Intelligent Room Controller

OVERVIEW

The Intelligent Room Controller is the core block required for heating setups. The block operates off of heating/cooling seasons, target temperatures, heating/cooling modes based off of these targets and a potential heating schedule. Once you have setup your heating schedules (or other methods of controlling the timing of the heat), the block actually learns how long it takes for the room it is assigned to heat up and cool down. By doing this it can be dead accurate with it’s scheduling and ensure that it always hits the target it has been set.

This block can be linked to the Intelligent Temperature Controller for further control of your heating system. The Intelligent Room Controller will be providing your heating deman signal that the ITC will be using.

 

BASIC SETUP

Icon Exclamation Mark LoxoneThe intelligent room controller takes time to learn the thermal dynamics of the room. We recommend setting up the schedules and then leaving the controller for a few days or ideally a week so that it can learn.

 

Even with really straightforward programming, the Intelligent room controller can be made to be fully functional for individual room control in an automatic mode.

First connect the temperature sensor in the room to the input AI, then either or both a proportional valve actuator to the output AQ or a digital actuator to Q. That’s it! Now the schedules can be set easily in the UI with the Apps or the web interface.

The output Qs can be used for combining the heating with the shading. If the current room temperature, in cooling mode, exceeds the comfort temperature and the sun is shining, the output Qs would turn on. The output Qs is also activated when the heat protection temperature is exceeded during heating mode. The input AS can now be activated on the automatic shading block by means of a memory flag and the automatic shading begins.

If the sunshine is not taken into account, you can remove the output by unticking a tickbox in the properties of the room controller.

Intelligent Room Controller Basic

PWM OUTPUTS

The outputs on the Intelligent room controller Q, Q2 and Qc are pulse width modulated outputs. The automatic parameters for the block determine the optimum control for these outputs.

If the output AQ is greater than or equal to 90%, the digital outputs remain permanently switched on. If the AQ output is less or equal to 10% then the digital outputs are off.

HEATING ZONES

The Intelligent room controller supports two heating zones. If the room controller is currently not in his heating-up phase, AQ2 will have half the value of AQ1, but if AQ1 = 100%, AQ2 will also output 100%.

COMMON BEHAVIOUR OF THE INTELLIGENT ROOM CONTROLLER

The Intelligent Room Controller (IRC) has the ability to learn how quickly the room will heat up/cool down. When you first save a fully configured IRC into a Miniserver (it has the ability to track the temperature and control it) it will enter a learning state for 1 week. In this state, it will be learning at what times it will need to turn the heating/cooling systems on in order to hit your set target temperature at the set time.

Because of the fact that it learns for the first week, it is best practice to not use manual overrides whilst it is learning as it can skew the IRCs learning pattern. If the room was heating up at a rate of 3 degrees/minute and then suddenly you have overridden it to be 5 degrees higher, and now it’s heating up at 5 degrees/minute, it’s not going to know that you have overridden it, it will just know that this room is heating up much faster, so it will now turn the heating on later than it did before.

Another side effect of the IRC learning heating/cooling timings is that the heating will come on earlier and earlier for the first week until it has learned the appropriate timings. This means that the entire system will be firing up earlier and earlier in the day until the IRC can consistently hit the target temperature at the target time.

 

Icon Exclamation Mark LoxoneIt is vital that the heating/cooling systems in place are capable of hitting your target temperatures. If you had a really badly insulated room, and wanted it to hit 30 degrees, but the thermal loss rating of the room is too high, so that the room cannot ever hit 30 degrees, then the IRC will be stuck in a loop of turning on earlier and earlier as it cannot hit this temperature. In this instance, you will have to lower the target temperature to something the room can actually achieve.

One thing you may also notice about your IRC, is that it is supposed to be in an operating mode (frost protection for example) but the heating still comes on. This is because the IRC knows to heat to room up X minutes before that target temperature and that just so happens to fall into the end of an operating mode, this operating mode will be overridden in order to hit your set target temperature.

