EUROtronic Stella-Z

Posted on
Sun Sep 15, 2013 12:32 pm
matt (support) offline
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EUROtronic Stella-Z

This thread is for discussing the EUROtronic Stella-Z thermostat.

Device details
How to use with Indigo

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Posted on
Fri Sep 20, 2013 6:33 am
autolog offline
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Re: EUROtronic Stella-Z

is it possible to pick up the z-wave events for this device?
In my event log it shows e.g. :
Code: Select all
20 Sep 2013 09:40:11
  Z-Wave                          queued "Radiator 01 Thermostat" increase heat setpoint to 22.0° for next awake notification
  Trigger                         R01 Heat Setpoint Changed

20 Sep 2013 09:44:26
  Z-Wave                          sent "Radiator 01 Thermostat" increase heat setpoint to 22.0°
  Z-Wave                          sent "Radiator 01 Thermostat" mode status request
  Z-Wave                          sent "Radiator 01 Thermostat" temperature status request
  Z-Wave                          sent "Radiator 01 Thermostat" heat setpoint status request
  Z-Wave                          received "Radiator 01 Thermostat" mode is heat
  Z-Wave                          received "Radiator 01 Thermostat" temperature update to 18.5 °C
  Z-Wave                          received "Radiator 01 Thermostat" heat setpoint is 22.0 °C
I would like to pick-up on the "received" messages and process the returned values in a script.

When I tried to set-up a trigger for a Type='z-Wave Event' with Event='Z-Wave Command', From='radiator 01 Thermostat', the 'Received:' pull-down is empty. In addition when I did this a fleeting red message is shown (it is so fleeting that I can't read it :wink: ). Now, I figured that receiving Z-Wave info from the thermostat may not be deemed to be a Z-Wave command?

The problem I have is that commands to the Stella-Z are queued (depends on Stella-Z wake-up time). I don't have a problem with this other than I would like to know when the command is actually sent and acknowledged). This is because as I would like to activate my Secure SSR303 (Boiler relay) as soon as the Stella-z starts calling for heat but not before.

At the moment, if I alter the Stella-Z's Heat Setpoint, the trigger I have that checks for a change in the Stella-Z's Heat Setpoint gets fired straight away even though the Stella-Z may not receive and action it for a number of minutes (depending on wake-up time configured).

Posted on
Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:34 am
autolog offline
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Re: EUROtronic Stella-Z

autolog wrote:
... when I did this a fleeting red message is shown (it is so fleeting that I can't read it :wink: ). Now, I figured that receiving Z-Wave info from the thermostat may not be deemed to be a Z-Wave command?

Actually, I think it does this for everything. As far as I can make out it is saying something like 'Waiting for button reply ...'. It is only shown for about 1/10th second.

Posted on
Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:56 am
autolog offline
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Re: EUROtronic Stella-Z

Here is the next bit of feedback on the Stella-z. :)

It is where there is a z-wave error sending a command to a device, e.g. :
Code: Select all
22 Sep 2013 14:05:44
  Z-Wave                          sent "Radiator 01 Thermostat" change heat setpoint to 19.0°
  Z-Wave                          sent "Radiator 01 Thermostat" mode status request
  Z-Wave                          sent "Radiator 01 Thermostat" temperature status request
  Z-Wave                          sent "Radiator 01 Thermostat" heat setpoint status request
  Z-Wave                          received "Radiator 01 Thermostat" mode is heat
  Z-Wave                          received "Radiator 01 Thermostat" temperature update to 21.0 °C
  Z-Wave                          received "Radiator 01 Thermostat" heat setpoint is 19.0 °C

22 Sep 2013 14:06:11
  Z-Wave Error                    send "Radiator 01 Thermostat" change heat setpoint failed

Typically this situation can caused by clicking the up/down arrow (to alter the Heat Setpoint of the device) just after the commands have been sent to the Stella-Z. It seems to recover normal operation when the device's next wake-up happens.

This presents more of a problem when schedules are involved. This morning a schedule 'off' failed as it tried to alter the Heat Setpoint just after a sent/received had occurred. This means the heating didn't get turned off and stayed on.

