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The Proof is in the Pudding

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PMJ
PMJ Member Posts: 1,265
I've observed here for some time that perfectly even heat would mean that the thermostat was never satisfied. So by definition, so long as the temperature of the space does not fall below the cut in of the thermostat, the longer calls go on with the temperature remaining inside the deadband of the thermostat the more even the heat is.

I attach here graphical evidence that my simple control is getting very close to achieving this with a boiler on the bigger end of what is needed. Note - this system was running on a vaporstat when I moved in and banging off its high limit regularly. It was noisy in the basement with air rushing in and out and no the heat was not even...upstairs/downstairs or anywhere else.

The outside temperature for this was about 10F. Shown is a 12 hour stretch where the thermostat was satisfied only 3 times, and only for a total of about 23 minutes. There were 23 even burns of just under 10 minutes each, and waits between burns of 18 minutes or so. During those 18 minute waits the vacuum guides more steam to the colder areas. Each new fire begins in the deepest vacuum and full boil is achieved in 30 seconds or so. So this ends up very close to 2 cycles per hour so the boiler has to run 30% of the time to heat the structure at this temperature. You can see where the thermostat was satisfied and for how long on the wait time chart.

The difference between what this system was and is now is huge. The system is dead silent. My only vent opening is in the garage and no air can ever be heard going in or out. The heat is even everywhere - my upstairs/downstairs difference problem went away.

The control is simple. There is no outside temperature input. There is no high level math. Though it is much easier to do with a PLC one is not necessary. Without the vacuum part all that is needed is two independent timers and one simple temperature switch on a remote radiator. The burn lengths and wait times adjust to the conditions. The colder it gets the longer the calls get as it dials in. I haven't changed the timer values in several years now.




1926 1000EDR Mouat 2 pipe vapor system,1957 Bryant Boiler 463,000 BTU input, Natural vacuum operation with single solenoid vent, Custom PLC control
dopey27177

Comments

  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,524
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    looks remarkably consistent. Now all you have to do is design a factory plug & play system and get a patent
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,676
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    looks remarkably consistent. Now all you have to do is design a factory plug & play system and get a patent
    Yeah good luck getting anyone to buy it patent or not.

    I've already watched this story play out.


    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 6,506
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    The actual saying is...
    The proof of the pudding is in the tasting
    steve
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 5,835
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    ChrisJ said:
    looks remarkably consistent. Now all you have to do is design a factory plug & play system and get a patent
    Yeah good luck getting anyone to buy it patent or not.

    I've already watched this story play out.


    But there's "graphical evidence". 
  • PMJ
    PMJ Member Posts: 1,265
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    looks remarkably consistent. Now all you have to do is design a factory plug & play system and get a patent

    Consistent, yes, and based on the demand which actually doesn't change that fast.

    Fire until steam gets where you want it. Don't fire again until that same spot has cooled a set amount. Length of firings and time in between them then changes as the conditions do because the rate steam is condensed by the system changes. As it gets colder net burn minutes per hour increases but it all stays in even pulses. Obviously in mild weather the tstat gets satisfied more often.

    I'm not interested in patents or in selling anything. I'd like folks to just try this on their own. A few are now. It is just so easy, so inexpensive, and very effective.
    1926 1000EDR Mouat 2 pipe vapor system,1957 Bryant Boiler 463,000 BTU input, Natural vacuum operation with single solenoid vent, Custom PLC control
    PC7060cross_skier
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,676
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    No logging of any temperature sensors in any of the living spaces?
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • PMJ
    PMJ Member Posts: 1,265
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    ChrisJ said:

    No logging of any temperature sensors in any of the living spaces?

    No.
    1926 1000EDR Mouat 2 pipe vapor system,1957 Bryant Boiler 463,000 BTU input, Natural vacuum operation with single solenoid vent, Custom PLC control
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,676
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    PMJ said:

    ChrisJ said:

    No logging of any temperature sensors in any of the living spaces?

    No.
    So,
    For all we know some rooms are swinging 4 degrees.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • PMJ
    PMJ Member Posts: 1,265
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    The logical basis of these control systems is to maintain a temperature at the control point. Hanging in the dead band of the thermostat for long periods is proof that is being accomplished, that is total call time as a percent of total time.

