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Author Topic: Line Voltage Thermostast  (Read 39512 times)

Offline Jamy

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Re: Line Voltage Thermostast
« Reply #30 on: December 01, 2012, 05:56:47 pm »
Hello folks,
This "line-voltage" thermostat thing has been haunting me for quite a while. I'm an integrator from Quebec, where 80% of homes are heated with baseboard heaters... Let me save you hours of Googling : there is nothing out there. Not only have I looked far and wide, I have talked on the phone with some of the most obvious companies, to no avail. Their say there is not enough of a market for them out there... Your alternative is to use a relay. I can certainly vouch for Aube products. Aube is a Honeywell company who's factory is 10 minutes out from my office, their product outfit a very large number of Canadian houses. Having the transfo built-in is a plus to my ears, but feel free to disagree :) What you need to worry about is both footprint (inside the wall or near the unit itself) and cooling. This thing can heat up quite a bit. Work your numbers out and make sure it's placed where it can breathe. Also know this : this will be a full on / full off setup. With most modern line-voltage thermostat, you'll get "pulsing" or the ability to slow down the unit once near the setpoint. The disadvantage of not doing that is that you'll heat it up red until it reaches the setpoint, then the relay clicks and stops it, but it will radiate a lot more before beginning cool down, so it's not exactly an "energy wise" method since it'll produce a lot of unwanted heat.

We have taken it upon us to come up with a solution : we are in the early stage of a working Z-wave line-voltage, triac-controlled, thermostat. If it's something you need, let me know. I'm pretty sure we'll be looking for a bunch of people to use/abuse it once it's ready... Certification is a pain, but there's hope yet, bear with me  :)

Cheers !

T1000, I registered just to chime in and echo your thoughts exactly. Years and years I have been looking for this!

There are multiple millions of  220/240v thermostats here in Canada and nobody at the big thermosat providers thinks  there is even a market in the Line voltage TStat businessDUH. I have been trying for years to find anything either Insteon, ZWave or UPB for that matter that will work, but ended up converting 2 of my 11 in my house to the Venstar 24v Stat, and the AUBE 840T in the link above to work with my Insteon swicthes and software. Works well, but a lot of effort and cash just to get those 2 stats automated. Moving to Z-wave now and still no options beside this?. Grrr.. Aube by the way also made an excellent  X-10 compatible stat many years ago (12 or so ) that was quite popular with the Automation crowd at the time but they were a small market then mainly early adopters. Maybe they haven't done much research lately and still thinking back to those days when making their marketing decisions? Of course then why would the big stat vendors be pushing pseudo-schedule-7 day timing junk as their answer to automation? Strangely enough Honeywell does make a rather contorted line voltage wireless wifi controlled tstat now that uses their own proprietary technology. No doubt it is a beautiful stat that works well like all their products but am I going to ignore my investment in automation standards just to bring in another wireless technology with different levels more of complexity from a large vendor because they won't jump in the automation sandbox with everyone else? No wonder these large players fail at residential automation! Guys we don't want more stuff!!, but we'll buy it if it means getting stuff that works! All they have to do is offer one of the common automation standards, in a triac line voltage 240v stat and they could make a lot of money in this market now, that is more and more mainstream all the time. And yet their idea of automation is for me to spend 2 days programming in arbitrary times and schedules into 13 dumb stat terminals with timers they call smart stats, convincing me that I'm saving cash doing it LOL. At least my automation setup knows my habits and can adapt easily without me having to reprogram everything all the time. Hit a scene button and everything changes. That's automation, hit a button at work, and let the kids in, turning up the temp and lights, and off with the alarm. Go to bed, let the system figure out that everyone's in bed, lower the water temps, the heat, arm the house, and tone down the outside lighting!! You can't do that for heat unless the stat vendor integrates into the system like all the rest of our providers do, and the 24v line voltage vendors are lost in the dark when it comes to thinking this through. (pardon the puns)   ;D

Anyway T1000, after all this rant LOL, let me know if you need a good beta or alpha tester, and if it works I will take the first 11 units!