I might be wrong but I think that when the Stella-Z wakes-up it only stays awake for 5 seconds. If that is the case, then in the example above, Indigo should be queuing the command at 14:06:11 as it is more than 5 seconds after 14:05:44.

Posted on
Sun Sep 22, 2013 12:12 pm
jay (support) offline
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Re: EUROtronic Stella-Z

autolog wrote:
Actually, I think it does this for everything. As far as I can make out it is saying something like 'Waiting for button reply ...'. It is only shown for about 1/10th second.


Yep. Any time a dialog communicates back to a plugin there's a message - basically "processing" though it varies slightly based on the action. Nothing useful shows up temporarily. If it's an error it will stay visible.

Jay (Indigo Support)
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Posted on
Sun Sep 22, 2013 1:08 pm
autolog offline
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Re: EUROtronic Stella-Z

In case anyone is interested, I am developing a script to handle these thermostat actuators more effectively in a multi-radiator scenario.

The Stella-z isn't that forthcoming on status information when you run it in "comfort" mode (modifiable by Heat Setpoint). It seems that the valve may still be open (a small bit) when the Heat Setpoint is either equal to or slightly less than the measured temperature. I would expect it to be fully off when the Heat Setpoint =< measured temperature. This is certainly important in a multi-radiator set-up because if a radiator calls for heat, you don't want to start heating up other radiators unnecessarily.

Anyway, Indigo to the rescue with the power of its triggers, actions and scripting :idea:

I have set-up a process where a variable contains the desired 'Target' temperature for the radiator. I use this variable to control the Stella-z. In effect, when the Stella-z measured temperature is less than the 'Target', I set the Stella-Zs 'Heat Setpoint' to the 'Target' otherwise I set it to 6 Deg C (effectively turning the Stella-Z off). So now all I have to do is set the 'Target' temp and it is all automatically handled. Likewise, the 'on'/'off' schedules just set the 'Target' temperature. All of this is linked to triggers to turn the boiler 'on' and 'off' (controlled by a Secure SSR303).

The advantage of this approach is that it removes the immediate need to use 'Direct Control' mode on the Stella-Z which Indigo doesn't currently support. In fact I think it probably provides a better solution.

I have some more testing / debugging to do over the next week or and then I will provide a more detailed explanation of how it works.

Just thought it worth giving an early heads-up in case anyone else was thinking along the same lines. :)

Posted on
Sun Sep 22, 2013 1:16 pm
matt (support) offline
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Re: EUROtronic Stella-Z

autolog wrote:
Typically this situation can caused by clicking the up/down arrow (to alter the Heat Setpoint of the device) just after the commands have been sent to the Stella-Z. It seems to recover normal operation when the device's next wake-up happens.

Are you referring to the Indigo UI (up/down arrows) to change the setpoints or the physical buttons on the Stella-Z?

And can you turn on debug logging (via Interfaces->Z-Wave->Configure...) and get a log snippet showing the problem?

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Posted on
Sun Sep 22, 2013 1:17 pm
matt (support) offline
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Re: EUROtronic Stella-Z

autolog wrote:
is it possible to pick up the z-wave events for this device?


Not currently, but I will likely have it added to the next release.

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Posted on
Sun Sep 22, 2013 1:27 pm
durosity offline
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Re: EUROtronic Stella-Z

autolog wrote:
In case anyone is interested, I am developing a script to handle these thermostat actuators more effectively in a multi-radiator scenario


Sounds good. I had a very very patchy applescript to do something similar last winter, but was a bit twitchy.. I’ll be very excited to see what you come up with :D

Computer says no.

Posted on
Sun Sep 22, 2013 1:37 pm
autolog offline
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Re: EUROtronic Stella-Z

matt (support) wrote:
autolog wrote:
Typically this situation can caused by clicking the up/down arrow (to alter the Heat Setpoint of the device) just after the commands have been sent to the Stella-Z. It seems to recover normal operation when the device's next wake-up happens.

Are you referring to the Indigo UI (up/down arrows) to change the setpoints or the physical buttons on the Stella-Z?