    I find that consistency at the control point is consistency everywhere. Ongoing 18 minutes of off time between 10 minute firings with the control point never leaving its dead band no room can possibly swing 4 degrees even in theory.
    1926 1000EDR Mouat 2 pipe vapor system,1957 Bryant Boiler 463,000 BTU input, Natural vacuum operation with single solenoid vent, Custom PLC control
  • cross_skier
    cross_skier Member Posts: 201
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    Interesting, thanks.  I'm planning on trying 18 minutes delay triggered by 0.1 psi trigger and see how it does on my system.  This is simpler than what you did, I am wondering what benefits I am losing by not adding the second timer 
  • PMJ
    PMJ Member Posts: 1,265
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    Interesting, thanks.  I'm planning on trying 18 minutes delay triggered by 0.1 psi trigger and see how it does on my system.  This is simpler than what you did, I am wondering what benefits I am losing by not adding the second timer 

    Many ways to do this. I do not claim mine is the only one or the best.

    The more people trying things on this the better.
    1926 1000EDR Mouat 2 pipe vapor system,1957 Bryant Boiler 463,000 BTU input, Natural vacuum operation with single solenoid vent, Custom PLC control
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,676
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    PMJ said:

    The logical basis of these control systems is to maintain a temperature at the control point. Hanging in the dead band of the thermostat for long periods is proof that is being accomplished, that is total call time as a percent of total time.

    I find that consistency at the control point is consistency everywhere. Ongoing 18 minutes of off time between 10 minute firings with the control point never leaving its dead band no room can possibly swing 4 degrees even in theory.

    I'm sorry but I'm confused. Maybe I'm having a duh moment, it happens.
    Where do we see any evidence of how consistent the temperature is in the living space?

    All I'm hearing right now is "the thermostat wasn't satisfied most of the time" but that could mean a lot of things. It could mean the temperatures in the space dropped several degrees and then overshot at the end which is exactly what I saw with this setup. repeatedly. It would fall behind more and more, then kind of catch up but not quite, and then overshoot. Then the thermostat would stay off for too long because of the overshoot, and then the system would fire for short bursts, each time falling behind more and more and then again, kind of catch up but not quite, then overshoot. Rinse and repeat.

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • delcrossv
    delcrossv Member Posts: 742
    edited January 2022
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    @PMJ Can you post a diagram of your control setup?
    Trying to squeeze the best out of a Weil-McLain JB-5 running a 1912 1 pipe system.
  • SteamingatMohawk
    SteamingatMohawk Member Posts: 1,005
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    This feels like a modern way to simulate how the coal fired systems maintained temperature. The main difference is that you vary the heating rate by the on/off cycles vs. relatively steady burning of coal. I believe the vapor function tends to minimize the cooldown of the system by not drawing in room air between firings.

    Can it work in a non-vapor system?
  • Shahrdad
    Shahrdad Member Posts: 120
    edited January 2022
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    The actual saying is...
    The proof of the pudding is in the tasting

    I believe the actual saying is "The proof of the pudding is in the eating," but tasting also sounds awfully good.
  • PMJ
    PMJ Member Posts: 1,265
    edited January 2022
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    @chrisj,

    The temperature at the control point stays in the deadband for hours at a time in the cold. I set a recording thermometer on top of it to verify several times in the past. I live in the space and don't need to do that any more. The wild swing events you describe are not happening.

    You have a one-pipe system and I have a two pipe system. From what I understand about one-pipe systems this is dramatically easier to accomplish in 2 pipe. I stay away from commenting on one-pipe stuff because I have no first hand experience. It is no secret that this data is all on a 2 pipe vapor system.
    1926 1000EDR Mouat 2 pipe vapor system,1957 Bryant Boiler 463,000 BTU input, Natural vacuum operation with single solenoid vent, Custom PLC control
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,676
    edited January 2022
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    PMJ said:

    @chrisj,

    The temperature at the control point stays in the deadband for hours at a time in the cold. I set a recording thermometer on top of it to verify several times in the past. I live in the space and don't need to do that any more. The wild swing events you describe are not happening.

    You have a one-pipe system and I have a two pipe system. From what I understand about one-pipe systems this is dramatically easier to accomplish in 2 pipe. I stay away from commenting on one-pipe stuff because I have no first hand experience. It is no secret that this data is all on a 2 pipe vapor system.




    Aye.
    I feel the size of the system and the size of the building also have a large effect on the performance, perhaps more so than the type of system. Your system has 4 times the mass of mine and I assume so does the building.

