Controlling a Multizone HVAC System

Place to post your ideas and questions on how to integrate Cinemar's software in a Home Automation System (lighting, security, hvac, etc.)
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egamez
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Controlling a Multizone HVAC System

Postby egamez » Tue Jan 02, 2007 10:00 pm

Hi Folks

Fist of all Happy New Year, hoping that FY07 brings new good stuff from Cinemar and from the HA and Home Theater Industry

I was wondering if any of you are controlling a multizone HVAC system ( to be more specifically a RCS ZC6R based one) using ML directly or indirectly, lets say for instance via HomeSeer

As some of you may know, RCS ZC6R is controllable via RS232 or RS485 ( 2 way) which open the possibility to be eventually integrated directly into ML either developing the plug-in or in the meanwhile via the 2 way generic Serial plug-in.

So I wanted to know who of you have had any experience working with ML and the RCS ZC6R

Thanks in advance

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Postby kirkfrey » Thu Jul 05, 2007 8:03 pm

I was wondering this as well. I see that there is a beta of a Thermostat plugin but its not clear if it is (or even needs to be) capable of dealing with multiple zones. This isn't an issue for me yet but I am considering trying to convert my hvac over to two zones - upstairs/downstairs... I am not sure of the complexity of this little endevor yet so I don't know how far I would get.
Kirk

Just trying to figure it out...

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Postby Near76 » Wed Aug 01, 2007 9:26 pm

I have a two zone system that I am controlling through MainLobby via Homeseer. I am using a set of Aprilaire 8870s and have been for over 2 years without issue.
-Matt

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Postby cadillackid » Tue Aug 14, 2007 9:17 am

I control my RCS multizone system via ML and Homeseer. all aspects are controllable in my setup including economizaer cooling, variable speed blower control, furnace gas valve modulation,humidity control, leaving air temp, compressor staging, filter monitoring etc.. I havent found a good way with my setup to be able to ditch homeseer as i need the API to get info from my controller into my companion VB program I wrote.. plus being able to act on it with events..
-Christopher

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Postby DavidL » Tue Aug 14, 2007 10:32 am

Chris, As an FYI, the MLRCSThermo plugin is now "done". Let me know if you want to test it. Handles multiple RS485 thermostats. I am curious on how that is impacted by a true zoned system like what it sound you have.
We might be able to figure something out with regards to the scripting support as well.

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Postby indecision » Tue Aug 14, 2007 2:07 pm

I have 2 dual-zone, dual-fuel systems that I want to control in my home. If any of the amazingly smart installers around here know of a way to tackle this please let me know. I haven't found the right combonation of equipment to make this happen.

Davis

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Postby DavidL » Tue Aug 14, 2007 2:18 pm

dual fuel meaning as example a geothermal primary and a electric toaster oven secondary heat source?

a "Geothermal" (or "Heat Pump") thermostat setting provides for multiple setpoints to kick in the primary as first stage, and a secondary heat source (or cool source) as secondary heat. The RCS TR40 has independent settings on how far (in degrees) the secondary will kick in if the primary isn't getting the job done (continues to drop in temp during heat mode).

the Dual zone - is there a zone controller? What brand?

The Dual thermostats - one per each of the above zones?

the RCS Thermostat plugin handles one or more thermostats. You would be able to see the temps on each thermostat and change settings via Mainlobby touchscreen for each of the thermostats.

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Postby indecision » Tue Aug 14, 2007 8:04 pm

Smooth,

It gets complicated quickly. What I have is heat pumps with gas furnaces as the backup. The changeover is based on the outside temperature (which is user definable). Once the exterior temp gets to the setpoint the system changes over from electric to gas heat. Pretty standard stuff but definately makes it complicated when it comes automation time.

My system is run by an Allen-Bradley PLC so no actual zone controllers are installed. The genius/moron who installed the system has disappeared so I am out of luck when I have a problem. The answer is to remove the existing control and add a traditional zone controller (actually 2 - one for each system) and 4 thermostats. The exterior temp sensor and changeover setpoint are what I am concerned about being able to duplicate.

Thanks,
Davis

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Postby DavidL » Tue Aug 14, 2007 8:55 pm

well, my system is similar, but the trigger is not based on outside temp, but the ability for the primary heat (heat pump) to raise the temp. If it slips backwards, then the secondary heat kicks in. The RCS TR40 thermostat does all of this work. Standard, out of the box configurable functionality.

Wheres the third and fourth zone come in?

Is there two thermos per heat plant? What diverts the heat (forced hot air I assume?) from one zone to the next? motorized baffles?

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Postby indecision » Wed Aug 15, 2007 1:55 pm

my house is 2 levels and rather than one system up and one down, we have a system for each side (one left, one right) and then each of the 2 systems has a upstairs zone and a downstairs zone, controlled by motorized dampers to direct the air. Therefore I have 4 zones (up left, down left, up right, down right) each of which has its own thermostat. It works great and gives us a lot of flexiblilty.

I wonder if the TR40 could use the exterior temp as an input value. I will call RCS and see what they say.


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