Control, Monitoring, Building Technology

(Last changed: 2019-09-27.)

For monitoring, control, and troubleshooting of heating / solar systems we use the freely programmable universal controllers UVR1611 and UVR16x2 by Technische Alternative GmbH.

We develop tailor-made control concepts, program the control units giving full expert access to the owner), and optimize control parameters based on real-time measurement data.

Specialties: Researching and 'reverse engineering' of existing control units, system's start-up support - and providing consulting, support, and detailed documentation for both control logic and hydraulic setup.

Experience: 1990s - programming control units as physicists in the research lab, in the IT industry since ~1997, since 1998 experience in pharmaceutical manufacturing, since 2012 programming of UVR controllers - in particular for heat pump systems.

Articles:

Thumbnail: Modbus Server on Raspberry Pi as Babelfish for UVR16x2

Modbus Server on Raspberry Pi as Babelfish for UVR16x2 (2019-01-18)

How to log basically anything with CMI / UVR16x2. As the CMI has a Modbus interface it can log data from a Modbus server running on Raspberry Pi, and this Modbus server can forward data from other loggers as a 'protocol translator' and provide values derived from calculations, or it can serve up the result of any calculation as a Modbus register value.

Thumbnail: A Color Box. Lost in Translation

A Color Box. Lost in Translation (2018-11-18)

The control system was turned upset down again and the Data Kraken was looking at its entangled tentacles, utterly confused.

Thumbnail: Where Are the Files? [Winsol - UVR16x2]

Where Are the Files? [Winsol - UVR16x2] (2018-05-28)

A little bit of reverse engineering to find out where log files (retrieved from the data logger CMI) may be stored. The question was more interesting than expected – I learned something about Windows security!

Thumbnail: Logging Fun with UVR16x2: Photovoltaic Generator - Modbus - CAN Bus

Logging Fun with UVR16x2: Photovoltaic Generator - Modbus - CAN Bus (2018-04-24)

Playing with Modbus inputs on the Control and Monitoring Interface of the UVR16x2 controller (and corresponding settings at the Fronius Symo inverter) – step-by-step description.

Thumbnail: Simulating Life-Forms (2): Cooling Energy

Simulating Life-Forms (2): Cooling Energy (2017-11-28)

I found an incredibly detailed research report by the Australian government – about energy use in private homes, by appliance and purpose. It confirms my reluctance to 'predict' cooling energy as usage of air conditioning depends strongly on life-style choices.

Thumbnail: Data for the Heat Pump System: Heating Season 2016-2017

Data for the Heat Pump System: Heating Season 2016-2017 (2017-10-12)

The usual number crunching – performance, energies, temperatures, ice, passive cooling – plus a summary of the system’s configuration and ‘cultural’ context.

Thumbnail: Earth, Air, Water, and Ice.

Earth, Air, Water, and Ice. (2017-02-05)

Data analysis of the heating season 2014/15 (when we turned off the solar/air collector to simulate a harsher winter). From the net energy in the tank the contribution of ground can be calculated. Data also show that the collector is delivering the more energy the colder the tank is. There are two kinds of energy balances: 1) The net energy ‘in the tank’ (allowing for calculating the contribution of ground) and 2) the three heat exchangers that are connected in series in the brine circuit.

Thumbnail: My Data Kraken - a Shapeshifter

My Data Kraken - a Shapeshifter (2016-12-22)

Answer to the question: How do you analyze and consolidate your logging data? What is the biggest challenge? It’s the ongoing change of the ‘database schema’: New sensors, shuffled columns in log files, new calculated values…

Thumbnail: Give the 'Thing' a Subnet of Its Own!

Give the 'Thing' a Subnet of Its Own! (2016-11-20)

A brief report ‘from the workbench’: How recent Internet of Thing hacks reminded me of the often overlooked ‘routing feature’ in Windows… which was helpful in quickly giving control units’ data loggers access to the internet.

