Sun Oct 25, 2015 1:04 pm
petematheson offline
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Location: Southampton, UK

Re: Newbie with questions!

OK, so take the living room for example.
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Posted on
Sun Oct 25, 2015 1:07 pm
petematheson offline
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Joined: Sep 14, 2014
Location: Southampton, UK

Re: Newbie with questions!

According to that the heating set point should be 19 Degrees - but it's reporting as 6 Degrees still for some reason?
Ah - I've just noticed the remote thermostat is reporting 19.5 degrees, so I guess it's reverted to the 'off' temperature?

Ahhhh - this is all starting to make sense to me now ! Sorry, taken me a while to clock on :)
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Posted on
Sun Oct 25, 2015 1:19 pm
autolog offline
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Joined: Sep 10, 2013
Location: West Sussex

Re: Newbie with questions!

The temperature custom state shows you the current recorded ambient temperature which will be from the remote stat if you have specified that otherwise it will be from the Stella-Z.

If the Plugin can't see / hasn't got a boiler connect device - I am not sure whether it will control the Stella-Zs correctly?
What happens if you raise the setpoint on the Plugin Thermostat Controller for the Stella-Z?

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