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DISCLAIMER: All of the design resources are gathered by users and public sources on the internet.
If you signed up with a guest account, you will not be able to access the more advanced features of the Learn HVAC Web App which will be covered in this tutorial. Once you've logged in, you are presented with a Dashboard which tells you how many scenarios you have created. When creating a new scenario, first you will be asked to fill out general information about the scenario. The second field, Master Scenario, asks you to choose a master scenario from which the defaults of your scenario will be loaded.
Inputs Enabled determines if your students can alter the inputs when running the simulation. Faults Enabled, like with Inputs Enabled, allows students to alter the state and values of the faults in the systems.
Long-Term Simulation: You can specify the start and stop date for the long-term simulation analysis.
Real-time simulation: This is where you can set the start time for what is refered to as the short-term simulation in the Learner Application.
The Allow students to view Heating Coil and Cooling Coil Valve Information will show or hide their values from students.
Allow all users to view this scenario: This will allow other people to have access to this scenario so they can use it for their own classes. Now you've set up the basic parameters of the scenario and should have a screen like Figure 5-7.
Now that you created the basic shell of a scenario, you can edit specific variables to teach students about the interaction of different components. Index: This number represents the order in which a variable is sent to, or received from the simulation engine. Disabled: This is a simple Boolean, true or false, telling you if the variable is active or not. Finally, you have Fault, which lists whether the variable is a system fault or a regular system variable.
When it comes to filtering variables, all of the Headers with drop down lists can be combined for more specific filters. Description: This is a description of the variable which will be displayed in the information button in Learn HVAC.
Disabled: If checked, the fault is shown to the user, but greyed out so they can't edit it.
If you want to remove a particular student's ability to access a single scenario, you can click the trashcan icon next to their name.
Once you've created some scenarios, the way you distribute them to your students is by setting up a class. Once the class is created, an invitation URL will be displayed which you can email to you students or place in your syllabus.
Returning to your class, either by clicking the My Class Tab or going back to the Class Dashboard and selecting the class you created, you can view the Students who have signed up by clicking Members. To view more about a shared scenario, click on it and you will be able to view the settings for that scenario. This list of variables is just like the variable list you were presented when creating a scenario.
Copyright © 2008-2011 Institute for the Sustainable Performance of Buildings (SUPERB). Current development is being funded by CEC and is based upon work previously developed under a NSF grant.
A zone thermostat for use in connection with an Electronically-Controlled Register vent (ECRV) that can be easily installed by a homeowner or general handyman is disclosed. The .EPS (Encapsulated PostScript) extension is for the illustration software such as Adobe Illustrator, CorelDRAW, Photoshop, etc. If our design resources have violated your copyright, please through Feedback to us so that we can delete a timely manner to protect you! The companion is the Web application which you have already logged onto in order to download the software. You will need to create a new account as sign up as an Instructor (We are in the process of implementing an upgrade account feature, but for now, you will just have to create a new account).
On the left, you can see the options available to you; you can view Your Scenarios, view Your Classes, or visit the Community Directory.
Name, descriptions, and goals are all for your own benefit and the benefit of your students.
The number does not affect the scenario itself, but provides you and your students with feedback on how difficult you expect a scenario to be. If you do not want them to be able to alter the state of the simulation, say for a test, then you can uncheck this box.
Let's say you want to create a fault in the system and assess how well students troubleshoot and analyze the fault, like in the Learner App tutorial.
You can also allow your students to choose their own timeframe and overwrite you simulation dates if you want by checking the checkbox below. You can edit these parameters by clicking the green Edit Scenario button in the upper right. You can filter the variable table to show only variables associated with a specific component.
Like with the Component, you can sort using this field by clicking the drop-down menu and then hitting the Filter button.
For example, select VAV Box for the Component, select True for Disabled, and Parameter for Type and then hit Filter. If you chose to make the scenario available to the public, then the screen will just say that the scenario is Public and the scenario information can be viewed by any user in the system.
This will prevent them from accessing that single scenario, but they will still be able to access the other scenarios which make up that class. Students following the link will be presented with a page like in Figure 5-16 where they can sign-up. If you want to remove a particular student from the class, simply click the trashcan icon next to their name. The zone Thermostat of claim 1, said controller further configured to relay communications between said central system and one or more electronically-controlled register vents configured to provide air to said first zone. The zone thermostat of claim 1, wherein said controller is configured to transmit sensor data according to a threshold test.
