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  1. #27
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    1,651
    Zoning is a job all of its own... I have met many great hvac contractors and techs that did not have the proper training or proper concepts of how to make a proper zoning system work... I have seen many zoning systems that damaged the heating or cooling system do to not being properly designed.. Also some of the early zoning systems were not designed well enough to properly protect the equipment.. With that being said, and having an electronics background and also being in the hvac industry,, I still would not try to design my own home made zoning system as there are great zoning systems available today from many manufacturers..

    If your ductwork and zoning system is not designed correctly, your system will not last a long time due to the added stress on the system...

    To have a zoning system installed, all aspects of the system must be evaluated and normally the ductwork must be designed differantly for zoning...

    You are in over your head whether you realize it or not..

    Good luck with your project but hopefully you will not ruin your system..

    J

  2. #28
    Originally posted by Carnak
    Well you realized this was not a DYI forum when you first posted.

    So why then do you expect advice. Try usenet, like alt.home.repair, there may be all kinds of people out there willing to help you.




    That's not it. I wanted professionals to help me. I didn't however need a constant barage of criticizim about something that I had already said was experimental. If someone would have said, "I really think that 4F diferentail is going to be too obvious of a notice, and that's what the old thermostats did." I would have said thank you, and considered doing differently.



    I appreciate the person who stated that I am in over my head without realizing it, however I still don't think I am.

    I also realize that if I do have any damage to my system due to long term effects, it is just that, long term effects, and I won't be capable of accuratly predicting wether I am damaging my system. This is why I had originally intended for my HVAC tech to come in a exam my system after I was complete, however they seem to have went out of business, so I'll have to hire a different company to verify everything. Assuming my HVAC tech did his job and correct ducted everything, (which I think he did), then the electronics portion (which I am doing) shouldn't be an issue.

    Anyway you look at it, I really don't see much point in continuing here. You people are extremly hostile to anyone and everyone that isn't a HVAC tech, and It just seems like I shouldn't bother coming back.

    If you're insterested in the way things are going with my system, you can check out my personal webpage at: http://www.knightscrest.com The entire HVAC project *will* be documented on there. As for this forum, I will be deleting my account shortly.

    BTW, I appreciate the information I did recieve, I don't want anyone to think I didn't appreciate the information and suggestions they gave.

  3. #29
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    2,927
    Originally posted by knightofoldcode
    "I really think that 4F diferentail is going to be too obvious of a notice, and that's what the old thermostats did." I would have said thank you, and considered doing differently.



    I have another opinion...4 degree differential is fine,maybe 5,6,7,..with an slighly oversized system.It depends on the persons lifestyle...fast recovery from setbacks,ect.. I dont even notice the swings in temperture that much and I turn it off at night anyway.

    I would go to your site to see it but I am afreid you will give my computer the virus!...dont leave here upset and maybe I will.

  4. #30
    Originally posted by jacob perkins
    Originally posted by knightofoldcode
    "I really think that 4F diferentail is going to be too obvious of a notice, and that's what the old thermostats did." I would have said thank you, and considered doing differently.



    I have another opinion...4 degree differential is fine,maybe 5,6,7,..with an slighly oversized system.It depends on the persons lifestyle...fast recovery from setbacks,ect.. I dont even notice the swings in temperture that much and I turn it off at night anyway.

    I would go to your site to see it but I am afreid you will give my computer the virus!...dont leave here upset and maybe I will.
    I appreciate the support.

    My site won't give anyone a virus. It's a personal site. Also, if your afraid of virus's, I'd suggest a anti-virus program.

    I'm a computer Engineer, so this is right up my alley. Avast! has a free antivirus program, and it runs really well. It's free, but you have to register and reregister and fill out a survey once every 6 months, I think it's every 6 months. Get it at http://www.avast.com


  5. #31
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    12,189
    After viewing your website, I see that you probably can integrate the control.

    Something that I don't thing you've addressed is equipment protection. Your zone control needs to monitor leaving air temperatures. As the LAT get too cold in AC or too hot in heating, the zone control should open dampers to increase airflow or stage down the equipment. There's more to zone control then swinging a damper and energizing the equipment.

    As a reference, take a look at these:

    http://www.xpedio.carrier.com/idc/gr...nekit-15si.pdf

    http://www.xpedio.carrier.com/idc/gr...nekit-14si.pdf

    Read the sections discussing system control and operation. You'll get a better feel for system protection.

    Good luck on your project.