    My "preheat" times as it's called on the Ecosteam are 90 seconds on a cold night.
    That's the time from when the thermostat calls for heat, until the steam hits the end of my long main. Right about that time, or within a few seconds steam will get to all of the radiator inlets as well.

    On most days minutes. if not seconds matter on my system. If it runs for a minute longer or shorter than it should it on a typical winter day will cause issues.

    Point being, your system may be perfect the way it is, but it may not work right on smaller setups at least not without some tweaking.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • PMJ
    PMJ Member Posts: 1,265
    edited January 2022
    Options

    This feels like a modern way to simulate how the coal fired systems maintained temperature. The main difference is that you vary the heating rate by the on/off cycles vs. relatively steady burning of coal. I believe the vapor function tends to minimize the cooldown of the system by not drawing in room air between firings.

    Can it work in a non-vapor system?

    Bingo.

    Thank you @SteamingatMohawk. That is exactly it.

    I can't say I know the answer to your question but my guess is yes.
    1926 1000EDR Mouat 2 pipe vapor system,1957 Bryant Boiler 463,000 BTU input, Natural vacuum operation with single solenoid vent, Custom PLC control
  • PMJ
    PMJ Member Posts: 1,265
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    delcrossv said:

    @PMJ Can you post a diagram of your control setup?

    I will get you something in the next few days.
    1926 1000EDR Mouat 2 pipe vapor system,1957 Bryant Boiler 463,000 BTU input, Natural vacuum operation with single solenoid vent, Custom PLC control
    delcrossv
  • PMJ
    PMJ Member Posts: 1,265
    Options
    ChrisJ said:

    PMJ said:

    @chrisj,

    The temperature at the control point stays in the deadband for hours at a time in the cold. I set a recording thermometer on top of it to verify several times in the past. I live in the space and don't need to do that any more. The wild swing events you describe are not happening.

    You have a one-pipe system and I have a two pipe system. From what I understand about one-pipe systems this is dramatically easier to accomplish in 2 pipe. I stay away from commenting on one-pipe stuff because I have no first hand experience. It is no secret that this data is all on a 2 pipe vapor system.




    Aye.
    I feel the size of the system and the size of the building also have a large effect on the performance, perhaps more so than the type of system. Your system has 4 times the mass of mine and I assume so does the building.

    My "preheat" times as it's called on the Ecosteam are 90 seconds on a cold night.
    That's the time from when the thermostat calls for heat, until the steam hits the end of my long main. Right about that time, or within a few seconds steam will get to all of the radiator inlets as well.

    On most days minutes. if not seconds matter on my system. If it runs for a minute longer or shorter than it should it on a typical winter day will cause issues.

    Point being, your system may be perfect the way it is, but it may not work right on smaller setups at least not without some tweaking.
    I think your Ecosteam would be a fine control. But as you know it was not well received here either.

    There is nothing perfect about my system. It is an ongoing work in progress.

    1926 1000EDR Mouat 2 pipe vapor system,1957 Bryant Boiler 463,000 BTU input, Natural vacuum operation with single solenoid vent, Custom PLC control
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,676
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    PMJ said:

    ChrisJ said:

    PMJ said:

    @chrisj,

    The temperature at the control point stays in the deadband for hours at a time in the cold. I set a recording thermometer on top of it to verify several times in the past. I live in the space and don't need to do that any more. The wild swing events you describe are not happening.

    You have a one-pipe system and I have a two pipe system. From what I understand about one-pipe systems this is dramatically easier to accomplish in 2 pipe. I stay away from commenting on one-pipe stuff because I have no first hand experience. It is no secret that this data is all on a 2 pipe vapor system.




    Aye.
    I feel the size of the system and the size of the building also have a large effect on the performance, perhaps more so than the type of system. Your system has 4 times the mass of mine and I assume so does the building.

    My "preheat" times as it's called on the Ecosteam are 90 seconds on a cold night.
    That's the time from when the thermostat calls for heat, until the steam hits the end of my long main. Right about that time, or within a few seconds steam will get to all of the radiator inlets as well.

    On most days minutes. if not seconds matter on my system. If it runs for a minute longer or shorter than it should it on a typical winter day will cause issues.

    Point being, your system may be perfect the way it is, but it may not work right on smaller setups at least not without some tweaking.
    I think your Ecosteam would be a fine control. But as you know it was not well received here either.

    There is nothing perfect about my system. It is an ongoing work in progress.


    Yeah.........
    Still very not impressed with how that all went over. I'll probably never forget it.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment