Newer Thermostats / Instrumentation

Discussion in 'Geothermal Heat Pump Testimonials' started by HVAC Technician, Aug 31, 2012.

  1. Introduction:

    One of the minor challenges in setting up geo thermal systems is that it is preferable to add as much instrumentation as is practical or necessary. Why, you ask ? The answer is that you need data to know what is going on both to know that the system is operating "correctly" and you need accurate data to troubleshoot when you have problems. For example, if a system is locking out in winter, is it because the water is too cold? Another quick example is that knowing delta "T" tells you something about water flows and operation. Often manufacturers tell you the "correct ranges".

    There are some interesting professional / commercial systems that can capture 11 different sensors from different places and so on. Usually they begin at about $400.00 + after that you need sensors, accessories, in some cases a special router and cabling. Most of us skip that because of cost.(Incidently some of this is VERY popular in IT departments because they HAVE to know immediately when they lose their cooling or all their servers will quickly go down).

    Personally, I use simple cheap digital stuff and occassionally left over or "thrown out" surplus digital thermometers that have been thrown out by someone else. (I don't use them unless they are accurate)

    Up to this point the biggest "breakthrough" in thermostats have been the modern highly programmable 7 day thermostats chiefly made by major name brands in Canada or the US.

    If you are wonderring why I am talking about instrumentation and thermostats it is because the line is starting to blur between control and monitoring. (Commercial (my work) has been moving strongly in this direction for the last 15 years).

    As an example, Honeywell is introducing a new line "Red Link" with technology borrowed from I believe, their fire alarm division. I know that it is wireless, that it uses a router and that you can "see" your system from afar and even turn some things on and off.

    So I invite others who know something about it and or similar technologies to add useful comments. It would be interesting to be able to turn a system on and off remotely, though that still will not fix a real problem that requires hands on presence. I think I am still "on point" inasmuch as these newer control systems can and actually will control our geo systems in the future. Over to YOU.
  2. engineer

    engineer Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    I'm old school, not a big advocate of excessive home automation, if for no other reason that I know of fancy homes with $30k worth of home automation gear that got blown away by a typical summer thunderstorm.
  3. urthbuoy

    urthbuoy Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader


    For radiant. And soon for air. But an order of magnitude above the pricing you're talking if you want control.
  4. QAS

    QAS New Member


    I installed an Ecobee thermostat in my home. Install was very easy, it connects to the WiFi in my house, and I can control the t-stat remotely from a smart-phone or from any device that has access to the internet. They also are coming out with "smart-plugs" that you can use on any outlet in your house to turn devices on/off and monitor power usage from that outlet. My whole system cost about $300, there are no monthly fees for the service, and it only takes 4 wires to hook-up from the t-stat to the interface device near the indoor equipment. This makes it nice for retro-fits where you only have 4 wires to use. Don't have to pull 8 wires anymore!
  5. GxTracker

    We recently introduced a new web-based GSHP monitoring system that aims to meet many of the needs you describe above. It does not allow for control of the system but it does provide real-time monitoring and issues email alerts to if the system is operating out of user specified ranges, or if the total runtime warrants filter changes or other maintenance. The system also provides many other useful data products such as renewable energy production, cost savings, and carbon offsets. ... visit our website at to learn more.

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