Thumbnail: Hacking My Heat Pump - Part 2: Logging Energy Values

Hacking My Heat Pump - Part 2: Logging Energy Values (2016-08-24)

Connecting Raspberry Pi CAN bus logger to the Stiebel-Eltron heat pump and querying for temperature and energy values. Network traces and details of CAN frames, and automation of logging.

Thumbnail: Hacking My Heat Pump - Part 1: CAN Bus Testing with UVR1611

Hacking My Heat Pump - Part 1: CAN Bus Testing with UVR1611 (2016-08-03)

Extending logging infrastructure – automating reading off our heat pump’s internal energy meter by using Raspberry Pi as monitoring device. Before connecting to the heat pump hardware and software is set up and tested with a CAN bus I am familiar with.

Thumbnail: Photovoltaic Generator and Heat Pump: Daily Power Generation and Consumption

Photovoltaic Generator and Heat Pump: Daily Power Generation and Consumption (2016-06-01)

Comparing detailed time curves – illustrating why it is hard to raise self-consumption and self-sufficiency above statistical averages for homes without heat pumps: PV output, input energy for the heat pump’s compressor, and the home’s total smart meter balance.

Thumbnail: Everything as a Service

Everything as a Service (2016-05-19)

Trying to predict the not-to-distant future of heating for consumers – following the ‘as a service’ philosophy introduced to software products long ago: Heating will be turned into monthly subscriptions bundled with internet access and bank accounts, and home owners will host aesthetically pleasing black-boxes operated by 'platforms'.

Thumbnail: Alien Energy

Alien Energy (2016-04-15)

Our photovoltaic generator is up and running for nearly a year. In this post I analyze the most remarkable day – as per our data logging, when we got nearly the generator’s rated power in mid-winter. Re-visiting the impact of temperature on output power, and the 'focusing' / 'edge of clouds' effect.

Thumbnail: Half a Year of Solar Power and Smart Metering

Half a Year of Solar Power and Smart Metering (2015-12-07)

Daily and monthly balances of electrical energy, showing the amount of energy used by the heat pump's compressor versus energy consumed by appliances and control.

Thumbnail: The Impact of Ambient Temperature on the Output Power of Solar Panels

The Impact of Ambient Temperature on the Output Power of Solar Panels (2015-11-13)

Verified by analyzing our monitoring data - combining logging from our heat pump's control unit (UVR1611) and the PV inverter's logging.

Thumbnail: Solar Power: Some Data for the First Month.

Solar Power: Some Data for the First Month. (2015-06-17)

Figures and numbers from our PV generator's logging: Combining daily energy balances with data from our power meter, and tracking intermittent short and very high power spikes by parsing the inverter logger's website.

Thumbnail: Watching TV Is Dangerous

Watching TV Is Dangerous (2015-05-07)

"Data logger BL-NET is silenced by an IP-TV in the same LAN; solution: Put the logger in its private subnet."

Thumbnail: Data Logging with UVR1611 - FAQ

Data Logging with UVR1611 - FAQ (2015-03-18)

What I would have wanted to read when I once made myself familiar with the freely programmable controller. This post is a response to some 'FAQ'.

Thumbnail: Google and Heating Systems (2)

Google and Heating Systems (2) (2014-11-15)

How things (in the Internet of Things) phone home and/or are accessed directly from the internet. Sometimes anonymously to my shock.

Thumbnail: Network Sniffing for Everyone - Getting to Know Your Things (As in Internet of Things)

Network Sniffing for Everyone - Getting to Know Your Things (As in Internet of Things) (2014-06-05)

Not specifically about certificates - but about what is often required to troubleshoot validation of certificates: Sniffing.

Thumbnail: Cyber Security Satire?

Cyber Security Satire? (2013-05-19)

Not exactly zoomed in on PKI - but the overall message is in line with the next two posts. This post also includes the only hilarious aspect of my master thesis on smart metering and security.