The learning data for each Intelligent Room Controllers is bound to each individual block. This means that if you were to setup a Loxone system with heating included, and then add another IRC later on but copy and paste it, it will have the learned timings from the copied block, thus causing inaccurate and odd behavior. It is best practice to setup IRCs manually from scratch instead of copy and paste them across. Because of this fact, if you require an IRC to relearn its timings, then you can simply delete and add in another, replacement Intelligent Room Controller block.

FURTHER CONFIG PRECAUTIONS

A crucial part of the IRC is its intelligence. Because of how the block behaves, it is extremely important to try and leave it as bare bones as possible, aiming for just temperature inputs and then valve outputs without any blocks in between. The reasoning behind this is because, if you have some custom logic that turns the heating off if you are out, the IRC is telling the room to heat up, but it’s not heating so it thinks that it’s timings are off and will try to turn the heating on earlier and earlier. The goal of an IRC is to look like this:

It is important to not have 2 IRCs assigned to 1 room. This is due to the fact that, each IRC would be controlling something else (say a towel rail and bathroom heating), and these are both sources of heat. Both of these could come on at the same time, rapidly heating the room up, whereas the towel rail could then come on at a different time, heating the room at a much slower pace. This would result in the IRCs getting out of sync and causing heating/cooling conflictions: the towel rail one decides: “we need heat” but the overall room one does not and so turns cooling systems on. In this instance, it is recommended to have the towel rail act as a dumb system: on a timer, instead of an IRC for example.

 

USER INTERFACE

It is very straightforward to set the schedules in the user interface, here is a picture of what the user interface for the Intelligent room controller looks like throughout the different pages:

OVERVIEW

INPUTS

AmMode selection0 = Fully automatic: Heating period and cooling period are set via the calendar. These dates determine whether heating or cooling is activated. The entries are valid for all room controllers in a project.
1 = Automatic heating: Target temperature set by heating schedule, primary and secondary heat sources are used, cooling and shading outputs are deactivated.
2 = Automatic cooling: Target temperature set by cooling schedule, cooling and shading outputs are used, primary and secondary heat sources are deactivated.
3 = Manual heating: Target temperature set by input T, primary and secondary heat sources are used, cooling and shading outputs are deactivated.
4 = Manual cooling: Target temperature set by input T, cooling and shading outputs are used, primary and secondary heat sources are deactivated.
AsService mode0 = Service mode off.
1 = Heating and cooling off, valves fully closed.
2 = Heating on / cooling off.
3 = Heating off / cooling on.
4 = Heating and cooling on, valves fully open.
TTarget temperatureFor operation in manual mode.
AIActual temperatureConnect the 1-Wire or analogue temperature sensor for the room here.
IwWindow contactOnly used in automatic modes, off = closed, on = open. When open activates ‘Frost protection temperature’ if in heating mode and ‘Overheating protection temperature’ if in cooling mode.
icSets comfort temperatureManual selection of comfort temperature (only for the automatic modes).

On the rising edge is heated to the comfort temperature.

At the falling edge, the delay time according to parameters starts Tsc to run. After the delay time of the room controller operates again with the set automatic mode.

Iw has a higher priority than the input  Ic .

MvMotion sensor inputExtension of the comfort temperature (only for the automatic modes).

On the rising edge the comfort temperature is extended when one is in a comfort temperature time window.

At the falling edge, the delay time according to parameters starts Tmv to run. After the delay time of the room controller operates again with the set automatic mode.

Iw has a higher priority than the input  Mv .

IsEarly exit inputStarts economy temperature on the rising edge and activates the overrun timer Tss on the falling edge. After Tss has reached zero the set automatic mode will continue. If Tss is set to zero then the ‘Economy temperature’ remains to be set until the next change of the schedule.
RResetOverrun timers Tsc and Tss are stopped.
DisDisable No change of T, Ic or Is is possible.

