# Waterfurnace Series 7 Energy Use

Discussion in 'Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by josephparris, Dec 3, 2012.

1. ### josephparrisMember

Is there anyone out there who has installed a Waterfurnace Series 7 with the "home energy" system? Looking for someone to compare runtime and KW/hrs with.

As you can see in the attachment for the month of November the total KW is 0.4. I am told this is a monthly average for November. If that is true then;
0.4KW X 30 days = 12 KW/hrs. Now, 12 KW/hrs X .13cents/KWH = \$1.56 cents for 423 hours of runtime. I am having a really hard time believing that.

2. ### Palace GeoThermalWell-Known MemberIndustry ProfessionalForum Leader

You are right...it is hard to believe. Something is amiss.

3. ### josephparrisMember

Sent email to Waterfurnace asking my question below and this is their response, which now makes more cents. Haha!

Your average of 0.4 kW is an average of when the unit is actually running. This is similar to saying a light bulb consumes 60 watts of power when it's on. This alone doesn't give us enough information to determine how much it costs to run the light, or in the case of your unit, heat and cool your home. We need the total amount of time that the unit was running, then we can compute the kilowatt-hours (kWh), how your electricity is measured and billed. Your hours ran in November is 423. So to compute how much energy your unit used, multiply .4 kW * 423 hours = 169.2 kWh. You can then multiply that by your electric rate. Keep in mind that it won’t match what your meter says because of other electrical usage in your home.

If you do the math now it is 169.2KWh x electric rate of .135 = \$22.84 for the month. Now, that is believable and still good for 423 hours of runtime

4. ### docjenserWell-Known MemberIndustry ProfessionalForum Leader

The 7 series modulates through 15 stages. 400 watt when running at the lowest stages is believable. We have to rethink here, run hours mean nothing anymore with the variable speed pumps. They run forever and consume very little at the lowest stages.

5. ### JFLameMember

The energy reporting on the Waterfurnace stat has nothing to do with actual running watts. Well, if you select "instant" to view the unit when running you will get actual running watts, but from there they have completely messed up (IMO) how they are reporting the energy usage on a daily or monthly basis.

In the example provided here, the 400 watt energy usage could have been composed of any number of variable speed runs, because they always end up normalizing the reported number by converting it to a factor (kw) that must be then multiplied by a second reported factor (number of hours) to get the actual daily energy usage. No granularity below daily is provided.

So in this example, they report 0.4 kw as the energy usage, but that is completely meaningless without the second factor of hours of runtime. The 0.4kw factor could have been derived in any number of ways (so far as I can tell).

For example: Unit ran for 3 total hours, off and on spread out across the entire 24 hour day, and consumed 2400w during those 3 hours (7200w total). This would be reported as "0.4kw avg" with 18 total hours of runtime. As you can see, 0.4 has nothing to do with the overall running of the system, it's just a factor.

My 5 series came online a week ago, and every time I've ever looked at the "instant" energy usage, it is reported out something like this:

Fan: 39w
Electric heat: 0w
Compressor: 1800w
Pumps: 492w

So in stage 1 I'm using running about 2200-2300w. My daily energy reporting over the last week has my "avg kw" reported as 0.6, 0.8, 0.9, 1.1, or 1.2 depending on the day. Each day then has a number of "hours" by which if I multiply as shown above I can get some idea of my energy usage for that day.

My thoughts on this? I think Waterfurnace screwed this reporting up big time. It makes no sense. If I had to guess, I'd say it was left up to the thermostat programmer to determine what he thought would make sense to report. To somebody who actually USES this system, the sensible metrics are these:

1. Actual average running watts - something closer to the actual "instant" energy usage. I'd expect to see a number around 2200-2500w. Even better would be to report stage 1 and stage 2 running averages separately.
2. Total daily watts consumed - the sum of all the watts consumed during the day. This would be close to the number you'd get if you multiply the current "avg watts" times "hours", except saving me the task of doing multiplication.
3. Total daily cost - allow me to enter my kwh rate and just give me the number in dollars and cents.

If you want to get really fancy, add in some calculations based on the average OAT. Oh, which brings me to another point. Waterfurnace has several functions available for the system that require the outside temperature sensor, which Waterfurnace is too cheap to include with the Intellizone2 system. Seriously Waterfurance, stop nickel and diming us.