And can you turn on debug logging (via Interfaces->Z-Wave->Configure...) and get a log snippet showing the problem?

I am referring to the Indigo UI (up/down arrows) to change the setpoints. I will do the debug and log capture tomorrow morning :)

Posted on
Sun Oct 06, 2013 6:16 am
sgbirch offline
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Re: EUROtronic Stella-Z

autolog wrote:
In case anyone is interested, I am developing a script to handle these thermostat actuators more effectively in a multi-radiator scenario.


I am *VERY* interested. Can you keep us up to date with your project? My intention is to zone my own home in a similar manner but have been frustrated by the one hour delay and lack of reporting by the Danfoss. They dropped the ball with that design ... so close, yet so far.

But the Stella seems to address everything. They really got it right. The Stella reports temperature *and* reacts quickly to a new setpoint. To my delight, it is also quite good looking, not as pretty as the Danfoss but not bad at all.

It looks like the combination of Indigo and the Stella TRV provide way to control the heating system on a room by room basis. Since indigo can detect which people are in the house, rooms can be cool when they are absent. This alone will pay for indigo because heating oil is so expensive. Sweet.

My intention is to wire the boiler room switches in parallel with the existing three zone programmer so we have a plan-b in case the z-wave equipment lets us down. If I make the wife cold she will make me rip it all out :-)

Steve

Posted on
Sun Oct 06, 2013 11:47 am
autolog offline
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Re: EUROtronic Stella-Z

sgbirch wrote:
autolog wrote:
In case anyone is interested, I am developing a script to handle these thermostat actuators more effectively in a multi-radiator scenario.


I am *VERY* interested. Can you keep us up to date with your project? My intention is to zone my own home in a similar manner but have been frustrated by the one hour delay and lack of reporting by the Danfoss. They dropped the ball with that design ... so close, yet so far.

But the Stella seems to address everything. They really got it right. The Stella reports temperature *and* reacts quickly to a new setpoint. To my delight, it is also quite good looking, not as pretty as the Danfoss but not bad at all.

It looks like the combination of Indigo and the Stella TRV provide way to control the heating system on a room by room basis. Since indigo can detect which people are in the house, rooms can be cool when they are absent. This alone will pay for indigo because heating oil is so expensive. Sweet.

My intention is to wire the boiler room switches in parallel with the existing three zone programmer so we have a plan-b in case the z-wave equipment lets us down. If I make the wife cold she will make me rip it all out :-)

Steve

The current status is that the MK 1 set of scripts is working. I am in the process of reworking this so that it is all contained in one script (the MK 2). Once I have got that working and tested, I will try to turn it into a plug-in which as I haven't done one before will be more of a challenge :wink:

The system as currently implemented enables you to set the following target Heat Setpoints:
    An 'off' temperature e.g. 6 deg C
    A morning 'on' temperature e.g. 20 deg C
    An evening 'on' temperature e.g. 21 deg C
I only allow for two "on" periods in a day as I don't need any more. This wouldn't be too difficult to extend if necessary.

Once the Stella-Z reports that the Heat Setpoint has been reached, the Stella-Z Heat Setpoint is set low so that the Stella-Z is turned off. It is turned on again if the Stella-Z temperature falls beneath the target Heat setpoint.

A schedule is set to specify the AM and PM 'on' and 'off' times. This is for each radiator.

The system also has a "boost" feature. Basically this looks at the current temperature and sets a Heat Setpoint a user specified number of degrees higher (e.g. 1 deg C) than the existing temperature being recorded by the Stella-Z thereby forcing it on. The "boost" lasts for a user specified amount of time (e.g. 15 minutes). It handles the situation where a "boost" is done just before a scheduled Am or PM heating period.

Still to be added (work currently in progress) is adding an "advance" feature which will advance either to start a scheduled heat early or end it early if already active.

This all links to a common "boiler connect" relay (Secure SSR303) to turn on the boiler when any Stella-Z is calling for heat. I have just replaced the master thermostat with this device as that was the easiest way to interface into the original heating system. The Secure SSR303 has to be kept alive - it goes to default 'off' mode if it isn't given an 'on' or 'off' command at least once an hour. The system handles this.

