This is the next episode in the never ending story to get a good central heating; not just in the living-room, but in all the rooms; and totally integrated in my Domotica system. Today I received a box full of parts; diodes, resistors, capacitors, a PIC – 33 different parts in total.
These parts will be used to build this Opentherm Gateway. I think most people who have ever searched for a way to control their Opentherm controlled central heating system will already know the site I referred to, cause it pops up really quick in the search results of any search engine – it’s one of the scarce good resources that are available when you want to integrate your central heating system into your Home Automation system.
But why do I want to control my central heating system? Do we need it, since we’ve already got Radiator Thermostats on all the radiators in our house? Yes we need it, and I’ll explain why.
The biggest “problem” we’re facing is that we have a single thermostat that’s controlling the central heating right now, and this thermostat is in the living-room. The influence of the sun on the temperature in the livingroom is huge. Today, with a reasonable amount of sunlight, the 6 m2 of glass on the south side of the livingroom result in producing enough energy to warm up the living-room to a temperature above the thermostat setback. That’s good, very good, and we want to keep it that way of course! But the result of this free energy is that our central heating system stops burning around noon, as you can see below (showing the in- and outgoing water temperature of our boiler):
The central heating hasn’t been burning from approx. 13:00, cause there was no need for it anymore. There’s no need to explain what happens to the rooms on the 2nd floor; they all cool down, and there’s nothing I can do about it.
Another problem is that the temperature of the water which flows through the radiators, isn’t high enough for the radiators to radiate enough to heat up the rooms upstairs during the time that the boiler does burn. The result of all this: even if we’d want to, the temperatures upstairs will never reach more than 19° Celsius. We don’t need those higher temperatures, but that can change – and it will.
So how can I change when and (more important) where the central heating pumps energy into our house? I decided to give my Domotica system a role in this. The Opentherm Gateway is part of the solution. More about the ‘how‘ later….