Programmable TRVs

Tim Watts' post about CH controls provoked me to think about this again, but in a sufficiently different way to justify a new thread.
I don't really want to be able to control everything from the moon or have some self optimising system (they can't even get a word processor to learn effectively). Rather, I'd just like to control some rooms independently of the whole system without going around the house opening and closing valves twice a day. I know I could/should zone the system but that will have to wait for some glorious future date.
Initially, it would seem most useful to be able to stop the living and dining rooms heating in the mornings when, at least during the week, they're never used. If it has any impact, I could take it further through the house.
So two questions:
Has anyone done this and had good or bad experiences? (I'm aware they can be noisy but they would be operating mostly when there's nobody in the room.)
What is a cost-effective solution? I can see Pegler i30 valves at various prices, down to the low 20-quid mark but some less branded alternatives have prices way below this (eg at 30 quid delivered for 3: http://www.conrad-electronic.co.uk/ce/en/product/1275959/Thermostat-head-kit-5-up-to-295-C-eQ-3?ref=list ).
Although I can't help thinking that if it's too good to be true, it probably is, I have 5 radiators between just these two rooms (19 in the whole house), so costs mount pretty quickly.
Any alternative suggestions chaps?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 08/01/15 19:24, GMM wrote:

Do you want programmable TRVs or RF controlled with the schedule done centrally?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 08/01/2015 20:06, Tim Watts wrote:

Well, while the latter sound attractive, when I costed them a while ago, I was looking at something north of a grand for the house, so it's probably not the extra, unless things have changed significantly in the apst year or so.
I reckon individually programmable would at least give me a start to see how things go.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 08/01/15 20:49, GMM wrote:

Danfoss do the only half decent ZWave TRV and that's £51
http://www.uk-automation.co.uk/products/Z-Wave-Radiator-Thermostat-for-RA-valves-for-M30-x-1.5-by-Danfoss-.html
You could control that with a Fibaro HC-Lite internet ZWave controller or even a regular computer with a ZWave USB stick.
Or even Danfoss's own controller.
http://heating.danfoss.com/PCMPDF/living-connect_VIFNE302.pdf
The interstign thing about the Danfoss valves is they are part of the Heat Genius system, so in theory you could run them dumb with a cheap DIY Zwave controller and then upgrade later to a super smart self learning system by adding the HeatGenius hub.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 08/01/2015 21:05, Tim Watts wrote:

I'm guessing something like this will be the ultimate way to go, but I do have a vision of £51 x 19 rads + lots of other bits being rather more than the benefit of not having to turn a trv down manually. On closer inspection of the Pegler controller, it appears it can be controlled remotely, albeit with an RF controller that is undoubtedly their very own 'standard', so unlikely to be long-lived. Nonetheless, at less than 20 quid a unit by shopping around, it doe seem attractive.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 10/01/15 11:10, GMM wrote:

It depends...
Ignoring the fancy controller (which is self adaptive on occupancy), it might pay back if you can consistently save by having certain rooms turned down at regular times - how many people remember to run around and tweak manual TRVs.
But it is expensive and the obvious cost reductions are the RF TRV heads - at £60-50, I think these are way over priced for an RF enabled microcontroller, a motor, a few gears and a rotation detector/shaft encoder.
Fair enough - there's a small market and a lot of R&D to recoup, but I could see this part halving in value over time and as a flat needs several and a house maybe 10 or more, this will make a big difference.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 11/01/2015 09:07, Tim Watts wrote:

I guess it's the standard dilemma: It's hard to estimate the eficacy before trying it all out, so I'm reluctant to splurge a great deal of dosh in case it doesn't give me anything useful while, on the other hand, the good gear is more likely to work better. You might hope for a reduction in price over time but these things have been around for a while now, so one might imagine they have hit their equilibrium.
I'm coming to the view that it would probably be over-kill to put these things on every radiator as some parts of the house (various spare bedrooms etc) are used only intermittently and it's not too hard to simply turn their TRVs down manually. That still leaves around 12 radiators though, so it's a significant cost to do the whole thing.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 11/01/15 11:39, GMM wrote:

Well, you don't have to do the whole place.
If you leave the bathrooms on plain TRVs, they will take heat opportunistically based on their local temperature setting.
And I am going to price up for 2 bedrooms (my bedroom doubles as a workplace in the day) on fancy RF with a wall stat only in the living room and everything apart from the bedrooms will take heat if the living room controller OR the bedrooms call for heat.
On that basis I need 2 fancy TRVs, one wall stat and one controller and 3 PIRs. But I will not be heating 1/3 of the place when the kids are at school but I'm working at home (in theory).
Of course this does also rely on people shutting doors!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 11/01/2015 12:16, Tim Watts wrote:

