Determining if Portable AC is On or Off

ML1WirePro allows for database storage and MainLobby presentation of 1-Wire technology devices.
MurrayW
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Determining if Portable AC is On or Off

Postby MurrayW » Mon Jul 09, 2007 4:28 pm

I have all my AV equipment and MLServer PC in a closet in my garage adjacent to my living room. I have an exaust fan in the closet ceiling with a intake vent to draw cool air from my living room to try to keep it cool in there. In the summer in Texas it gets close to 100 F in the closet if I leave the doors closed, so I end up opening them up to allow the closet to reach the ambient temperature of the garage (85 to 90 F). Yesterday I installed a Sharp portable AC unit in the closet. I plan to use the ML1WirePro plugin and a 1-Wire temperature probe to monitor the temperature inside the closet.

You can put in a temperature set point into the Sharp AC that will cycle the condensor on and off, but the fan blows all the time even with the condensor off. It is probably not a bad idea to let the fan circulate air even when the condensor is off. I plan to do take some temperature measurements with and without the fan on to see the difference and to also measure the power draw to see how much electricity I am using in the fan-only mode.

If I do decide to turn the entire unit off when the temperature setpoint is reached and turn it back on again after the temperature rises a certain number of degrees above the setpoint, which of these two ways (or others if there is a better way to do this) would you recommend to determine if the AC unit is powered on or off. I don't have an ELK or any other automation hardware other than my MLServer PC.

    1. Measure the temperature in the closet every x minutes.
      a. If the temperature is above my "turn the AC on" temperature and the past several temperature readings indicate that the temperature is rising, send the power toggle command because it must mean that the AC was off. Set an MLServer variable to indicate that the AC is on. Otherwise do nothing.
      b. Once the temperature falls below the "turn the AC off" temperature and the past several temperature readings are declining, it must mean that the AC was on, so send the power toggle command to turn off the AC. Set an MLServer variable to indicate that the AC is off. Otherwise do nothing.

    I figure that this way, even if the IR is not received or I turn the AC off when I really wanted it to be turned on, it would eventually be corrected the next time the temperature of the closet was evaluated.

    2. Get a power sensing device and hook it up to the AC. I would defintely know the state of the AC and would know for sure that I was turning it on or off when I send the power toggle command. Is there a 1-Wire device that would allow me to sense the power without having to buy additional hardware?


Thanks in advance for any ideas.

Murray

MurrayW
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Postby MurrayW » Wed Jul 11, 2007 3:25 pm

OK, no ideas...any opinions? :)

90CE
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Postby 90CE » Wed Jul 11, 2007 3:47 pm

Murray:
Sorry did not get back to you earlier. I wanted to checkout the 1Wire on/off before I responded.

I have a couple of options for you. Temperature is best done with 1-wire. How many points to you want to measure? If only one, then you just need a 1-Wire adapter (USB or Serial) and a probe. Easy to do.

For device on or off, 1Wire is possible. I just built and tested one last night. Seems to work very well. Is based off a CR Magnetics 9321 current sensor. Only issue I have run into is that you have to poll to see if the device is on or off (ie, no event response).

The option I am currently using is the Weedertech Digital I/O board using the CR9321 sensor, works well and is event driven. Went to this so I could track all of my HVAC equipment.

I think it boils down to how many you want to do. If you are only looking at one temperature and one ON/OFF then 1Wire would be the way to go. If that is all you need, I have some probes and a patch panel here that I could make you a good deal on.

Let me know

Tracy

MurrayW
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Postby MurrayW » Wed Jul 11, 2007 5:08 pm

Tracy,
I only want to do 1 temperature and 1 power for now. If I wanted to expand this to a few more (2 or 3 not 10's) in the future, should that influence what I do now?

Yes I'd be very interested in getting that good deal from you on the patch panel and probes. :lol: I have a few questions.

1. How does it work? RS-232 from PC to patch panel, then probes attached to the patch panel? If this is correct, how many probes can be attached to the patch panel?

2. ML1WirePro would be able to send and receive the signals and interpret what they mean, correct?

3. Polling shouldn't be that difficult to schedule through ML should it? I would think that I would just have to poll the temperature and power status every 15 to 30 minutes -- I could determine how fast the closet typically heats up with the AC off to come up with an appropriate time frame.

4. Would I be able to attach a sensor to the patch panel to let me know if my garage door was up or down?

thanks!
Murray

90CE
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Postby 90CE » Wed Jul 11, 2007 6:27 pm

1. The patch panels current hold 4 devices plus the main 1wire bus input/output. Any number (with in reason) can be daisy chained. The panels are hooked together using 6 wire phone cable (pretty standard). The last bus is connected to the computer using six wire phone cable and either a USB or Serial 1Wire adapter.
http://www.maxim-ic.com/products/ibutton/products/adapters.cfm
I have had the best luck with the USB adapter. It seems to provide better power to the system then the serial adapter does

2. ML1Wire will handle both the temperature and switch sensors.

3. You can currently can poll at intervals as small as 1 minute to as large as 1 day

4. yes, I would just send a 1wire device with leads to hookup to your garage door switch. You could hook something like this to it (http://www.smarthome.com/7455.html). I am going to try this with my Weedertech next weekend.

Tracy

MurrayW
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Postby MurrayW » Wed Jul 11, 2007 9:47 pm

90CE wrote:1. The patch panels current hold 4 devices plus the main 1wire bus input/output. Any number (with in reason) can be daisy chained. The panels are hooked together using 6 wire phone cable (pretty standard). The last bus is connected to the computer using six wire phone cable and either a USB or Serial 1Wire adapter.
http://www.maxim-ic.com/products/ibutton/products/adapters.cfm
I have had the best luck with the USB adapter. It seems to provide better power to the system then the serial adapter does

2. ML1Wire will handle both the temperature and switch sensors.

3. You can currently can poll at intervals as small as 1 minute to as large as 1 day

4. yes, I would just send a 1wire device with leads to hookup to your garage door switch. You could hook something like this to it (http://www.smarthome.com/7455.html). I am going to try this with my Weedertech next weekend.

Tracy
Thanks Tracy...I am in no hurry so whenever you are ready to cut me that good deal, let me know! :)

90CE
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Postby 90CE » Wed Jul 11, 2007 10:00 pm

What pieces do you want? I assume the panel, usb adapter, 1 temp sensor, one on/off sensor, and one garage door sensor. If so, I will pull the invoices to see what I paid for them and mark it up a couple of 100 percent. :P

Probably take a couple of days to get it all tested and packed. I will PM you with a price tomorrow or Friday.

Tracy

MurrayW
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Postby MurrayW » Wed Jul 11, 2007 10:36 pm

90CE wrote:What pieces do you want? I assume the panel, usb adapter, 1 temp sensor, one on/off sensor, and one garage door sensor. If so, I will pull the invoices to see what I paid for them and mark it up a couple of 100 percent. :P

Probably take a couple of days to get it all tested and packed. I will PM you with a price tomorrow or Friday.

Tracy
Tracy, I think that those pieces sound like that is what I need -- aren't they? :lol:

I probably won't do much with them for a couple of weeks, so take all the time you need. Oh, and about the mark-up...please do apply the appropriate mark up for your time and effort in doing this for me.

thanks,
Murray


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