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Homely vs TaDo for a heat pump. Does Homely only optimise twice per day?

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(@anels)
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Hello!

I'm thinking of getting an air-to-water heat pump (probably a Daikin) and I'm deciding on controls since I've heard Daikin's aren't the best.

I've heard some good things about Homely and watched the Heat Geek video where one of their guys was interviewed. I'm concerned because Homely said that it connects to their servers and "optimises twice a day". Can anyone with a Homely confirm this? I'm worried what happens when my partner leaves windows/doors opening leading to the house being much colder than what Homely last did its prediction for many hours ago, leading to the flow temperature being too low. I'm also concerned about the reverse effect happening, leading to overheating. I know Homely say it considers for each 30 minute period, but what happens if conditions suddenly change and the next connection to their cloud is 10 hours away?

I've read a lot of good things about Homely here, is there anyone who has had a bad experience or was more uncertain?

Finally, I'm also looking at TaDo since they recently made their system compatible with heat pumps and they don't rely on cloud optimisation twice a day. Does anyone know if this latest TaDo modulates the flow temperature like a Homely would? I think I need to avoid on/off controls. I'm also keen to make use of time-of-use tariffs too if possible.

Many thanks in advance!

Alex


   
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Mars
 Mars
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@anels welcome to the forums. I’ll let others like @toodles comment on Homely.

On the subject of Tado, I looked at their smart TRVs and thermostats a couple of years ago and was appalled by their arrogance and lack of pre-sale assistance. Maybe they’ve improved since then, but I won’t be recommending them on that basis.

As for controllers, Daikin ASHPs have good ones, and Vaillant and Panasonic are both also recognized as having controllers that are better than most. Aira have also launched a new heat pump which is essentially a Vaillant, with the promise of really good controllers and app connectivity.

Buy Bodge Buster – Homeowner Air Source Heat Pump Installation Guide: https://amzn.to/3NVndlU

Follow our sustainability journey at My Home Farm: https://myhomefarm.co.uk


   
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Toodles
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@editor Hello @anels , We have a Daikin EDLA08 Monobloc ASHP (8 kW. but our DHW is handled separately by a Sunamp Thermino eP210 unit.) When installed, the Homely controller was not yet available so we had the very basic Neo Air thermostat; I just set this above our desired highest temperature and did all the controlling from the Daikin MMI. Took a while to familiarise myself with this but basically ramping down the LWT from the 50 degrees C. the installers had set it to and setting up weather compensation - then fine tuning this when the cooler weather arrived meant the system was very good. We had the unit set for 24/7 operation so I did not bother with any sort of programme.

When the Homely became available for the Daikin we had one of the first to be supplied I think; the controller is linked to the MMI via two wires on P1 and P2 and the unit talks via a D-Comm unit to the pump and to my network and wifi. I requested access to the installer’s app and use the Dashboard to look at the performance graphs etc. 

As to the communications with the Evergreen server, I can only say I have had no problems at all, the temperature node is in our living room and reports via wifi to the Homely controller and keeps the temperature very stable; there are a few options that may be set for tolerance etc. and I have set it so that temperature deviation is - 0, +1 degree C. Though I find that in fact the deviation is up to +1.5 degrees C. in the afternoons and I am in contact with Evergreen to see if they can improve this. If I put in a change, the unit responds within minutes so I don’t think the 10 hours is anything to concern me at least. I think that this 10 hours business may be a general checkup only as I can view the dashboard at any time and check up on readings that are only minutes old. I have also requested that perhaps Evergreen might extend the history beyond the present 20 odd days that can be addressed so that COP readings may be supplemented with SCOP readings too.

As to performance, I think the Homely is working very well and we regularly achieve a COP in excess of 4 (sometimes even 5+!) When we had -7 degrees C. in December and January we were still enjoying our usual 22.5 degrees C. throughout the house. I do recall one morning where the Govee digital thermometer in the coldest (north east facing) room reported a temperature of 21.9 until about 10:00 and then everywhere was back to 22.5 again. Overall, I am very pleased with the Daikin ASHP and the Homely controller - we have never been as comfortable throughout the winter as we have been this last year - and we have had gas fired boilers and CH since the early 80’s in two different homes. We are all-electric these days and are very satisfied with the set-up. Regards, Toodles.

Toodles, 76 years young and hoping to see 100 and make some ROI on my renewable energy investment!


