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Monday, 9 April 2012

Heat Control System

Introduction

This project was the first stage of developing a controller for a radiant floor heat system. The microcontroller will use inputs from thermostats, thermocouples, a flow meter, and pressure switches to control the operation of the pumps and valves to achieve improved efficiency of the system as a whole.

This project idea came from a friend who recently built a house which utilizes an outdoor wood boiler for heating. He expressed that he was disappointed in the efficiency of the current system and wished he had more control over the system operation. This seemed like a good application of what I�ve learned in this course. The main goal is to improve the efficiency of the system by shortening the amount of time that the Pumps need to run while still properly heating the home. By doing this, consumption of both electricity and wood will be reduced.

Implementation of this project involves a large amount of work outside of the microprocessor. Because of this, I bound the scope of this academic project to the control logic only. In order to implement this in the house, I will have to build the circuitry to translate the control logic over to the voltages necessary for operation of the valves, pumps and sensors. In order to verify and validate the controller logic worked as desired I built a demonstration board that models the inputs and outputs of the system. This board was used to debug the controls during development and it was also a convenient way of demonstrating this project at the end of the semester. Toggle switches were used to model the 5 thermostats, adjustable voltage dividers were used for thermocouples, a 555 Timer circuit was used for the flow meter and LEDs were used for all outputs.

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