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What do "tweakers" use to monitor boiler/system performance ?

Dave Carpentier
Dave Carpentier Member Posts: 109
We're installing a new modcon this summer, and I got to thinking of user-data. The brand that the supply house suggested is an NTi (made in Canada). It seems like a nice unit, and I noticed it has "wifi" for ODR (or you can use a proper sensor) and you can log into the unit via an app to get some stats. The stats are pretty dumbed-down (Im just using the "demo" app. It'll show you the gas used monthly or daily, the unit temperature and gas used hourly, the current flame state (on/off), and some other less meaningful things.
Does it get better than this ?
They indicate that a technician can log into your unit remotely for troubleshooting or checking. Presumably they get way more info, but you have to pay NTi a pile of money to have that level of detail ?
If users want more realtime or detailed history do they go with different brands, or install 3rd party monitoring software/hardware ?
30+ yrs in telecom outside plant.
Currently in building maintenance.

Comments

  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 5,279
    swt, rwt, exhaust temp,outdoor temp, firing rate, which zones are calling if the zone controller is part of the boiler, if the call is dh or dhw. if you really want to control it many boilers allow 0-10v control instead of on/of and you could control it with a building management system.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 5,279
    if it has the data on a web page you can use http requests to pull the data off it.
  • fentonc
    fentonc Member Posts: 76
    I just built my own monitoring system - sensors and microcontrollers are both pretty cheap and accessible.
    Solid_Fuel_Man
  • Dave Carpentier
    Dave Carpentier Member Posts: 109
    This one does have an optional 0-10v addon board to control setpoint or power %.
    It also has an "EBUS 2" connection (24v and Gnd).
    EBUS looks like it would have that data I would like to see, but Im not finding what difference a "2" makes. Presuming the "2" is hardware compatible, I'd have to get an EBUS adapter and then learn linux. From some sites I browsed, it seems like the manufacturers each have their own "standards" as to the actual data params (like outlet temp might be #3BH for one manuf, and #007 for the next). So you have to experimentally approach it. Maybe the "2" makes that more of a standard, I dunno.

    @fentonc - I think that kind of approach might be the way to go. Years ago I started looking into the 1-wire stuff . Im sure there's more options now. With a sensor monitoring system, I could also monitor temps on each of my zone loops and the air handler run times etc etc. Im not looking for remote control, just sensor data points.
    Running wires everywhere isn't the prettiest thing, but it does give more flexibility.



    30+ yrs in telecom outside plant.
    Currently in building maintenance.
    ScottSecor
  • fentonc
    fentonc Member Posts: 76
    @Dave Carpentier - I ran six 1-wire temp sensors that came with 9-ft cables for the supply/return pipes for all 3 zones, and then some cheap LDR-based light sensors (all from amazon) to monitor the status lights on my boiler. It was super easy to get up and running.
  • FrankB101
    FrankB101 Member Posts: 11
    If you can do any micro-controller programing these devices are real handy.
    I built this control system after major frustration with the big guys.

    https://www.isa.org/intech-home/2022/april-2022/features/open-plcs-enhance-building-automation

    https://www.automationdirect.com/
    In_New_England