OUTPUTS

AQ0-10V outputProportional valves heating zone 1.
QDigital outputDigital actuators heating zone 1.
AQ20-10V outputProportional valves heating zone 2.
Q2Digital outputDigital actuators heating zone 2.
AQc0-10V outputProportional valves for cooling.
QsDigital outputFor shading:
During cooling if the temperature exceeds the comfort temperature, the output will be on.
During heating mode if the temperature exceeds the heat protection temperature, the output will be on.
QcDigital outputDigital actuators for cooling.
AQsCurrent operating mode0 = Fully automatic.
1 = Automatic heating.
2 = Automatic cooling.
3 = Manual heating.
4 = Manual cooling.
AQssCurrent service mode0 = Service mode off.
1 = Heating and cooling off.
2 = Heating on / cooling off.
3 – Heating off / cooling on.
4 = Heating and cooling on.
QeOutput errorThis output is active when:

  • In heating modes if the actual temperature AI is 2.5°C below the target temperature (output AQt in modes 0-2 or input T in modes 3-4). This does not apply during the heat up phase (indicated by output Qp).
  • In cooling modes if the actual temperature AI is 2.5°C above the target temperature (output AQt in modes 0-2 or input T in modes 3-4). This does not apply during the cool down phase (indicated by output Qp).

The error is issued immediately after a restart to ensure the error is output. Qe is only active for the duration of the temperature being outside the acceptable deviated range of > 2.5 °.

QaText output for errorCan connect a state block here to show the error.
AQtAnalogue output for current target temperatureDisplays the current target temperature as defined by Ts, Tch, Tcc, Tp, Th, Td and Tm.
AQhmAnalogue output for current mode of heating timerShows the current operating mode – for example 4 for Tuesday.
AQcmAnalogue output for current mode of cooling timerShows the current operating mode – for example 4 for Tuesday.
AQtrAnalogue output for the timer countdownShows the amount of time [s] left on the economy or comfort timers.
QpDigital output for heating up or cooling down phaseActive when heating up or cooling down to the comfort temperature, goes off once the comfort temperature time period starts.

PARAMETERS

AutomaticAutomatic ModeAutomatic cooling and heating – heating and cooling operation, according to periods

Automatic cooling – cooling only to active cooling times ( “automatic cooling and heating” and “automatic heating” are visualizing hidden)

Automatic heating – heating only to active heating times ( “automatic cooling and heating” and “automatic cool are are hidden from the user interface/app)

TsEconomy temperatureRelative to the comfort temperature:
Heating mode – Target temperature = Comfort temperature – economy temperature
Cooling mode – Target temperature = Comfort temperature + economy temperature.
TchComfort temperature for heatingSet either in the properties, with a constant or a virtual slider so the customer can adjust.
TccComfort temperature for coolingSet either in the properties, with a constant or a virtual slider so the customer can adjust.
TpLowered temperatureRelative to comfort temperature:
Heating and cooling modes – Target temperature = Comfort temperature – lowered temperature.
ThRaised temperatureRelative to comfort temperature:
Heating and cooling modes – Target temperature = Comfort temperature + raised temperature.
TdFrost protection temperatureFor frost protection in case of long periods of absence for example when Holiday mode is activated.
TmOverheating protection temperatureMaximum temperature (cooling mode).
TsmMaximum duration [days] without valve movement in heating modeIf the valves have not been moved for that duration then they are automatically moved. This operation will be performed at a random time in the next 30 minutes following the set duration end.
TcmMaximum duration [days] without valve movement in cooling modeIf the valves have not been moved for that duration then they are automatically moved. This operation will be performed at a random time in the next 30 minutes following the set duration end.
TscDuration [s] of comfort overrun timerSet how long you want the comfort temperature overrun to last for.
TssDuration [s] of economy overrun timerSet how long you want the economy temperature overrun to last for.
TmvDuration [s] of Mv overrun timerSet how long you want the economy temperature overrun after the falling edge of Mv to last for.
ThsHeating Up SpeedTime [min] required to raise the room temperature by 1° C. A value >0 will override the learned value of the intelligent room controller. If this value is set to 0 the value determined by the intelligent room controller will be used.
TcsCoolingDown SpeedTime [min] required to lower the room temperature by 1° C. A value >0 will override the learned value of the intelligent room controller. If this value is set to 0 the value determined by the intelligent room controller will be used.