While I'm at it, I'll add in that until I get my first electric bill, I'm not trusting ANY of this energy reporting. Case in point - while the system will report out and presumably record the running wattage as discussed here, it will only report and presumably record fan wattage when the heat is running. If the heat is running the thermostat will report the fan wattage as 39w. If the heat is not running but the fan is, the instant energy monitor reports the fan wattage as 0w. Nice Waterfurnace, real nice.

I had high hopes for the energy reporting functions, but clearly Waterfurnace has A LOT of work to do yet on it to actually make it usable.

Oh, and one other thing, the Intellizone2 stats are still WIRED. I couldn't believe this one. I had to help the tech successfully run a wire for the new stat for the second floor. It took 2.5 hours. Wasted time that would have been avoided if Waterfurnace would have designed the stats to be wireless like the current Honeywell systems.

Don't get me wrong, the system is working well and I'm happy with it, but some of these shortcomings are rather terrible, and make you go, "HUH?"

6. ### docjenserWell-Known MemberIndustry ProfessionalForum Leader

Keep in mind that the thermostat and energy monitoring i mainly designed for the variable speed 7-series. So in your example the runtime would not be 3 hours but maybe actually 18 hours with an average 400 watts when running. I have trouble following your complaint. So you have a heatpump which consumes 1800 watts and runs for a certain hours a day, and then the amount of energy used is reported as a total for that day. What is wrong with that?

What I would be more worried about why your circulations pumps use 20% of your total wattage. 493 watts for circulation pumps to power what is presumably a 3 ton heatpump. Why do you have a 2 pump flowcenter when you only need 9 gpm for a 3 ton heatpump?

Last edited: Jan 14, 2013
7. ### JFLameMember

Doc,

My pump wattage is actually reported as 472w. This is for a 4 ton WF NDV049.

Back to the reporting. My complaint, as simply as I can put it, is that the numbers just don't make any sense. Avg Kw? Average of what? Average over the "total hours"? It still doesn't make any sense. Yesterday my daily energy usage is reported like this:

Avg Cooling kw: 0
Avg Heating kw: 0.8
Total kw: 0.8
Total hours: 3

So does this mean my unit ran for 3 hours total throughout the day, and while it was in operation it only consumed 0.8kw while in operation? In what universe can a Waterfurnace NDV049 run and only consume 0.8 kw? Not possible. Nor do I believe a 7-series can run on 0.4kw. This number is meaningless, and frankly very misleading. What I *think* these numbers mean is that if you multiply 0.8*3 you'll get 2400w total energy usage for the day, which I can believe since it was mild yesterday, but I don't believe for a minute that my unit can run on less than 2000w and that it actually ran for 3 hours.

What I *think* is happening here is that they are recording runtime data by the minute, and then in trying to report by hours things are getting convoluted. I sorta see what they are trying to accomplish, which is showing an average instant energy usage, along with the total time the unit has run through the day, but it's clear to me that they don't have the calculations anywhere near right (yet).

Do you see what I'm getting at yet? If you stop thinking in terms of variable speed WF 7 series and more in terms of 2 speed 5-series the issues with this reporting really come to light.

8. ### josephparrisMember

All,

I have been in touch with WaterFurnace and they have admitted to having a problem with reporting of the "Home Energy" calculations. Especially at the end of the month when the thermostat tries to give runtimes, graphs, and KW's.

They did not give me a time for a fix, but only that they were working with the thermostat manufacturer.

I was sold on the "home energy management" system which I paid extra for and have yet been able to believe anything that it reports.

9. ### josephparrisMember

All,

This is what my thermostat reported for the month of December, heck I don't even have the AC turned on. Sad!

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10. ### WF_IncMember

Josephparris is correct. We are aware of a software issue with this thermostat, and are working with our vendor towards a resolution. The power accumulation algorithm in the thermostat is the only feature affected. We want to assure you that this issue will not affect the heating and cooling operation of your WaterFurnace unit.

Once we have a resolution, we will issue new software to address the issue, which will be able to be uploaded into the thermostat. We do apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

WaterFurnace International, Inc.

11. ### josephparrisMember

WF_Inc.

Can you explain to me what the "yearly summary" is telling me. Without any legend on the sides telling me what the graphs represent, it is basically useless to me or either I don't understand what it is telling me. The % that is shown is a percent of what?

The unit was installed at the end of October. The "blue" graph lines I assume represent AC, of which I have not had turned on since I purchased the unit.

Thanks,

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12. ### JFLameMember

I didn't even get into the graphs in my prior rants, but here goes.