The zone thermostat of claim 3, wherein said threshold test comprises a high threshold level.
The zone thermostat of claim 3, wherein said threshold test comprises a low threshold level.
The zone thermostat of claim 3, wherein said threshold test comprises an inner threshold range. The zone thermostat of claim 3, wherein said threshold test comprises an outer threshold range.
The zone thermostat of claim 1, wherein controller is configured to receive an instruction to change a status reporting interval. The zone thermostat of claim 1, wherein controller is configured to receive an instruction to change a sensor data reporting interval. The zone thermostat of claim 1, wherein said zone thermostat is configured to monitor a status of one or more electronically-controlled register vents. The zone thermostat of claim 1, wherein said communication system comprises a wireless communication system. The zone thermostat of claim 11, wherein said wireless communication system comprises an infrared communication system.
The zone thermostat of claim 11, wherein said wireless communication system comprises an ultrasonic communication system. The zone thermostat of claim 11, wherein said wireless communication comprises a radio-frequency communication system. The zone thermostat of claim 1, wherein said communication system comprises a frequency-hopping system. The zone thermostat of claim 1, wherein said communication system communicates using a 900 megahertz band. The zone thermostat of claim 1, further comprising a visual indicator to indicate a low-power condition. The zone thermostat of claim 1, said controller configured to use a predictive model to compute a control program for an electronically-controlled register vent.
The zone thermostat of claim 18, said control program configured to reduce power consumption by said electronically-controlled register vent. The zone thermostat of claim 18, said control program configured to reduce movement of at least one actuator in said electronically-controlled register vent. The zone thermostat of claim 18, said zone thermostat configured to use a predictive model to compute a control program for said electronically-controlled register vent. The zone Thermostat of claim 1, said controller configured to send data to an electronically-controlled register vent.
The zone thermostat of claim 1, said zone thermostat configured to send setpoint data to said controller.
The zone thermostat of claim 1, said zone thermostat configured to send humidity data to said controller.
The zone thermostat of claim 1, said zone thermostat configured to send zone temperature slope data to said controller. The zone thermostat of claim 1, said zone thermostat further comprising an occupant sensor.
The zone thermostat of claim 1, said zone thermostat further comprising a light switch, said zone thermostat and said light switch configured to be installed in a standard electrical wall switch enclosure. The zone thermostat of claim 29, wherein said zone control system comprises a central system. The zone thermostat of claim 29, said wherein said zone control system comprises a distributed system. The zone thermostat of claim 29, said wherein said zone control system comprises a distributed system of zone thermostats.
The zone thermostat of claim 29, said wherein said zone control system comprises a distributed system of zone thermostats and electronically-controlled register vents.
The zone thermostat of claim 29, wherein controller is configured to receive an instruction to change a status reporting interval.
The zone thermostat of claim 29, wherein controller is configured to receive an instruction to change a sensor data reporting interval.
The zone thermostat of claim 29, wherein said zone thermostat is configured to monitor a status of one or more electronically-controlled register vents. The zone thermostat of claim 29, wherein said communication system comprises a wireless communication system. The zone thermostat of claim 29, wherein said communication system communicates comprises an infrared communication system. The zone thermostat of claim 29, wherein said communication system comprises an ultrasonic communication system.
The zone thermostat of claim 29, wherein said communication comprises a radio-frequency communication system. The zone thermostat of claim 29, wherein said communication system comprises a frequency-hopping system. The zone thermostat of claim 29 wherein said communication system communicates using a 900 megahertz band.
The zone thermostat of claim 29, further comprising a visual indicator to indicate a low-power condition. The zone thermostat of claim 29, said controller configured to use a predictive model to compute a control program for an electronically-controlled register vent.
The zone thermostat of claim 29, said control program configured to reduce power consumption by said electronically-controlled register vent.
