Optimize heating using an arbitrary number of sources, both conventional and eco-friendly, flexibly integrated in one system.

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People tend to be skeptical of using eco friendly heating sources because of their unpredictable availability. If installing a cheap water heating panel, you may need to turn valves on and off by hand to use the water heated by the sun first. But the solar heated water may run out or drop below a desired temperature etc etc. There must be a smarter and a simpler way !

The idea that simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication and my abstract programming habits led me to design a CHEAP and very FLEXIBLE system that can control an arbitrary number of water heating sources (eco and non eco), and then distribute that water only where its needed according to the user's living habits. It will prioritize on cost, internal and external temperature, and so on and do everything automatically. Useful even with a single source of heating !

It is said that Prometheus brought fire to the people, now Prometheus brings a new way of heating to everyone !

Did you think that your houses's wood based heating system and the Internet of Things have nothing in common ? Guess again ! All of your heating systems may be linked, optimized and remotely controlled using a Raspberry Pi and the Internet.

The system as a whole is highly flexible and allows integrating :

  • a virtually unlimited number of water heating sources
  • the heating sources may be traditional (coal, gas, wood, biomass etc. based furnaces) or eco-friendly (solar water heater, geothermal etc)
  • an electric water boiler is preferred as the final or single water heating source
  • if present, the electric boiler may run off a virtually unlimited number of current sources, both traditional (power grid) or eco-friendly (solar micro grid, solar panel, wind turbine etc)
  • a virtually unlimited number of heat exchangers (wall mounted radiators, floor integrated heating elements etc)

A lot of effort was put into making the hardware part of the system as cheap as possible, as flexible as possible, as generic as possible. For example the same electric module that is used to control a water electrovalve, may be used to select between two different current sources (depending on load, price etc) for the electric boiler.

The system's electronic layer is controlled using REST API to communicate with a webIOPI server running on a Raspberry Pi. This allows for the client or a third party to design a custom User Interface that resembles the house that is being heated ! I made the system generic enough to allow you to customize it to your needs and desires.

The current UI monitors the temperature of the water at the input source, three heating sources (solar panel, gas based and wood based), one electric boiler and three current sources (solar panel, wind turbine and national grid). The work is in progress on the current sources part, building in voltage sensors and such.

  • 1 × Raspberry Pi I think that no further introduction is need !
  • 1 × Custom but simple electronic "brain" Specific modules that control 8 "muscles", less that 20$ each.
  • 1 × Custom but simple electronic "muscles" Generic modules, less that 15$ each per radiator.
  • 1 × 12V electric valve Two for each radiator. Prices depend on the source. I know a guy... :))
  • 1 × The Internet ! (or a local network) What would we do without them ?!

  • The "NOW"

    Marincov Daniel Zoran08/16/2015 at 16:28 0 comments

    Believe it or not, I am going backpacking on Mount Olympus. But one of my trip mates is about 90 minutes late, so I thought... since I made the system work just today, why not sign it up on HackADay ?! I don't expect much if anything... and I'll add more logs after I get back home on Wednesday.

    Cheers !

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