Jamy
« Last Edit: December 01, 2012, 05:59:24 pm by Jamy »

Offline Jamy

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Re: Line Voltage Thermostast
« Reply #31 on: December 01, 2012, 06:04:38 pm »
For those using the Aube relays - what cycle settings did you use (cycles per hour, max duty time, ...)?  Did you experience any issues with fluctuating temperatures since those thermostats weren't designed with baseboards in mind?

I'm still trying to decide if its worth it to convert one or more rooms from a line-voltage thermostate to the Aube+Trane combo.

Patrick, I have one stat on 6 cycles /hr and the other on 4 just to test. But I really don't think there is much difference as they are replacing the old stat that just turned on until it hit the targeted temp, and turned off. I notice my system doesn't offer a max duty time in the stat that I am aware of.
Jamy
« Last Edit: December 01, 2012, 06:06:40 pm by Jamy »

Offline Les F

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Re: Line Voltage Thermostast
« Reply #32 on: December 04, 2012, 01:53:41 pm »
Back onto fitting an Aube and a zwave tstat...  trying to get an idea of where to stash the Aube in my setup.  I use these style heaters.
http://www.radiantsystemsinc.com/heater-features/ 

They look like a long triangular wedge up near the ceiling.  The only room is on the end for some wire nuts so relay needs to be external.   I don't want to put some box with a relay hanging off it next to the heater.  Any suggestions?  The only thing I have come up with is some kind of in wall electrical box to at least hide the bulk of the wiring/relay.  And of course if the relay is in a box, I assume you shouldn't be mixing 24volt next to 220v in the same confined space (at least not without some kind of separation)   

The best solution I have found is something like this:
http://tinyurl.com/cbj55x9

Any other ideas?

« Last Edit: December 04, 2012, 02:24:36 pm by Les F »
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Offline CaSA

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Re: Line Voltage Thermostast
« Reply #33 on: December 15, 2012, 08:56:44 am »

T1000, I registered just to chime in and echo your thoughts exactly. Years and years I have been looking for this!

There are multiple millions of  220/240v thermostats here in Canada and nobody at the big thermosat providers thinks  there is even a market in the Line voltage TStat businessDUH. I have been trying for years to find anything either Insteon, ZWave or UPB for that matter that will work, but ended up converting 2 of my 11 in my house to the Venstar 24v Stat, and the AUBE 840T in the link above to work with my Insteon swicthes and software. Works well, but a lot of effort and cash just to get those 2 stats automated. Moving to Z-wave now and still no options beside this?. Grrr.. Aube by the way also made an excellent  X-10 compatible stat many years ago (12 or so ) that was quite popular with the Automation crowd at the time but they were a small market then mainly early adopters. Maybe they haven't done much research lately and still thinking back to those days when making their marketing decisions? Of course then why would the big stat vendors be pushing pseudo-schedule-7 day timing junk as their answer to automation? Strangely enough Honeywell does make a rather contorted line voltage wireless wifi controlled tstat now that uses their own proprietary technology. No doubt it is a beautiful stat that works well like all their products but am I going to ignore my investment in automation standards just to bring in another wireless technology with different levels more of complexity from a large vendor because they won't jump in the automation sandbox with everyone else? No wonder these large players fail at residential automation! Guys we don't want more stuff!!, but we'll buy it if it means getting stuff that works! All they have to do is offer one of the common automation standards, in a triac line voltage 240v stat and they could make a lot of money in this market now, that is more and more mainstream all the time. And yet their idea of automation is for me to spend 2 days programming in arbitrary times and schedules into 13 dumb stat terminals with timers they call smart stats, convincing me that I'm saving cash doing it LOL. At least my automation setup knows my habits and can adapt easily without me having to reprogram everything all the time. Hit a scene button and everything changes. That's automation, hit a button at work, and let the kids in, turning up the temp and lights, and off with the alarm. Go to bed, let the system figure out that everyone's in bed, lower the water temps, the heat, arm the house, and tone down the outside lighting!! You can't do that for heat unless the stat vendor integrates into the system like all the rest of our providers do, and the 24v line voltage vendors are lost in the dark when it comes to thinking this through. (pardon the puns)   ;D

Anyway T1000, after all this rant LOL, let me know if you need a good beta or alpha tester, and if it works I will take the first 11 units!