The zone thermostat of claim 29, said control program configured to reduce movement of at least one actuator in said electronically-controlled register vent. The zone thermostat of claim 29, said zone thermostat configured to use a predictive model to compute a control program for said electronically-controlled register vent. The zone thermostat of claim 29, said controller configured to send data to an electronically-controlled register vent. The zone thermostat of claim 29, said zone thermostat configured to send setpoint data to said controller. The zone thermostat of claim 29, said zone thermostat configured to send humidity data to said controller.
The zone thermostat of claim 29, said zone thermostat configured to send zone temperature slope data to said controller. The zone thermostat of claim 29, said zone thermostat further comprising an occupant sensor.
The zone thermostat of claim 29, said zone thermostat further comprising a light switch, said zone thermostat and said light switch configured to be installed in a standard electrical wall switch enclosure.
Field of the InventionThe present invention relates to a system and method for directing heating and cooling air from an air handler to various zones in a home or commercial structure.2. You can turn off the Inputs Visible checkbox and then create a Leaking Heating Coil fault in the system.
Like with the Long-term Simulation, checking the checkbox at the bottom will allow your students to overwrite your settings. In the near future, we will allow you to restrict who will be able to view your scenarios so you can share then with colleagues, but not the general population for example. Simply click on the drop-down menu, select a component—for example, Room—and click the Filter button on the right side of the table. A Slider might be better when there is a range of values the fault can have, whereas the Checkbox would just be On vs Off. For more information on what other users can view, see the Community Directory section below.


The ECRV can also be used in connection with a conventional zoned HVAC system to provide additional control and additional zones not provided by the conventional zoned HVAC system. Description of the Related ArtMost traditional home heating and cooling systems have one centrally-located thermostat that controls the temperature of the entire house. If you mention it somewhere else, please always link to this page instead of download link. Students will not see it and they will have to use the skills they learned to figure out what is going on in the system.
To clear it, just click the Reset button below the Filter button, or click on any of the headers titles. In one embodiment, the ECRV is configured have a size and form-factor that conforms to a standard manually-controlled register vent. The thermostat turns the Heating, Ventilating, and Air-Conditioner (HVAC) system on or off for the entire house. HVAC Ducting Draw & Design Draw diagrams MEP & Design HVAC Piping Draw & Design HVAC Heat load calculation Manual MEP & Civil 2D & 3D Draw System & Design Creating new mechanical systems and maszyn. If you do not see the View All links at the bottom of the screen, then expand the screen down until you do (just another strange bug we are working on).
In one embodiment, the zone thermostat is configured to provide thermostat information to the ECRV. The only way the occupants can control the amount of HVAC air to each room is to manually open and close the register vents throughout the house.Zoned HVAC systems are common in commercial structures, and zoned systems have been making inroads into the home market.
In one embodiment, the zone thermostat communicates with a central monitoring system that coordinates operation of the heating and cooling zones.
In a zoned system, sensors in each room or group of rooms, or zones, monitor the temperature. For both individuals and Institutions, you can view the shared scenarios assosicated with them.
Go ahead and click View All for People and browse the users who have registered for Learn HVAC.
The sensors send information to a central controller that activates the zoning system, adjusting motorized dampers in the ductwork and sending conditioned air only to the zone in which it is needed. Because heat rises, the second floor usually requires more cooling in the summer and less heating in the winter than the first floor.
Zoning, however, can reduce the wide variations in temperature between floors by supplying heating or cooling only to the space that needs it.A zoned system allows more control over the indoor environment because the occupants can decide which areas to heat or cool and when.
With a zoned system, the occupants can program each specific zone to be active or inactive depending on their needs.
For example, the occupants can set the bedrooms to be inactive during the day while the kitchen and living areas are active.A properly zoned system can be up to 30 percent more efficient than a non-zoned system. Thus, less energy is wasted heating and cooling spaces that are not being used.In addition, a zoned system can sometimes allow the installation of smaller capacity equipment without compromising comfort.