To take a shot at what WF is trying to do here, I imagine that if you could see a full year of data in the yearly summary you would see the blue lines get big in the middle, with the red lines biggest at the ends. This is just the normal seasonal cycle. My personal gripe is not that I don't understand the red vs. blue lines, but rather that they don't provide any meaningful metrics alongside the trend line. I would expect to see the following metrics alongside each line:

1. Total kw used for the month
2. The monthly % of the total year's usage

Then, a final total of kw for the year. That is what would actually be useful.

Hey Waterfurnace, I am happy to talk to any of your product development people if they need any customer feedback. Just send me a private message.

13. ### engineerWell-Known MemberIndustry ProfessionalForum Leader

For about \$250 you can get a single channel TED energy monitor that will log second, minute, hour, day, month, year etc data for your WF or any other load in your home. It also reports power factor and produces nifty graphs and spreadsheets.

Last I checked, my Envision 038 burns about 1600 Watts in heating, 1500 Watts in cooling (both low stage). That's compressor and blower, but not pump (I have no pump)

For an extra \$150 or so, add up to 3 more pairs of current clamps to TED and monitor whatever else is of interest; in my case: whole house, range, clothes dryer.

Last month we burned about 700 kwh; 150 WF, 30 range, 50 clothes dryer, 70 heat pump water heater; about 400 for everything else.

The Welserver fan club may have even better ideas.

Last edited: Jan 15, 2013
14. ### docjenserWell-Known MemberIndustry ProfessionalForum Leader

I cannot stop thinking in terms of 7 series, because the thermostat was introduced together with the 7 series and is one of only 2 thermostats actually working with it. That makes me believe that it might be designed with the 7 series in mind, and part of the problem is that now you measure dual speed systems like the 5-series. We monitor about 20 of our systems online with a WEL, and measure the amperage via an amp sensor once a minute, multiply it by the voltage (which is pretty constant), and that way get the actual wattage. Then you count all the wattages together and divide it by 60 (since you measure it once a minute) so you get KW/h. So the average power consumption when running is important since you need this to multiply it with the run time to get daily power consumption. The rest is just displaying and counting correctly. We have some wattnodes for calibration, but are within 1% driven by the Amp sensor compared to the wattsnode pulse counter. Pretty straight forward. Now, what scares me is the word "algorithm" which mean that they might not measure it but use an algorithm to extrapolate the wattage via other means, for example use EWT, entering air temp, delta Ts and running stage to "calculate" wattage based on lab data.

May be WF could reveal details on how wattage and accumulated data is measured, counted and interpreted.

15. ### docjenserWell-Known MemberIndustry ProfessionalForum Leader

Temperature and Energy logging by: Web Energy Logger
IMHO, here is what a monitoring system should do.

But could you guys stop going on a rant here. Bugs can happen, they admit it, it is a software issue not affecting any performance, they will fix it, and they will fix the software at your thermostat at no costs to you.

16. ### urthbuoyWell-Known MemberIndustry ProfessionalForum Leader

It sounds like it is just the thermostat interpreting the new Aurora boards incorrectly. The boards have various options - energy modelling being one. This has various monitoring devices such as amp readers.

I only have a WF-5 installed and just got the handheld reader. Next time I'm on the site, I'll get all the readings I can from this communicating board. If it does what the literature says, diagnostics just got a lot easier.

17. ### josephparrisMember

Engineer,

I understand there are other monitoring systems out there, but I paid extra for the "Home energy" monitoring system on the WF 7 series system. I will wait and see what WF does to fix the issue.

Thanks

18. ### docjenserWell-Known MemberIndustry ProfessionalForum Leader

Are you sure it reads the amps directly, and it does not extrapolate them from other parameters? We are using the handheld readers for a few months now, an I love them. You can bypass the thermostats, and get all the temps and pressures. Great! Can't wait to have this all online!

19. ### urthbuoyWell-Known MemberIndustry ProfessionalForum Leader

Doc,
I don't have first hand experience so I'm not sure. But the energy monitoring option indicates it has current transducers added to the two existing compressor sensors. Some room for interpretation.

20. ### josephparrisMember

Does anyone know if it is possible to grab all the information that is currently readable with the AID tool on the WF Series 7 (watts, ewt, lwt, entering air temp, leaving air temp, etc) on any of the web logging software that is out there like the Web Energy Logging equipment?