Status Update, WiFi Radiant Infloor System

My Radiant infloor system uses RAUPANEL which delivers 32BTU's per square foot at 110 degree water.
My Radiant infloor system uses RAUPANEL which delivers 32BTU’s per square foot at 110 degree water.

About 2 months ago I started dabbling in my spare time building a low-cost, low foot print smart control that will not only monitor my radiant in floor system but also control it.

The system is designed to be VERY low-cost and incredibly tiny making it easy for anyone with a hydronic heating system to control and monitor their hydronic heating system from anywhere in the world.

Two things inspired me to build a Hydronic Smart Control, the first is my love of radiant heating and the second is my passion for the ecobee smart thermostat which is an awesome device. ecobee has inspired me to put my programmer hat on and get the soldering iron out and the result is my very own radiant smart control.

Since my last post I now have my system up and running and monitoring my radiant in floor system. The code is 50% complete and internet monitoring enables me to see what my system is doing at any time but more importantly it gives me the ability to control my system. Features so far;

  • No computer required to run the system
  • Very small footprint ( fits in your palm of your hand )
  • Cloud storage of data through a wifi connection
  • Multi zone monitoring
  • Multi Zone control ( almost complete )
  • Monitoring equipment run time ( almost complete )

The old adage ‘size matters’ means a lot to me with this control. The last photo I posted of the control it was the size of my business card. The new version which I am not ready to share a photo of just yet is now the size of a box of matches and has all the same functionality.

Below you can checkout a screen grab of my online dashboard. I can access my REHAU Radiant in floor system from any smart phone or computer from anywhere in the world. I am currently uploading data on a 5 second interval to the cloud and showing current RAUPanel floor temperature as well as the average temperature over a 24hour period and a graph of the last few hours. ( Edit: Just noticed its saying C and not F for temperature… whoops! That will be fixed shortly! )

RAUPanel Radiant Infloor Smart Control

For those curious RAUPanel delivers up to 32 BTU’s per square foot at 110 degree water making it one of the most efficient heating systems in the world. With my radiant control I can not only see when the system is running and what the temperatures are and turn it on and off but I can also do some basic performance benchmarks to see how well my system works at different water temperatures and flow rates as well as how quickly my house warms up under those conditions.

My ‘Smart’ Wifi Enabled radiant in floor system is I think a cutting edge advancement to hydronic heating that anyone  can afford and use. ( Now if only I could think of a name for it ).

 

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12 Comments

  1. Hi there MacGruber. I’m building a 6-zone hydronic radiant in-floor home and would absolutely LOVE to have as few thermostats as possible. Ideally, ONE thermostat to rule them (zones) all. Issue is, we want our bedrooms cooler, bathrooms a bit warmer, etc. Can the ecobee do this?

    1. Jason an out of the box ecobee would NOT be the solution because you would not be able to control the mean radiant temperature in the room. That said I do have a method of doing it with a ‘commercial’ model ecobee. If you are interested drop me a line. Where are you located geographically? ( That way I know if you can get one )

      1. Whats your budget? You are definitely in the right area where you can GET the units I am talking about. Basically what you do is you use the EMS model and it will monitor the floor / air and have a CAP on the floor to prevent overheating. So its not as good from an operation point of view as a REHAU thermostat but should offer better control then an air stat and the looks of the ecobee. If interested I can put you in touch with a supplier. ( Disclosure: I work with them )

  2. I’d like to keep it around what I’d pay for an Ecobee or Nest, but am somewhat open. The more pressing issue is the progress of my build. The foundation is poured and backfilled, I’ll be needing to lay foam insulation, mesh, and PEX for my basement slab soon, so if there are probes that need to be in/on slab I’ll need to get those accounted for. I’d appreciate the contact with a supplier, thanks again!

    1. The key step is to install a floor sensor. That way you have time to decide what sort of system you want to use. ALL systems require a floor sensor to operate properly.

      My Radiant infloor system is coming along nicely but since I am dev’ing it on lunch money in my spare time its not ready yet.

      1. I assume not all floor sensors are created equal, does each thermostat has it’s own proprietary sensor? At least one per zone I imagine? Should we take this conversation to email?

        Thanks for all your help!

  3. I have a radiant system roughed into my house and wish to do the same as you did for the controls.
    Would that be possible. Can you send me instructions via email?

    Thanks in advance,
    Jakob

    1. Jakob a few commercial suppliers of radiant controls are now starting to do what I did so I fully expect that it will be readily available for all in a years time.

      My control was a fun experiment but not one that is a DIY project that I can share unfortunately.

  4. I saw a comment from EccoBee that sensor add-ons were dry sensors only and in terms of open close. I’m in a similar situation with Jakob, I have a rough in installation meaning all my pex is done. I’m now at the stage of installed the controls, pump and water heater. What is recommended is a thermostat with thermocouplers though it can be any brand. I’m assuming EccoBee does not support anything like that and is similar to what you’ve developed for yourself. That said what would you recommend? BTW, the water heater about $1600 is a Noritz tankless and the design overall as an open direct system http://www.radiantec.com/about-radiant-heating/our-heating-systems/

    1. Chris rather than a water heater look at a small combi boiler. Sure it will be more money but its rated as a heating appliance and will work properly. As for what thermostat I would use I would use the new TEKMAR 561 wifi thermostats. Tekmar has a great reputation and the stats are well priced and designed specifically for hydronic applications. Namely they monitor MRT and air temperature which the ecobee does not.

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