Jamy

Hey Jamy, thanks for dropping a line. Your analysis of the perception problem that seems to exist with large manufacturers is exactly right in my experience. The folks at Aube are nice and all, but when it comes to thinking hi-tech, there's no-one to pick up the phone. In an unrelated project, they brushed me off saying they weren't interested... After finding another more willing supplier, my client is not only happy, he's considering going national with the product. I don't have MBA, but I'm pretty sure that's how you define a successful endeavour. As for this product they put out, it's not even worth the discussion. It is headed for the same discount box where you'll find every other attempt at wireless automation with no common ground with existing technology. It's hard to understand why this lesson hasn't been learned already...

Anyways, as I said earlier, the matter is not of making it work. We did that in 4 hours flat. The matter is coming up with a UL/CSA listed product that matches all standards, does not go against a zillion patents and can land on the shelves for a reasonable price. It's a taller order than it sounds :)

I am checking out manufacturing samples these days and my next visit to China is in February, so we should make some progress then... Y'all be the first to know !


Cheers!

Offline huogas

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Re: Line Voltage Thermostast
« Reply #34 on: December 15, 2012, 11:53:21 am »
I'm from Quebec, and my house is full of Line Voltage Thermostats.

I would like to share an idea. Most of the new thermostats cans be used in many modes: DAY, VACATION, NIGHT, etc.
I think that some of these thermostat have in their back some contacts to activate a specific mode.

If I'm wright, could we think about a simple way to add a zwave device to simply, as an example, activate or desactivate a mode, letting the thermostat doing is job in that mode ?

Is there a possible solution there ?

GH
Vera2 UI4(1.1.1245/3.2), Kwikset x1, HM-DW001 x1, ZRP100 x1, HA-04WD x1, ZDP100 x6, HSM100 x2, VRI06-1LX x8, ZW5301 x1, HM-FS001 x2, ZRW103W x1, GE 45606 x2, HA05C x1, TED5000 x1

Offline CaSA

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Re: Line Voltage Thermostast
« Reply #35 on: December 17, 2012, 04:14:20 pm »
Hello huogas,

There are plenty of hacks to be done in order to make this work. One of the best is Richard_Canada's use of SSRs and Zwave thermostat. It's a good hack because it's within the confines of what"s acceptable, i.e. if your house burns down, it could be argued that this was a safe installation sinces parts where used within the confines of what they were meant to do (assuming of course the actual installation was done to code). But when you have stuff that does things it didn't do when it got stamped by CSA, it doesn't mean it's not safe, but it sure means you'll hear from your insurance company should something happen. In fact, an earfull is probably the only thing you'll get from them. I can't condone fiddling around with something that can so easily turn into a blaze and/or zap you in the process... If however you're equipped to experiment safely, then by all means do and please do share your results with us as this gray area sure needs some light.

I'm thinking the OP might want us to move this discussion to it's own thread ? Or are you still on the market for a solution to your problem ?

Offline Primetime

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Offline Primetime

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Re: Line Voltage Thermostast
« Reply #37 on: December 25, 2012, 11:59:03 pm »
I was looking at using something like this for my radiant heat in my shed

Offline paulthbrit

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Re: Line Voltage Thermostast
« Reply #38 on: January 29, 2013, 10:13:44 pm »
I am looking at using the Aube relay/transformer to switch loads on baseboard heating.  I am going to mount it above the suspended ceiling in a basement, but am concerned from a safety point of view.  The instructions say to mount it through a knockout of a junction box, but I am concerned about having the relay exposed and in contact with fibreglass insulation.  I was thinking about mounting two standard 4" square boxes side by side with the relay in one and the threaded piece through the two knockouts - holding the two boxes together.

Do you get the picture?  That way all the electrics are in one box and the relay is in the other box protected.  Depending on how hot the RC-840T-240 gets, I may or may not put the cover on the relay box.

Thoughts about this?  I am just uncomfortable doing what the instructions say and having the relay sticking out exposed on the side of the junction box - even if it is code, which I am not sure it is.

