After having used the Elv MAX! heating solution for several years now, I have decided to finally move away from it. It simply is not stable enough for a longer period. Every couple of months the MAX! Cube loses its configuration or part of it. And then I have to pair every thermostat and radiator valve again.
However until recently I couldn’t come up with an affordable alternative to it. Stuff like the Danfoss heating zones is very expensive. There are ZWave valves available but the limitiation with them is that they can only be controlled with a set temperature. And (of course) you don’t want to control a room from the temperature reading from several radiator thermostats but from a central reading on a room thermostat of some sort. But the most important issue with this is, that I have ‘city heating’. The hot water enters my house and flows into the radiators. This hot water flow is regulated with a ZWave switch which turns the flow on or off. For this to work I need to know when to turn on the boiler switch. If one would do this using the reported temperatures I think its level of control is not fine grained enough.
Fortunately there seems to be a new player on the market: the EUROtronic Spirit Z-Wave Plus. It’s an affordable ZWAVE radiator thermostat which has the extra feature that you can choose to report and control the valve opening. With this option I can now see how far the radiator valves have been opened. And when one of them reaches the threshold (at for example 25% opening) I can actuate the boiler switch to let the city heating water flow into the house.
Since I am migrating to a ZWave Z-Stick solution anyway I might also start an experiment with one (or a few) of these newer radiator thermostats to see how this performs.
This is also important since I am having an airco/Heat pump installed into the living room. The plan is to let both the city heating and the heat pump work together to get a comfortable temperature in the living room.