Hmm...best not to get started on the door shutting issue!
I'm now thinking that I do kind of need to do the whole lot to make it worthwhile as my wife works from home. Although my initial thoughts were to turn off rooms like the living room and dining room during the morning heating cycle, it would be better if I could turn most of the house down to allow her to use the CH during the day. Since our gas bills without that are north of a grand a quarter, I'd hate to think what they would be with the whole house banging away all day.
Thinking of your plan, I can see it could make sense to shift the thermostat, or add another, to make it work better. That will take a little bit of thinking about as I'm hoping to avoid heating a lot more than 1/3 of the house during the day - more like 90%
Of course, the efficiency issue would be raised by this and we'd still be heating the hallway to no real purpose but at least the electric heater she uses at the moment wouldn't be running all day and there would be a comfort gain. Assuming she could learn the concept of closing the door, that is......
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

It seems to me that programmable TRVs on individual rads are the ultimate zoning system.
--

Graham.

%Profound_observation%
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Graham. wrote:

Don't think I'd want an extra 19 sets of batteries to have to run round and replace ...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I've just installed a few of these http://www.conrad-electronic.co.uk/ce/en/product/560897/eQ-3-MAX-Wireless-Radiator-Thermostat?ref=list and some of these http://www.conrad-electronic.co.uk/ce/en/product/560920/eQ-3-MAX-Wireless-Wall-Thermostat?ref=list and one of these http://www.conrad-electronic.co.uk/ce/en/product/560896/eQ-3-MAX-Cube-LAN-Gateway?ref=list
They will work independently, but the wall thermostat makes it easier to set a program if you have 2 or more radiators valves, and the cube makes the whole system much easier to set up.
So far it seems to be working OK, but It's only been running for a couple of weeks!
The TRVs seem a bit flimsy and plasticky, and can be noisy in operation and there is no boiler control option.
The advantage is that the wireless protocol has been deciphered and then it's possible to integrate a cube based system into other control systems to add functionality.
See http://www.domoticaforum.eu/viewforum.php?ff
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 08 Jan 2015 19:24:50 +0000, GMM wrote:

head-kit-5-up-to-295-C-eQ-3?ref=list).

I fitted something similar to our rads but the valves are each controlled individually from remote timers placed more conveniently/effectively.
Worked out at about £50 per rad but the house is infinitely more comfortable even if we never get the money back (though i'm sure we will if we haven't already, we seem to be using much less gas).
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 08 Jan 2015 21:46:31 +0000, Andy Burns

Apropos to another recent thread; maybe the Building Regs should make a POE CAT5 mandatory at every radiator location.
--

Graham.

%Profound_observation%
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Graham. wrote:

Maybe the smartTRVs could use heat from the system to charge a supercap with a thermopile?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 09 Jan 2015 07:58:41 +0000, Andy Burns wrote:

I was waiting for someone to suggest a small windmill on each radiator.
--
My posts are my copyright and if @diy_forums or Home Owners' Hub
wish to copy them they can pay me £30a message.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Bob Eager wrote:

I saw the 'opposite' the other day
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
could make sense, but not at that price
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 09/01/2015 08:24, Andy Burns wrote:

Fitting ordinary ceiling fans can move air around quite effectively - and also make the room more comfortable in summer. OK, so they are even more expensive, but they look better IMHO.
--
Rod

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The expense of this sort of stuff makes it simply not worth it. Far better to invest in insulation, (which also has an unlimited maintenance free life).
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
GMM wrote:

I have a couple of these
<http://www.conrad-electronic.co.uk/ce/en/product/560625/Conrad-Wireless-Heater-Thermostat-Set-and-Radio-Exhaust
(The "Radio Exhaust" is actually a radiator bleeding device, and this combination is currently £13 cheaper than one without the freebie)
<http://www.conrad-electronic.co.uk/ce/en/product/570055/CE-FHT-8-Wireless-Heating-Control-Set?ref=list
They have worked well so far. The actuator has a small motor inside, but seems to be pretty economical on batteries. I believe the remote sensing is a big improvement.
Chris
--
Chris J Dixon Nottingham UK
snipped-for-privacy@cdixon.me.uk
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.