Thanks,

Paul

Offline Les F

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Re: Line Voltage Thermostast
« Reply #39 on: January 30, 2013, 06:53:41 am »

@paulbrit,   I too would be interested in just what is 'safe' as well as 'code'.  I am getting ready to hook one of these up at my cabin.  Relay and box need to either go up in attic (not a good idea), or in the wall.  I already have an access panel in the outer wall of the place where the original heater was (like 12x24").  Behind that is insulation now.  However just above that is the relocated wiring and line voltage thermostat running to the newer radiant heater (mounted up near ceiling). 

I really didn't want to put any electrical box on the wall near the heater as it would look just wrong. I figured I could pull the access panel, splice in there with Aube in a box mounted in the wall on the stud.  I do like your idea of putting 2 boxes side by side to protect the Aube and its low voltage wiring too.  What I don't know is if behind the wall is code or not (still is an access panel in front of it that can be easily remove).
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Offline huogas

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Re: Line Voltage Thermostast
« Reply #40 on: February 17, 2013, 03:39:01 pm »
I'm from Quebec, and my house is full of Line Voltage Thermostats.

I would like to share an idea. Most of the new thermostats cans be used in many modes: DAY, VACATION, NIGHT, etc.
I think that some of these thermostat have in their back some contacts to activate a specific mode.

If I'm wright, could we think about a simple way to add a zwave device to simply, as an example, activate or desactivate a mode, letting the thermostat doing is job in that mode ?
Is there a possible solution there ?

GH

Just to keep going on with this, here is more information. My Tstat is a TH115-AF.
There is in the back some dry contact :
Quote
"From any remote control device equipped with a dry contact. When the contact closes, the thermostat
is placed in Vacation mode and the icon flashes on the screen. All buttons on the thermostat
are locked. When the contact opens, the thermostat returns to the previous mode.
NOTE: When the Vacation mode is activated from a remote control device, it can only be deactivated
using the device."
My plan is to use a Z-Wave device to put the Tstat in vacation mode when normal heating is not required, and back in normal mode when normal heating is required. I don't know how many Tstat have this "backdoor" but that seems to be a good solution since the Tstat keep doing its job and there is no impact on the electric circuitry.

From your experience, what would be the less expensive Z-Wave device I can use to activate and desactivate the "vacation" mode by the TH115-AF backdoor ?

Thanks,

Gaston
Vera2 UI4(1.1.1245/3.2), Kwikset x1, HM-DW001 x1, ZRP100 x1, HA-04WD x1, ZDP100 x6, HSM100 x2, VRI06-1LX x8, ZW5301 x1, HM-FS001 x2, ZRW103W x1, GE 45606 x2, HA05C x1, TED5000 x1

Offline CaSA

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Re: Line Voltage Thermostast
« Reply #41 on: March 19, 2013, 10:51:46 am »
UPDATE : For various reasons, I can no longer explain the details of where we're at with development of this, but I am dropping a line to ask those who are interested in this product to hang on and stay tuned. If anyone is interested in having their name on a beta tester list, you can message me. We're  looking to round up people with a decent Z-Wave knowledge and minimum technical skills.
It's moving slowly... but it's moving  :P

Offline tonayisa

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Re: Line Voltage Thermostast
« Reply #42 on: March 21, 2013, 09:23:49 pm »
Bonjour T1000,

We are Z-Wave distributor in Quebec. You can add us on your beta tester list. As mentioned before, many customers are interested ! You can message me for more details ...

Offline CaSA

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Re: Line Voltage Thermostast
« Reply #43 on: March 27, 2013, 12:32:13 am »
@tinayisa,

Pas de probl?me, mais on ne peut envoyer de messages aux membres trop r?cent. Il va me falloir une autre fa?on de vous rejoindre !

Merci !

Offline peterluc8080

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Re: Line Voltage Thermostast
« Reply #44 on: April 01, 2013, 11:32:07 pm »
@T1000

Bonjour,

Je ne sais pas si vous ?tes toujours ? la recherche de personnes pour tester votre produit? Je suis au qu?bec et je suis vraiment en recherche intensive en ce moment pour un thermostat in-line.

Merci!

peter