This reduces energy consumption by reducing wasted capacity.Unfortunately, the equipment currently used in a zoned system is relatively expensive. Moreover, installing a zoned HVAC system, or retrofitting an existing system, is far beyond the capabilities of most homeowners. Unless the homeowner has specialized training, it is necessary to hire a specially-trained professional HVAC technician to configure and install the system. The cost of installation is such that even though the zoned system is more efficient, the payback period on such systems is many years. Such expense has severely limited the growth of zoned HVAC systems in the general home market.SUMMARY The system and method disclosed herein solves these and other problems by providing an Electronically-Controlled Register vent (ECRV) that can be easily installed by a homeowner or general handyman. In one embodiment, the ECRV is configured to have a size and form-factor that conforms to a standard manually-controlled register vent. The ECRV can be installed in place of a conventional manually-controlled register vent—often without the use of tools.In one embodiment, the ECRV is a self-contained zoned system unit that includes a register vent, a power supply, a thermostat, and a motor to open and close the register vent. To create a zoned HVAC system, the homeowner can simply remove the existing register vents in one or more rooms and replace the register vents with the ECRVs.
The occupants can set the thermostat on the ECRV to control the temperature of the area or room containing the ECRV.
In one embodiment, the ECRV includes a display that shows the programmed setpoint temperature.
In one embodiment, the ECRV includes a display that shows the current setpoint temperature. In one embodiment, the ECRV includes a remote control interface to allow the occupants to control the ECRV by using a remote control. In one embodiment, the remote control includes a display that shows the programmed temperature and the current temperature.
In one embodiment, the remote control shows the battery status of the ECRV.In one embodiment, the EVCR includes a pressure sensor to measure the pressure of the air in the ventilation duct that supplies air to the EVCR.
In one embodiment, the EVCR opens the register vent if the air pressure in the duct exceeds a specified value. In one embodiment, the pressure sensor is configured as a differential pressure sensor that measures the difference between the pressure in the duct and the pressure in the room.In one embodiment, the ECRV is powered by an internal battery. A battery-low indicator on the ECRV informs the homeowner when the battery needs replacement. In one embodiment, one or more solar cells are provided to recharge the batteries when light is available. In one embodiment, the register vent include a fan to draw additional air from the supply duct in order to compensate for undersized vents or zones that need additional heating or cooling air.In one embodiment, one or more ECRVs in a zone communicate with a zone thermostat. The zone thermostat measures the temperature of the zone for all of the ECRVs that control the zone.
In one embodiment, the ECRVs and the zone thermostat communicate by wireless communication methods, such as, for example, infrared communication, radio-frequency communication, ultrasonic communication, etc.
In one embodiment, the ECRVs and the zone thermostat communicate by direct wire connections.
The occupants can program the EVCR or the zoned thermostat to bring the zone to different temperatures when the zone is occupied and when the zone is empty. In one embodiment, the occupants can program the EVCR or the zoned thermostat to bring the zone to different temperatures depending on the time of day, the time of year, the type of room (e.g. 6 is a block diagram of a locally-controlled zoned heating and cooling system wherein a zone thermostat controls one or more ECRVs.FIG. 7A is a block diagram of a centrally-controlled zoned heating and cooling system wherein the central control system communicates with one or more zone thermostats and one or more ECRVs independently of the HVAC system.FIG.
7B is a block diagram of a centrally-controlled zoned heating and cooling system wherein the central control system communicates with one or more zone thermostats and the zone thermostats communicate with one or more ECRVs.FIG. 8 is a block diagram of a centrally-controlled zoned heating and cooling system wherein a central control system communicates with one or more zone thermostats and one or more ECRVs and controls the HVAC system.FIG.
9 is a block diagram of an efficiency-monitoring centrally-controlled zoned heating and cooling system wherein a central control system communicates with one or more zone thermostats and one or more ECRVs and controls and monitors the HVAC system.FIG.
11 is a block diagram of a basic zone thermostat for use in connection with the systems shown in FIGS.
12 is a block diagram of a zone thermostat with remote control for use in connection with the systems shown in FIGS. 14 is a flowchart showing one embodiment of an instruction loop for an ECRV or zone thermostat.FIG.
15 is a flowchart showing one embodiment of an instruction and sensor data loop for an ECRV or zone thermostat.FIG.
16 is a flowchart showing one embodiment of an instruction and sensor data reporting loop for an ECRV or zone thermostat.FIG.
17 shows an ECRV configured to be used in connection with a conventional T-bar ceiling system found in many commercial structures.FIG.
18 shows an ECRV configured to use a scrolling curtain to control airflow as an alternative to the vanes shown in FIGS. 19 is a block diagram of a control algorithm for controlling the register vents.DETAILED DESCRIPTION FIG.
Information from the sensors 101–105 is used to control actuators that adjust the flow of air to the various zones.
Zoning, however, can reduce the wide variations in temperature between floors by supplying heating or cooling only to the space that needs it.FIG.
The register 200 includes one or more vanes 201 that can be opened or closed to adjust the amount of air that flows through the register 200. The vanes 201 are typically provided to a mechanical mechanism so that the occupants can manipulate the vanes 201 to control the amount of air that flows out of the register. In some registers, the diverters 202 are moveable to allow the occupants some control over the direction of the airflow out of the vent. Registers such as the register 200 are found throughout homes that have a central HVAC system that provides heating and cooling air. Typically, relatively small rooms such as bedrooms and bathrooms will have one or two such register vents of varying sizes. Larger rooms, such as living rooms, family rooms, etc., may have more than two such registers. The occupants of a home can control the flow of air through each of the vents by manually adjusting the vanes 201.
When the register vent is located on the floor, or relatively low on the wall, such adjustment is usually not particularly difficult (unless the mechanism that controls the vanes 201 is bent or rusted). However, adjustment of the vanes 201 can be very difficult when the register vent 200 is located so high on the wall that it cannot be easily reached.FIG. The ECRV 300 can also be used as a remotely control register vent in places where the vent is located so high on the wall that is cannot be easily reached. This greatly simplifies the task of retrofitting a home by replacing one or more of the register vents 200 with the ECRVs 300. 3, the ECRV 300 is configured to fit into approximately the same size duct opening as the conventional register vent 200. In one embodiment, the ECRV 300 is configured to fit over the duct opening used by the conventional register vent 200. In one embodiment, the ECRV 300 is configured to fit over the conventional register 200, thereby allowing the register 200 to be left in place.
A control panel 301 provides one or more visual displays and, optionally, one or more user controls.
In one embodiment, the housing 302 can also be used to house electronics, batteries, etc.FIG.
4 is a block diagram of a self-contained ECRV 400, which is one embodiment of the ECRV 300 shown in FIGS. In the ECRV 400, a temperature sensor 406 and a temperature sensor 416 are provided to a controller 401.
The actuator system 409 provided mechanical movements to control the airflow through the vent.
In one embodiment, an actuator system includes an actuator provided to one or more of the diverters 202 to control the direction of the airflow. A power source 404 provides power to the controller 401, the fan 402, the display 403, the temperature sensors 406, 416, the sensor 407, and the user input device 408 as needed. In one embodiment, the controller 401 controls the amount of power provided to the fan 402, the display 403, the sensor 406, the sensor 416, the sensor 407, and the user input device 408. In one embodiment, an optional auxiliary power source 405 is also provided to provide additional power. The controller 401 draws power from the auxiliary power source when possible to conserve power in the power source 404. The temperature sensor 406 measures the temperature of the air in the room, and the temperature sensor 416 measures the temperature of the air in the duct. If the room temperature is above the setpoint temperature, and the duct air temperature is below the room temperature, then the controller 401 causes the actuator 409 to open the vent. If the room temperature is below the setpoint temperature, and the duct air temperature is above the room temperature, then the controller 401 causes the actuator 409 to open the vent. In other words, if the room temperature is above or below the setpoint temperature and the temperature of the air in the duct will tend to drive the room temperature towards the setpoint temperature, then the controller 401 opens the vent to allow air into the room. In one embodiment, the fan 402 is used when the room temperature is relatively far from the setpoint temperature in order to speed the movement of the room temperature towards the setpoint temperature. In one embodiment, the fan 402 is used when the room temperature is changing relatively slowly in response to the open vent.
In one embodiment, the fan 402 is used when the room temperature is moving away from the setpoint and the vent is fully open. The controller 401 does not turn on or run the fan 402 unless there is sufficient power available from the power sources 404, 405.
In one embodiment, the controller 401 measures the power level of the power sources 404, 405 before turning on the fan 402, and periodically (or continually) when the fan is on.In one embodiment, the controller 401 also does not turn on the fan 402 unless it senses that there is airflow in the duct (indicating that the HVAC air-handler fan is blowing air into the duct). In one embodiment, the controller 401 uses the fan 402 as an airflow sensor by measuring (or sensing) voltage generated by the fan 402 rotating in response to air flowing from the duct through the fan and causing the fan to act as a generator.
