Discussion in 'Quotes and Proposals' started by Geothermal Spirits, Dec 7, 2015.
How can I help?
Here is an email reply I received from my father.
I'm uncertain if the variable speed compressor is an issue, but I have added a link from a heating and cooling company in Ohio regarding the issue of zoned heating and cooling and geothermal furnaces.
My understanding of zone heating is that there are thermostats in the duct work to each of the various zones and that the temperature of the heated or cooled air from the heat pump, be it geo thermal or otherwise is at a constant temperature. The duct work thermostats control the amount of heated or cooled air that is allowed into each of the zones with the resultant control of the temperature in those respective zones. Simplistically open vent equals full force of air from furnace, closed vent no air from furnace. Perhaps this applies only to older technology geothermal furnaces and not the Trilogy 45, but I will ask the builder about that specifically. The heating contractor, in his last email to me, indicated that he was installing it exactly according to company specs.
Someone needs to learn the vocabulary. What Dad said is nothing I know about. What is wanted? Comfort? Low cost?
The issue are 3 zones. If only 1 zone calls which is only 1/3 of the airflow, how does the controller tells the heatpump to slow down the compressor by how much, combined with the appropriate slowdown of the blower?
OK to use with a single zone system, but not with 3 zones.
Perhaps this is what is actually planned and it was miscommunicated to me or my father never heard about the updated plan after the change to the Trilogy. I'll try to get clarification.
With one exception every geo system we have installed has been zoned. Two stage systems with standard 24 Volt controls easily support 3 zones with reasonable selection and configuration of aftermarket / generic zone controls, dampers and ductwork.
That said I haven't the foggiest notion how to zone a variable capacity proprietary system lacking "native" zoning. That circumstance renders CM Trilogy a non-starter.
I called Climatemaster yesterday and talked to a technical representative. He told me it was interesting that I was asking about zoning because he was going to attend a meeting in a couple hours about the new zone control board for the Trilogy 45. He said Trilogy 45 would support zoning once it was released. I asked when it was going to be released and he said he wasn't sure but he thought within a couple weeks. He then asked someone else and told me within the month. I was told it will support up to 6 separate zones and that it works with power open, power close dampers only. I asked for the price but he didn't know. He then transferred me to someone with more knowledge of the zone control board, but I only got voicemail.
Perhaps my parents' contractor knew about the impending release of the zone controller for the Trilogy. I am not sure. I emailed him with the information and am waiting to hear back. If he didn't know, I hope it is a relatively simple fix of using climatemaster's s control board with the existing installed electric dampers (or they switch them out with compatible ones). The system is not actually fully installed yet and the drywall hasn't yet been put up so maybe things can move along smoothly.
So the climate master support team did not know much about the release of the zoning control, but your contractor had this all factored in yet? I hope you are right. The algorithm for operating the dampers will take some time to test and fine tune. Maybe this is already done. I keep my fingers crossed.
I don't know if they knew about the Climatemaster controller or not. I would guess they didn't, but I'm still waiting to hear back. I'm just hoping even if they hadn't initially planned to use it, it would be a relatively easy swap.
The hvac contractor got back to me. He said that he confirmed with his distributor a month ago that he could use EWC zoning controls with the Trilogy 45. After my email to him he asked the distributor again and they said I was right. The contractor says he was told EWC is producing the new zone controls. He also said that it is fortunate that the house will not finished being built until after the new controls and dampers will be available.
Climatemaster gave me a copy of the just published zone controller installation manual. Here's some info. Btw, the contractor was incorrect. Climatemaster is manufacturing this unit in house. It was not contracted out to EWC.
Features of iGate ClimaZone
• Designed for use with ClimateMaster Trilogy systems.
• Compatible with new and existing systems.
• Accommodates up to six zones with a single zone panel or up to twelve zones with two zone panels.
• Each zone may have up to 3 dampers
• An iGate Connect thermostat is used to control each zone and provides internet-connected communications • System configuration and diagnostics available via ClimateMaster Trilogy PC Service Tool.
