Greenfire's This Year First Action and Next Steps is an application which manages the heating of a house, with it's main goal: energy savings (e.g. higher prioritization of solar power over wood pellets etc.), and some collateral features like reports, speech recognition, SunSpot integration etc. The first one is the "key feature", the remaining is fun :-).

This year we have a relatively cold spring in bavaria (-5 - +10 C), with some sun. It was enough to shutting down the main heating, greenfire cares about warm water - only the remaining energy was used for the heating. Since about 4 weeks greenfire manages the heating and saved a considerable amount of energy (several hundred kilograms of wood-pellet) without sacrificing the comfort (o.k. perhaps it is sometimes a half degree colder :-)).

I'm going to implement the following features in the near future:

  1. Easier script / profile management. Now greenfire runs in winter and summer mode. I just have to switch the scripts back and forth. However I would like to make the management more easily - and provide an UI for this purpose. In addition I would like to provide additional profiles e.g. vacation, work etc.
  2. Every (at least german :-)) house has a circulation pump for warm water. The purpose of this "device" is to make warm water immediately available. However it's controlled by a timer - so it runs whether you need warm-water or not. Every time it runs - the warm water temparature drops several degrees (- in my case several kW energy wasting). I would like to integrate the control of this pump with greenfire.
  3. Greenfire decides now with the whether forecast, current collector "power" and the "thermos" temparature about the next actions. I would integrate the internal, external temparature, as well the sun "radiation" in different rooms as well. I will use SunSpots for this purpose.
  4. I would like to "intercept" the price-feeds for several wood-pellet providers - greenfire knows, how many wood-pellets were burned - it should be able to suggest the best price/condition via email :-)
  5. Better Reporting: I have gathered weather data for about 3 years in JavaDB (every five minutes). It would be nice to correlate the data, so you would see the temparature, energy costs etc. of the current day, but one or two years ago.
  6. Air Ventilation: my house is actively ventilated. The ventilator runs 24h / day. I think this is not necessary - I would like to control the ventilator as well (with a SunSPOT and some electronic/relais :-))
People asked me often whether my house was build with such automation in mind. The answer is no: there is no EIB (Euro Installation Bus), or other Bus Systems - it was too expensive. It talks over COM-interface with the heating, and via the air with SunSPOTs. I try to keey the infrastructure and preconditions as simple as possible.

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What exactly do you use to gather weather data ?



Posted by jerome on May 15, 2008 at 07:58 PM CEST #

How could we apply this to Cooling in computer rooms?

Posted by Dale Robinson on June 25, 2008 at 07:38 AM CEST #

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