In one embodiment, the controller 401 periodically stop the fan and checks for airflow from the duct.In one embodiment, the sensor 406 includes a pressure sensor configured to measure the air pressure in the duct. Excessive air pressure in the duct is an indication that too many vents may be closed (thereby creating too much back pressure in the duct and reducing airflow through the HVAC system). In one embodiment, the controller 401 opens the vent when excess pressure is sensed.The controller 401 conserves power by turning off elements of the ECRV 400 that are not in use. When available power drops below a low-power threshold value, the controls the actuator 409 to an open position, activates a visual indicator using the display 403, and enters a low-power mode.
The ECRV 500 includes the power sources 404, 405, the controller 401, the fan 402, the display 403, the temperature sensors 406, 416, the sensor 407, and the user input device 408. The remote control interface 501 is provided to the controller 401, to allow the controller 401 to communicate with a remote control 502. In one embodiment, the communication between the remote control 502 and the controller 401 is two-way communication. Two-way communication allows the controller 401 to send information for display on the remote control 502, such as, for example, the current room temperature, the power status of the power sources 404, 405, diagnostic information, etc.The ECRV 400 described in connection with FIG. If two ECRVs 400, 500 are placed in the same room or zone, the ECRVs 400, 500 will not necessarily operate in unison. 6 is a block diagram of a locally-controlled zoned heating and cooling system 600 wherein a zone thermostat 601 monitors the temperature of a zone 608. In one embodiment, the zone thermostat 601 sends control commands to the ECRVs 602–603 to cause the ECRVs 602–603 to open or close. In one embodiment, the zone thermostat 601 sends temperature information to the ECRVs 602–603 and the ECRVs 602–603 determine whether to open or close based on the temperature information received from the zone thermostat 601.


In one embodiment, the zone thermostat 601 sends information regarding the current zone temperature and the setpoint temperature to the ECRVs 602–603.In one embodiment, the ECRV 602 communicates with the ECRV 603 in order to improve the robustness of the communication in the system 600. Thus, for example, if the ECRV 602 is unable to communicate with the zone thermostat 601 but is able to communicate with the ECRV 603, then the ECRV 603 can act as a router between the ECRV 602 and the zone thermostat 601.
In one embodiment, the ECRV 602 and the ECRV 603 communicate to arbitrate opening and closing of their respective vents.The system 600 shown in FIG. 7A is a block diagram of a centrally-controlled zoned heating and cooling system wherein a central control system 710 communicates with one or more zone thermostats 707 708 and one or more ECRVs 702–705.
In the system 700, the zone thermostat 707 measures the temperature of a zone 711, and the ECRVs 702, 703 regulate air to the zone 711.
The zone thermostat 708 measures the temperature of a zone 712, and the ECRVs 704, 705 regulate air to the zone 711. 7B is a block diagram of a centrally-controlled zoned heating and cooling system 750 that is similar to the system 700 shown in FIG. 7B, the central system 710 communicates with the zone thermostats 707, 708, the zone thermostat 707 communicates with the ECRVs 702, 703, the zone thermostat 708 communicates with the ECRVs 704, 705, and the central system 710 communicates with the ECRVs 706, 707.
In the system 750, the ECRVs 702–705 are in zones that are associated with the respective zone thermostat 707, 708 that controls the respective ECRVs 702–705. The ECRVs 706, 707 are not associated with any particular zone thermostat and are controlled directly by the central system 710. One of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that the communication topology shown in FIG.
8 and 9.The central system 710 controls and coordinates the operation of the zones 711 and 712, but the system 710 does not control the HVAC system 721.
In one embodiment, the thermostat 720 is provided to the central system 710 so that the central system 710 knows when the thermostat is calling for heating, cooling, or fan.The central system 710 coordinates and prioritizes the operation of the ECRVs 702–705. In one embodiment, the home occupants and provide a priority schedule for the zones 711, 712 based on whether the zones are occupied, the time of day, the time of year, etc. Thus, for example, if zone 711 corresponds to a bedroom and zone 712 corresponds to a living room, zone 711 can be given a relatively lower priority during the day and a relatively higher priority during the night.