  6. #32
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Tampa, Florida
    Posts
    1,634
    Originally posted by knightofoldcode
    The thing is, I've never developed my own thermostat! And I HARDLY doubt that ANYONE ELSE ON THIS FORUM HAS EITHER,
    Actually, I have... In days of old, control systems for light commercial HVAC were spartan at best when it came to features, even lighter when it came to interfacing with other equipment for fault reporting, energy management, etc. Forget humidity control unless you were planning on spending a fortune for a (commercial) building control system. You could use an ancient mechanical humidistat, but the tolerances of them were pretty wide. So, I designed HVAC systems and built control systems into some facilities to get the features and performance my clients needed. BUT, I also examined how the "big boys" did it with building automation systems, chillers, VAVs & VFDs first. Probably spent a couple of months getting the first one right, even longer tweaking it out to get rid of all the unintentional bugs which cropped up, such as short cycling a compressor 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off which is a BAD thing (Ironically, I was at a job a few months back where a large McQuay running on a Johnson Controls BAC was doing this). All of the systems are still out there doing their jobs, but I don't build custom control systems anywhere near as much as I used to. Thermostats have gotten FAR better than they used to be, and residential / light commercial HVAC systems are starting to get some of the features that the larger commercial systems have.

    Anyway you look at it, I really don't see much point in continuing here. You people are extremly hostile to anyone and everyone that isn't a HVAC tech, and It just seems like I shouldn't bother coming back.
    I'm definitely not an HVAC tech and no one here's bitten my head off yet... maybe questioned a few things I've said, and I'll admit that I do things a bit differently than the "industry standards", but no one's attacked me. Read & research a lot -- probably the best advice I could give. Learn about how AC works, then the controls design will come more naturally.

  7. #33
    Originally posted by jrbenny
    After viewing your website, I see that you probably can integrate the control.

    Something that I don't thing you've addressed is equipment protection. Your zone control needs to monitor leaving air temperatures. As the LAT get too cold in AC or too hot in heating, the zone control should open dampers to increase airflow or stage down the equipment. There's more to zone control then swinging a damper and energizing the equipment.

    As a reference, take a look at these:

    http://www.xpedio.carrier.com/idc/gr...nekit-15si.pdf

    http://www.xpedio.carrier.com/idc/gr...nekit-14si.pdf

    Read the sections discussing system control and operation. You'll get a better feel for system protection.

    Good luck on your project.
    Thank you for the vote of confidence. I know I can do it if I know what I need to do. I've got the electric part licked. Just trying to protect my system is the problem.

    Before viewing the documents you suggested I had no clue about a LAT, much less what it stood for. After reading it, then rereading your message, (your'e message told me that when it gets too cold in ac, or too hot in heat, that the system needs to increase airflow, the documents never said what needs to happen when it gets to low or high.)

    I didn't realize that the temperature in the main duct can change. I thought the unit made it cool to 40F, (Or whatever is common, I dont' know!) and that it stayed there unless it was heating. Is the temp supposed to change, or does it only change when the zoning system is stressing the HVAC system? Also, how do I know when the temp is getting too cold (AC) or hot (Heat), and what actions should be taken when it gets too cold or hot, other than opening dampers to increase airflow?

    There's more to zone control then swinging a damper and energizing the equipment.
    Other than monitoring the LAT, swinging a damper and energizing the equipment, is there anything else?



    If only my g/f didn't like to leave the temperature at 85F on a 104F day, I wouldn't have to do all this! lmao Winter she's even worse. 90F at night. I just give her an electric blanket, but in her computer room she's gotta have it at 90F.

    MUCH Thanks in advance!
    Knight

  8. #34
    Originally posted by tpa-fl
    Probably spent a couple of months getting the first one right, even longer tweaking it out to get rid of all the unintentional bugs which cropped up, such as short cycling a compressor 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off which is a BAD thing (Ironically, I was at a job a few months back where a large McQuay running on a Johnson Controls BAC was doing this).

    THAT is the reason that I wanted to have a 4 degree differential! I didn't want my system to cycle too rapidly and damage it! Yet I get my head bit off. :P

  9. #35
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    2,927
    Originally posted by knightofoldcode

    I didn't realize that the temperature in the main duct can change. I thought the unit made it cool to 40F, (Or whatever is common, I dont' know!) and that it stayed there unless it was heating. Is the temp supposed to change, or does it only change when the zoning system is stressing the HVAC system? Also, how do I know when the temp is getting too cold (AC) or hot (Heat), and what actions should be taken when it gets too cold or hot, other than opening dampers to increase airflow?


    Yes the temperture of the cooling coil will vary based on indoor and outdoor tempertures.Same with heatpump.
    Furnace(gas or electric) is more constant but will also vary based on indoor temps...