Zoning System ComponentsiGate ClimaZone Zone Panel – one or two per system.
iGate Connect Thermostat – one per zone.
Zone Damper – up to three per zone.
Transformer – for damper and thermostat power.
Trilogy PC Service Tool – for system configuration and diagnosis. Contains software and cables. Software installs on a PC/laptop then the PC is connected to the iGate ClimaZone panel using the cables.
I hope ClimateMaster has come up with a better way than Waterfurnace to weight demand from each individual zone.
IntelliZone 2 from WaterFurnace has you weight each individual zone as 25, 45 or 75 %, a strategy used from the first IntelliZone system for 2 stage equipment. It doesn't matter what the percentages add up to. The software will convert to a ratio that adds up to 100%. The end result is that no single zone can call more than 75% capacity of a variable speed unit. This has become an issue for some installations where a large zone needs more or if zone demands change from AC to heating seasons. This along with the legacy of 3 heat / 2 cool stage calls from the zone thermostats make a smart system dumb.
A better idea would be to set each zone to a max CFM value based on good duct design that would cover that zones greatest demand under any circumstance. The total of all zones max CFM could be greater than the capacity of the unit. This way up to the full capacity of the unit could be applied to a very demanding zone as smaller less demanding zones are satisfied. The demand from each zone could be calculated with a set comfort range and how far away the set point is.
We will see what ClimateMaster comes up with.
This may show you what you wanted to know.
Looks good so far.
Actually that is incorrect information on the IZ2. The IntelliZone2 has complete flexibility in staging. When Faster 1 or Faster2 are selected they add a timed component to the staging and will not only upstage to a higher compressor speeds quicker, any 45% or 70% zone can get full compressor capacity plus even electric heat if needed with in a few minutes of H3 call. So this does allow complete heat pump energy in any 45% or 70% zone. I would caution you though, any single zone needing that much energy is usually indicative of undersized or underperforming equipment, poor ductwork or an unrealistic load.
Bob, welcome to the forum. Thanks for chiming in here.
Bob, thanks for your reply and clarifications on the IZ2 zoning system. I will defer to your expertise.
However, I will stand by my opinion that the legacy carryover of settings from the original IntelliZone, including-
-H3/C2 calls at the thermostat level
-25%, 45%, 70% zone weight settings
-Quicker, and 2 Faster staging options
Is not the smartest way to control variable speed equipment and confuses, at least on my part, how the equipment is actually controlled.
I understand that the IZ2 system has to maintain backward compatibility to 1 and 2 stage equipment but those control strategies should happen at the software level between the zone panel and the equipment, not at the communicating thermostat where it is dumbed down to provide 3heat/2cool demand.
While I appreciate your insightful criticism of the legacy IZ zoning algorithm I feel compelled to point out that IZ zone weighting is, AFAIK, unique to WaterFurnace and provides unparalleled control over when the system ramps up. It seems quite reasonable to half weight thermostat Y1 calls. My biggest problem with generic zoning systems (such as Honeywell) is their proclivity to jump to Y2 well before warranted.
I would welcome a zone CFM based configuration mechanism, however it has grave risk of suffering from GIGO (garbage in = garbage out) Getting it right would require rigorous room-by-room load calculation, a careful assessment of each room / zone ductwork CFM capacity, and accurate knowledge of system airside delta-T under design conditions...all doable, but perhaps improbable in actual field conditions.
I agree. Please don't get me wrong. If I were installing a zoned variable speed geothermal system today or over the last 3 years my choice would be a WaterFurnace Series 7 with the IntelliZone2 zoning system. ClimateMaster has something in the pipeline but until it is released and field proven, WaterFurnace wins hands down. This is the original topic of discussion at hand.
Please note that I said "some installations" that would include challenges to any zoning system. In most cases there are no issues at all.
Well I am glad this is resolved even with a narrow world view.
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