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Boiler instrument panel

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by Nofossil, Feb 5, 2008.

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  1. Nofossil

    Nofossil Moderator Emeritus

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    Thought I'd share the 'instrument panel' that I put together for the civilians in our household. It's on our internal home page, which is the default for all our web browsers. This is intended to answer the basic questions:

    1) Do I need to build a fire?
    2) Is there enough hot water (has been for more than two years, but memories of cold showers take a LONG time to fade).
    3) Is it time to add wood?

    On our internal network it's live/real time. The indicators change color and legend if something needs to be done.


    http://www.nofossil.org/photos/webpanel.jpg

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  2. Bob Rohr

    Bob Rohr Minister of Fire

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    Great stuff! What exactly is you day job or background?

    hr
  3. antknee2

    antknee2 New Member

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    That's the way to go , I love it . Your family can understand in an easy interface what is providing comfort and economics to them . My next project is to try an bring more info about the operation of the wood boiler , temp of the three Super Store tanks , home made endless pool temp , evacuated tube solar system into my house . This system is in a separate building 125' from main house . With the power from the solar system the room has taken on a life of it's own , a little scary.
  4. Jersey Bill

    Jersey Bill Member

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    Pretty cool nofossil.
    I like the decorative trim and victorian (?) style
    mine are far more rudimentary. Here is a screen shot of my boiler room panel
    with the wood boiler screen up.
    I haven't developed the civilian GUI yet.

    Attached Files:

  5. Nofossil

    Nofossil Moderator Emeritus

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    I'm a mechanical engineer by education, a computer geek by avocation, and a business consultant by profession. Dunno what all that works out to, but I enjoy figuring out how things work and then making them work better. Wood heat offers nearly endless opportunity, especially since I started out knowing just about nothing. Still lots of common practices that I don't quite understand yet.

    I also enjoy making the complex appear simple - I did user interface design for avionics at one point, and real-time simulation software at another point.
  6. Nofossil

    Nofossil Moderator Emeritus

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    That's quite a control panel - does that require a full-blown PC? My actual controller is a little 2 watt single board computer with no hard drive, no monitor, no keyboard. Can't do the fancy stuff that you're displaying. All my graphs and such are done by a remote server that doesn't control the boiler.
  7. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    You guys knock me out.

    Bravo!
  8. Jersey Bill

    Jersey Bill Member

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    The panel display there is the "front end"- I got it used off EBAY
    It communicates over a serial cable to a PLC a few feet away. The PLC runs the system.
    There is no PC, except for my laptop with the programming software.
  9. wdc1160

    wdc1160 New Member

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    top knotch. You guys are my heroes.

    I love civilian boiler screen and of course the geeks need their(in depth analysis) screen too.

    Where do you "keep" the civilian screen. Just post a IE favorite on the web browser on the family computer.
  10. chiggins

    chiggins New Member

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    This stuff is great. It gets me thinking of some of the projects to come after I get a wood boiler installed over the summer!
  11. Jim Post

    Jim Post Member

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    Wow! This is so far over the top. Do you still use matches to start your fires? Great stuff!!! Thanks for sharing. :)
  12. wdc1160

    wdc1160 New Member

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    Bill. I noticed that on your diagnostic screen you can do a voice test. Does your boiler understand mutiple languages. And, if so can it speak back??
  13. Jersey Bill

    Jersey Bill Member

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    I was waiting for someone to really look at the screen and wonder what is going on there.
    I have been experimenting with audible signals to tell me about the wood boiler without going in the basement.
    First I had to set up modes for the wood boiler. "

    stage 1" is that the stack is hot and the boiler temp is up. this mode disables the gas boiler
    stage 2 the primary loop is up to 170- I turn on some auxilary heat zones, and bump up the DHW set point
    stage 3 the loop is up to 180- I turn on the garage and shed slabs, and bump up the DHW set point, and force most zones on.

    what was happening was that I would forget to check the boiler and it would die down.
    So I got a buzzer and had it beep 3 times for "leaving stage 1"(decreasing). there were other signals also.

    I wanted a little more flexibility so I bought a audible announciator. It does 8 sounds like the phone chirp, decreasing chord, general quarters (gong gong), charge, phone busy, 3 beeps, and a few others. different chips have different sounds, like "she will be comin round the mountain"and more music jingles.

    I wired the decreasing chord for leaving stage 1. 3 beeps is wired to rapid decrease in stack temp. Charge is for going up the stages.
    It has helped. Someday I will have a web interface like nofossil. then I should be able to put signals on the house audio system.

    Any way, to answer your question, the voice test screen is to train me what sound means what.

    I posted the voice screen shot and the shot of my little boiler room desk showing my laptop , the panel display (we call HMI), and the Patlite Voice annunciator module.

    cheers!

    Attached Files:

  14. wdc1160

    wdc1160 New Member

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    Bill,

    Have you ever posed any info about your controller system? I would be glued to any descriptions of your setup.
  15. Tony H

    Tony H New Member

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    jersey Bill - now all you need to do is get a multichannel digital voice announcer and you can record any message you want to play over the system. It can be lots of fun I once had a pal and we set his up referenced to the caller ID on his home phone .... when his wifes sister called it announced " Sue it's your goofy brother in law calling again" worked great until one day the BIL called when the sister WAS THERE HA HA. I set up another one for a small machine shop that when the phone rang in the shop it announced thru a high power speaker " Hey Jeff you dimwit answer the phone" the applications are endless you can even use it instead of the door bell chime wire a timer relay and have the announcer say "Intruder at the front door prepare to fire warning round" or maybe you could just have it say "Want Wood"
  16. Nofossil

    Nofossil Moderator Emeritus

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    My main server (the one that hosts this display) is also our home audio server. I have it set up so that when the tank drops below usable temp, the jukebox plays the Doors 'Come on on baby light my fire'.

    I'll get sick of it after a while, but it's cute for now.
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