Monday, January 16, 2012

21st century HVAC control

I just got this in the mail today:



It's a 4 port relay controller with 6 input sensors. I also got 2 temp sensors, but really I should have got 6 from the get go and be done. Might put in another order once I confirm it works as I want.

My goal is to hook this up to my mini atom server which I will dedicate as a environmental control system. The relays will be used to control the heat and the temp sensors as a thermostat. I will code a web based app to control it. I plan to add lot of intelligence to it such as know how early to start the furnace based on the outside temperature. Once this is done I'll be able to control the furnace from work. I will be starting shiftwork soon, too, so being able to setup more complex schedules than the typical weekly/weekend settings will be great. I will also have a function to quickly override a schedule for a single day. Sometimes I go for lunch at 12:00 other times I go for lunch at 1:00 etc we just kinda play it by ear. So when I determined when I go for lunch then I'll set it to start so it's warm when I get home. Should be a fun toy to play with, and it will be practical.

I now need to decide how to physically set it up. How I wire it, etc... to make it as clean as possible. I might mount the board right into the server somehow, then have a terminal strip on the back of the server to make the thermostat and sensor connections. For now I'll have one sensor where my current thermostat is (I'll just shove it right in it basically) and the current thermostat will be used simply as a backup. It will be wired in parallel.

Later on I might add more sensors, like one on the upper floor, one in the basement, one in what will be the server room, maybe one in the garage.

I will only need 3 relays, so the 4th will probably be used for some misc purpose. Maybe the hvac for the server room itself once I build that room.

Now if I could add voice recognition to that server and have sensors around the house, that would be awesome. The server is called HAL9000. :D

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