I am still learning how the system reacts, so all this may need some tweaking. It has been so mild recently that the heating hasn't been on much :)

Other things that the script handles are invalid temperatures being returned and thermostats which have been disabled in Indigo.

One aspect of the Stella-z that is interesting to me is how the temperature is read. When the radiator is 'off' it seems reasonable. Once the radiator starts heating up the temperature goes up higher than I think it actually is. This is probably because the temperature sensor is located in the radiator valve. I might have to put an "allowance factor" in for this. Another possibility is to associate the thermostat in some way with another temperature sensor (e.g. on the wall) and use this to control the Stella-Z. I will probably put this feature into the script.

My current script depends on naming the radiators in a particular way i.e "Tnn_description" where "nn" = number of the radiator e.g. "01". I realise this is unlikely to be how other people will name their devices and so I need to look at this. I think a plugin implementation would solve this issue so I will not worry about it until then.

It will probably be another week or so before I have the MK 2 script completed :)

If the script was to fail there are a number of fall back scenarios. Operate the Stella-Zs from the Indigo Devices list or schedules list to set the heat setpoints and control the boiler switch the same way. As a last resort, remove the Stella-Zs, refit the TRVs and use the physical buttons on the boiler connect relay to turn the boiler on and off. :)

Posted on
Fri Oct 11, 2013 6:23 am
wysinawyg offline
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Re: EUROtronic Stella-Z

Well, I'm having great fun having an initial play with indigo, looks exactly like what I'm looking for.

However, when looking at the "state" for my Stella-Z (and HRT4 fwiw) I get the little flame symbol come up showing a call for heat.

Is that actually a monitorable "state" that I can trigger off?

I can presumably get close to the same effect with just comparing set point to actual temperature, but it'd be cleaner and more elegant (and would used any TPI logic that the Stella-Z may have) if I could look at the actual call for heat.

I'm also having my battery show at 0%, I've tried re-syncing to no avail. Anyone know if there is an issue with using rechargeables in these?

Posted on
Fri Oct 11, 2013 7:16 am
matt (support) offline
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Re: EUROtronic Stella-Z

wysinawyg wrote:
Is that actually a monitorable "state" that I can trigger off?

Yes, that is the Heater Equipment State that you can access from a Device State Change type of Trigger.

wysinawyg wrote:
I'm also having my battery show at 0%, I've tried re-syncing to no avail. Anyone know if there is an issue with using rechargeables in these?

Not sure about that one. Indigo just uses whatever battery level is reported by the module. We've seen some modules that report pretty good battery levels, some that show high levels then suddenly drop when the battery is about to die, and some which just flat out report bad values.

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Posted on
Fri Oct 11, 2013 7:52 am
autolog offline
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Re: EUROtronic Stella-Z

wysinawyg wrote:
... However, when looking at the "state" for my Stella-Z (and HRT4 fwiw) I get the little flame symbol come up showing a call for heat. Is that actually a monitorable "state" that I can trigger off?

If you haven't already, take a look at this page. :)

As Matt says above, the flame symbol doesn't tell you whether it is calling for heat or not, it just says it is in heat mode. I haven't yet found a way to determine if it is calling for heat. However, given that there is a direct control mode that Indigo doesn't support (yet?), if it was possible to determine how "open" the valve was, then this reading could be possibly used as an indication.

wysinawyg wrote:
I can presumably get close to the same effect with just comparing set point to actual temperature, but it'd be cleaner and more elegant (and would used any TPI logic that the Stella-Z may have) if I could look at the actual call for heat.

I am developing a script that controls multiple thermostats and a boiler connect device - see earlier postings in this thread - that does setpoint to actual temperature comparisons.

wysinawyg wrote:
I'm also having my battery show at 0%, I've tried re-syncing to no avail. Anyone know if there is an issue with using rechargeables in these?

I had a Stella-Z that did this, I got it replaced as it was defective. My Stella-Zs all have brand new batteries fitted and are reading between 70% and 85% - so it doesn't look like accurate battery levels is one of the Stella-Zs strengths :wink:

I haven't tried rechargeables yet but it could be worth a try :)

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