   
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Toodles
(@toodles)
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@anels, To clarify the periodicy of updates that Homely responds to, I’m attaching a screen shot taken this morning at 11.34 in which I zoomed in on the last hour of readings; as you may see, the system was pretty much up to the minute with the status. Also in passing, perhaps I might mention the default setting for any report (adjustable though) is 3 days. It has been very mild I know and the COP over that time is 4.96; how much of this is attributable to the smartness of Homely, I am uncertain however. Regards, Toodles.

IMG 0608

 

Toodles, 76 years young and hoping to see 100 and make some ROI on my renewable energy investment!


   
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(@anels)
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@editor Thank you for the welcome and the info on TaDo! I'm not sure on TaDo because it isn't clear they actually do anything smart like modulating the flow temperature.

@toodles Thank you for the thorough response! So it sounds like the Homely was a significant improvement on the Neo Air thermostat? How long did it take the installer to setup, was it expensive or disruptive at all?

The temperature deviations setting you can do is interesting, that could enable time-of-use tariff gains. Does the Homely suggest to you which tariff would be the best (Cosy vs. Agile for example)?

The screenshot is very interesting! Looks like the Homely is keeping your home at a very steady temperature. Is there also available a dashboard where you can see the future predicted flow temperatures the Homely plans to do?


   
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Toodles
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@anels Hello ANels, the Homely was installed whilst some other work was being caried out on my system but I think the additional cost for the installation was probably £200 - £250. The installatio was carried out over several visits as the installer was still new to Homely requirements and we had to wait for Evergreen to carry out design changes to incorporate secondary pumps amongst other things.

Once connected, there is an automatic set-up programme instigated from the installer software which required about 30 minutes to complete. The Homely unit then ‘learns’ the system over a couple of weeks carrying out adjustments and analysing the results as it optimises everything autonimously. The unit comes with a first year free membership of the Smart+ monitoring. I use Agile and I think this is the most efficient plan to utilise the cheapest and greenest times; though I have 27 kW/h of Powerwall so charge at the greatest advantageous times anyway.

 

Installation is not at all disruptive; access to the MMI for P1/P2 connections and 2 x 13 amp sockets for the PSU’s that power the Homely and the D-Comm unit. Connection to one’s network and also setting up wifi connection are required then download and install the Homely app and Robert is your parent’s brother!

I have been in email contact today and they hope to take on-board my suggestion to increase the history span as requested. The system doesn’t tell me what it plans to do ahead of now but, it does use weather forcasts and likely solar gain etc. along with historical details of how the system responds and energy requirements. Very pleased I is! Regards, 

 Toodles.

This post was modified 4 weeks ago by Toodles

Toodles, 76 years young and hoping to see 100 and make some ROI on my renewable energy investment!


   
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(@anels)
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@toodles Hi Toodles, very interesting! What were the other design changes they had to do? I find it interesting they needed to incorporate the secondary pump. Why did they need to do that? I would have thought the heat pump itself would handle the pump, rather than the Homely directly.

For the installation, did they need to directly connect to the secondary pump too?

Why did you decide not to use the free Daikin app when you first got your heat pump? I understand it might not be as smart as a Homely, but is it not a "good enough" solution?

That's great that they have said they will take your advice on-board! I think that will be really useful to see. I wonder if they would show the future predictions too if requested?

Thanks so much for your help, very insightful!

 


   
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Toodles
(@toodles)
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@anels The secondary pump is controlled by the Homely via the D-Comm but at the time of installation, they had only just integrated the idea of additional pumps into the design, when I first wanted to have a Homely, it wasn’t capable of controlling secondary pumps. The installers had returned to update a few things; we had a noisy contactor and as the airing cupboard is in our bedroom, it occasionally woke me at night, they swapped the contactor for a much quieter relay.

The Eddi setup was being extended as it hadn’t been set to monitor the whole system fully and required an extra CT clamp to pick up some of the signals required. In addition, we needed some extra sockets wired into the airing cupboard to power the PSU’s for the Homely and D-Comm units. There were one or two other things in need of attention but I can’t recall what now. The secondary pump used always to be on if the ASHP was energised (not necessarily running, just power available)  so it was a bonus when the Homely took control and only powers the pump when required. The pump only uses ~6-8 watts so not the end of the world.

