Hardware Overview

This tutorial is a section of my wider series on creating a home automation solution for heating and watering in my house.  Refer to the index here.

In this post I cover the hardware I’ve chosen and how I purchased it.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Installing Openhab on Pi

This tutorial is a section of my wider series on creating a home automation solution for heating and watering in my house.  Refer to the index here.

In this post we install a new Raspberry Pi from scratch, and get OpenHab running on it.  We choose to use Wifi, and we install it headless (no GUI and no monitor).  We install by connecting the card reader to a linux machine, which gives us access to the file system as we build it.

Continue reading

Automating radiator based heating system

Our house has a radiator heating system, fired by a large Marshall wood burner.

I’m looking to improve this heating system to achieve:

  • some level of heat storage – so that we don’t have to run the wood fire whenever we want heat
  • a way for that storage to stay reasonably warm for 4-5 days, so we can go away and have the heating automatically run before we return home
  • thermostat control on the individual radiators so we can hold a temperature, rather than adjusting temperature through how vigorously we stoke the fire
  • zoning of the rooms, so that those rooms not in use can not consume heat
  • allow me to run the boiler hard, rather than damping it down, which reduces pollution and increases heat output from a given weight of wood
  • the boiler also runs the domestic hot water (DHW) in winter, currently that’s an open cylinder rather than mains pressure, it’s a bit small, and takes forever to get hot water to the kitchen
  • the thermostat on the boiler that controls the pump is slow to cycle, leading to the boiler overheating and boiling the water, rather than heating it. This is wasteful of heat.

Continue reading

Solar hydronic heating

So, I’ve been wondering for a while about whether you can mostly heat your house with a (large) solar hot water system, plus a good sized storage tank to bridge you through cold periods, plus a hydronic (under floor or radiator) system.

I’ve been researching some more today, and probably am not a lot closer to knowing.  But what I have learned today I’ll include here, over time I’m going to post some more on this as I form more coherent ideas.

Continue reading