    Your heating/cooling equipment will have safties built in to prevent dangers,and maybe to prevent breakdowns.You could try your local library to find a book to help understand the wirng diagram on your furnace and its sequence of operation.Post your make/model numbers.

    You know more than me on the "zoning",but I will read along and share what I do know.

  10. #36
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    108
    I see you're pretty much set on building your own zoning system, but if you check out the Honeywell Enviracom system you will see that they have zone damper controllers, a main system controller, duct sensor, rs232 interface, thermostats and some other parts that make up the Enviracom zoning system. It is good for 9 zones and has a relatively simple protocol. So if your home automation system goes belly up or you ever want to sell your house, the system will function on it's own. You can spend your time doing what you really want to, integrating this system to your home controller. The protocol allows for system and fan switching of up to 9 zones. It also allows for status checking and even scheduling, using the thermostats built in clocks. It is a really robust system and pretty economical as well.

    As another option, you can also use just about any generic zoning system out there with HAI or any other communicating t'stats.

    As others have said, though a good zoning job requires the right duct sizing, setup of the barometric damper, even better, a multi stage furnace and condensing unit. Otherwise you won't be happy.


    Rob

  11. #37
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Tampa, Florida
    Posts
    1,634
    Originally posted by knightofoldcode
    Originally posted by tpa-fl
    Probably spent a couple of months getting the first one right, even longer tweaking it out to get rid of all the unintentional bugs which cropped up, such as short cycling a compressor 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off which is a BAD thing (Ironically, I was at a job a few months back where a large McQuay running on a Johnson Controls BAC was doing this).

    THAT is the reason that I wanted to have a 4 degree differential! I didn't want my system to cycle too rapidly and damage it! Yet I get my head bit off. :P
    Differentials and short cycling aren't implicitly synonomous. The issue I ran into was a glitch in programming & pressure sensors, not a poor selection of differentials. As to the McQuay, I'd assume it was hitting a pressure limit as well.

  12. #38
    Originally posted by tpa-fl
    Originally posted by knightofoldcode
    Originally posted by tpa-fl
    Probably spent a couple of months getting the first one right, even longer tweaking it out to get rid of all the unintentional bugs which cropped up, such as short cycling a compressor 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off which is a BAD thing (Ironically, I was at a job a few months back where a large McQuay running on a Johnson Controls BAC was doing this).

    THAT is the reason that I wanted to have a 4 degree differential! I didn't want my system to cycle too rapidly and damage it! Yet I get my head bit off. :P
    Differentials and short cycling aren't implicitly synonomous. The issue I ran into was a glitch in programming & pressure sensors, not a poor selection of differentials. As to the McQuay, I'd assume it was hitting a pressure limit as well.
    I'm not claiming you to be in error in your statement. I'm saying that I knew that it was bad for a compressor to cycle for a short period, and that's why I was considering the 4F differntial. Again, not knowing anything about my system, ie, how long it takes for it to cool by one degree if outside remains constant, etc.


  13. #39
    Originally posted by txvsrule
    I see you're pretty much set on building your own zoning system, but if you check out the Honeywell Enviracom system you will see that they have zone damper controllers, a main system controller, duct sensor, rs232 interface, thermostats and some other parts that make up the Enviracom zoning system. It is good for 9 zones and has a relatively simple protocol. So if your home automation system goes belly up or you ever want to sell your house, the system will function on it's own. You can spend your time doing what you really want to, integrating this system to your home controller. The protocol allows for system and fan switching of up to 9 zones. It also allows for status checking and even scheduling, using the thermostats built in clocks. It is a really robust system and pretty economical as well.

    As another option, you can also use just about any generic zoning system out there with HAI or any other communicating t'stats.

    As others have said, though a good zoning job requires the right duct sizing, setup of the barometric damper, even better, a multi stage furnace and condensing unit. Otherwise you won't be happy.


    Rob
    I'm not interested in selling my house and probably won't even be. It's the house I grew up in, and will probably die in, HOWEVER, you bring up good points and I think I've got most of them covered.

    "So if your home automation system goes belly up or you ever want to sell your house,"

    I don't think my home automation system will go belly up. I'm going to create a separate PCB just for the HVAC zoneing system. I have no intentions of making this thing be in any way unreliable. I've created things for quite a few people, and have never had any unreliability issues. Doorbell systems, Intercom systems, video monitoring systems, etc.

    The only issue that I have a concern with, and that you mentioned, "a multi stage furnace and condensing unit". I don't have this. My unit has the ability to change the motor speed, however this is a setup part, and not in actual production use. I only have, Turn in the cooling, turn off the cooling.

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