I used the MMI to control the heat pump but the Onecta app is about as much use as a snowball in a furnace! Being visually handicapped, I prefer to use an app on my iPad with a large screen as I can see more details that way. The Onecta app lacks any useful facilities and frequently decided it wasn’t connected to my wifi; when it does communicate, it tries to tell me it has detected other units and do I wish to install them? Even if I allow, I just see a revolving graphic for hours…. I only use Onecta to quickly check consumption and the outside temperature by the heat pump.

The Homely app is installed on my iPhone as well as iPad and I can work with that quite happily on either. Regards, Toodles.

 

Toodles, 76 years young and hoping to see 100 and make some ROI on my renewable energy investment!


   
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(@anels)
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@toodles Interesting, I wonder why Homely needed to control the secondary pump? I understand the benefit of saving a little bit of power, but I wonder how worth it was for them to wait so much time to install on Daikins if that was the only issue!

I see, I've also heard other people have similar problems with the Onecta app. How is the Homely app like to use in daily operation? When was the last time you used it, and what for?

Thank you so much for your insights!

 


   
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Toodles
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@anels Hello, I don’t think the secondary pump was the totsl holdup, it was just one aspect of the complete integration process. They had working integrations without the secondary pump but when my installer detailed the installation, they spent just a little longer to ensure the secondary pump function was catered for fully. When the system was under the control of the Neo Air thermostat, it was somewhat less refind and the pump continued to run whenever the pump was ‘on’ but not necessarily running. Beyond that, I don’t know - but it certainly works well!

The Onecta is used frequently but only as a means to check the OAT and to find out what the consumption has been that day / week / month. It has very little merit beyond that for me.

The Homely app is used daily just to ‘keep an eye’ on it but not really necessary! I have made a few temperature changes but use the same settings 7 days a week. I use the Homely Dashboard (intended for installers really) and this provides all the under the bonnet information I am curious to know. 😉

I have been in contact by phone and email with their technical support as we are refining some of the finer points of control as I requested a finer tolerance of temperature control. I have been observing nearly an extra degree rise during the middle-late afternoon. One adjustment has reduced this a little and the maximum overrun is approx. 1 degree now. More in due course.

Regards, Pernickity Toodles.

Toodles, 76 years young and hoping to see 100 and make some ROI on my renewable energy investment!


   
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Toodles
(@toodles)
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Some more ‘refining’ has been carried out following a long chat with Homely Tech Support on the ‘phone this morning. There are settings for ‘Mode’ and these allow for Standard, Smart and Smart+ groups. I started with Smart+ and in this group of settings, there is one feature that anticipates the forthcoming likely OAT and calculates the cheapest energy periods, the system will then ‘overrun’ the heating a little (perhaps an extra degree C,) to cover the more expensive energy in a couple of hours or whatever, The preferences allow for the set temperature to be exceeded by 1, 2 or 3 degrees and 2 degrees is Homely’s suggestion for the cheapest operation of the heat pump.

I later reduced this to the 1 degree overrun as I found the 2 degrees plus the normal system’s hysteresis of 1 degree was allowing times when our desired 22.5 degrees would exceed 24 degrees C. and this was just a tad too warm!

Homely Smart+ is not really required to look at the fluctuating rates of my Agile tariff as the battery is charged at the greenest and cheapest times (usually during the night) so that feature is more than I need. The Smart group of settings doesn’t go hunting for favourable tariffs and avoids the anticipatory ‘overheating when cheapest to avoid higher rates later’ but maintains a more constant temperature and this is the group of settings I am now using. We shall see over the next few days how much closer to set temperature the systems holds the pump. Homely are very keen to achieve the ideal setting to suit our needs and are continuing to monitor the system for me, I am very pleased with their response and attitude when it comes to technical support - so refreshing! Regards, Toodles.

This post was modified 3 weeks ago by Toodles

Toodles, 76 years young and hoping to see 100 and make some ROI on my renewable energy investment!


   
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(@anels)
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Topic starter  

Thanks again @toodles! Do you know if you have a low loss header with the secondary pump?

Interesting about the Onecta app. That's the kind of info that would be useful to have in the Homely app too I think.

Great to hear Homely's tech support have been in touch so much. It's a shame you had to move away from the smart+ features due to the overheating, it would have been nice to keep it for the domestic hot water or to avoid the peak tariff periods!

How has the system been performing now, is the temperature remaining steady around the setpoint or varying?


   
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