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Author Topic: Reliable Temperature Monitors for Thermal Store  (Read 402 times)
Pilgrim
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« on: July 14, 2017, 08:35:49 AM »

I have a thermal store with 6 stainless steel pipes on it for temperature monitors. I was wondering what monitors would be good to use. I'd like something straightforward and versatile that I can use for a simple system to start with (perhaps use one to tell when to top up the heat in the store), but monitors that could be used for a more sophisticated system in the future when I have some time on my hands. I'm new to this, so know very little about the topic and have struggled to identify the correct topics in previous discussions. I'd appreciate any basic advice.
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sam_cat
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« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2017, 09:32:54 AM »

Cheap, simple and uncomplex:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Yeeco-Embedded-Thermometer-Thermostat-Temperature/dp/B06VV37JR3/ref=sr_1_1?s=industrial&ie=UTF8&qid=1500020990&sr=1-1&keywords=12v+thermometer
There are millions of options for simple thermometers, some are very cheap (both in cost and construction), others less so... Take your pick!

Getting more complex, allowing for logging and is the start of a more automated system:
https://www.modmypi.com/blog/ds18b20-one-wire-digital-temperature-sensor-and-the-raspberry-pi

Learn to use a raspberry pi, cheap reliable computing with a large support community... Can do EVERYTHING you want and more.


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Charli
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« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2017, 12:04:49 PM »

I'd second the raspberrypi and DS18B20's, I've got a network of 60-odd of them, they come in waterproof varieties- I've got them in chicken coops, ponds, buried a metre below ground level outdoors, as well as in the loft, behind the insulation in our house, in the hot water tank... they're pretty hardy sensors.
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sam_cat
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« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2017, 12:18:06 PM »

I'd second the raspberrypi and DS18B20's, I've got a network of 60-odd of them, they come in waterproof varieties- I've got them in chicken coops, ponds, buried a metre below ground level outdoors, as well as in the loft, behind the insulation in our house, in the hot water tank... they're pretty hardy sensors.


And the combination is so cheap its an easy one to start experimenting with, common place so there are lots of good guides and support.. Daft not to go that way!
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Pilgrim
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« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2017, 12:25:32 PM »

Thanks all. I'll definitely go down the raspberry pi route in the future. In the meantime, I'm guessing that the DS18B20 sensors can't be used as a regular thermostat without the raspberry pi. Is it easy to change the sensors without draining the thermal store?
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djh
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« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2017, 12:55:12 PM »

Sensor pockets for temperature sensors are usually tubes with a closed end, so they are completely separated from the water in the tank. So there's no need to drain the tank at all and you can change or fiddle with the sensors as much as you like.

Are you looking for thermometers to monitor the temperature or for a thermostat to control a heater? If the latter, how is your store heated? What existing systems are in place?

If you're just looking to monitor the temperature at various levels then you can use multiple freestanding electronic thermometers but they need reading and recording by eye and hand. Or you can use a computer-based logging system that records the readings automatically. You can buy computer-based systems already built such as shown at the temperature tab on https://guide.openenergymonitor.org/setup/  Neither type of thermometer can be used as a thermostat as it comes.
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Cheers, Dave
Pilgrim
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« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2017, 08:58:53 PM »

Ah, thanks @djh! I've poked a rod into the sensor pockets and you're right - they are closed off. That makes things a lot easier. In that case I'll go for a simple thermostat and those easy to read sensors that I can just poke into the pockets for the time being. In the future I can change them for sensors that are compatible with a Raspberry Pi.
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snyggapa
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« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2017, 09:06:27 PM »

it may be that those cheap units (actually you can get ones a lot cheaper) use a DS18B20 anyhow so you may be able to re-purpose the sensor at some point later

I use DS18B20s with an arduino which is similar to a PI, but much harder to work with
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eabadger
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« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2017, 09:08:46 AM »

i use these from china/ebay, seem fine, i think paul uses them too?
have high or low relay contacts.

steve


* IMG_0469.JPG (547.23 KB, 1632x1224 - viewed 51 times.)
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1600w PV main array at 24v, excide 2v 1000a forklift cells now x 2, 320w PV secondary array at 12v. Enfield 1944 ex RAF 5.6kw diesel genset (now in pieces, big ends gone), Petter AC1 28v diesel charging set at 2.8kw.
1kw wind turbine.
26kw wood stove back boiler to underfloor heating and dhw
Stig
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« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2017, 09:44:22 AM »

When I built my PV diverter I bought a couple of the cheapo LCD thermometers via Ebay and cut the sensor off one, measured it at a couple of different temperatures (it's just a thermistor) to calibrate and used that (the other one is just so I've got an easy to read display).  Worked out cheaper than buying a thermistor from Farnell etc.
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