As a second example, if zone 711 corresponds to a first floor, and zone 712 corresponds to a second floor, then zone 712 can be given a higher priority in summer (since upper floors tend to be harder to cool) and a lower priority in winter (since lower floors tend to be harder to heat).
In one embodiment, the occupants can specify a weighted priority between the various zones.Closing too many vents at one time is often a problem for central HVAC systems as it reduces airflow through the HVAC system, and thus reduces efficiency.
The central system 710 can coordinate how many vents are closed (or partially closed) and thus, ensure that enough vents are open to maintain proper airflow through the system. The central system 710 can also manage airflow through the home such that upper floors receive relatively more cooling air and lower floors receive relatively more heating air.FIG. The system 800 is similar to the system 700 and includes the zone thermostats 707, 708 to monitor the zones 711, 712, respectively, and the ECRVs 702–705. In the system 800, the thermostat 720 is provided to the central system 810 and the central system 810 controls the HVAC system 721 directly.The controller 810 provides similar functionality as the controller 710.
However, since the controller 810 also controls the operation of the HVAC system 721, the controller 810 is better able to call for heating and cooling as needed to maintain the desired temperature of the zones 711, 712. If all, or substantially, all of the home is served by the zone thermostats and ECRVs, then the central thermostat 720 can be eliminated.In some circumstances, depending on the return air paths in the house, the controller 810 can turn on the HVAC fan (without heating or cooling) to move air from zones that are too hot to zones that are too cool (or vice versa) without calling for heating or cooling. The controller 810 can also provide for efficient use of the HVAC system by calling for heating and cooling as needed, and delivering the heating and cooling to the proper zones in the proper amounts. 9 is a block diagram of an efficiency-monitoring centrally-controlled zoned heating and cooling system 900.
10 is a block diagram of an ECRV 1000 for use in connection with the systems shown in FIGS.
The ECRV 1000 includes the power sources 404, 405, the controller 401, the fan 402, the display 403, and, optionally the temperature sensors 416 and the sensor 407, and the user input device 408. In one embodiment, the communication system 1081 is configured to communicate using wireless communication such as, for example, infrared communication, radio communication, or ultrasonic communication.FIG.
11 is a block diagram of a basic zone thermostat 1100 for use in connection with the systems shown in FIGS. User input controls 1102 are also provided to the controller 1101 to allow the user to specify a setpoint temperature.
The controller 1101 uses the visual display 1110 to show the current temperature, setpoint temperature, power status, etc. The power source 404 and, optionally, 405 are provided to provide power for the controller 1100, the controls 1101, the sensor 1103, the communication system 1181, and the visual display 1110.In systems where a central controller 710,810,910 is used, the communication method used by the zone thermostat 1100 to communicate with the ECRV 1000 need not be the same method used by the zone thermostat 1100 to communicate with the central controller 710,810,910. In one embodiment, the zone thermostat is configured into a standard light switch and receives electrical power from the light switch circuit.FIG.
12 is a block diagram of a zone thermostat 1200 with remote control for use in connection with the systems shown in FIGS. The thermostat 1200 is similar to the thermostat 1100 and includes, the temperature sensor 1102, the input controls 1103, the visual display 1110, the communication system 1181, and the power sources 404, 405. In the zone thermostat 1200, the remote control interface 501 is provided to the controller 1101.In one embodiment, an occupant sensor 1201 is provided to the controller 1101. The occupant sensor 1201, such as, for example, an infrared sensor, motion sensor, ultrasonic sensor, etc.
The occupants can program the zone thermostat 1201 to bring the zone to different temperatures when the zone is occupied and when the zone is empty. In one embodiment, the occupants can program the zoned thermostat 1201 to bring the zone to different temperatures depending on the time of day, the time of year, the type of room (e.g. 13 shows one embodiment of a central monitoring station console 1300 for accessing the functions represented by the blocks 710, 810, 910 in FIGS. In one embodiment, the console 1300 is implemented in software as a computer display, such as, for example, on a personal computer. In one embodiment, the zone control functions of the blocks 710, 810, 910 are provided by a computer program running on a control system processor, and the control system processor interfaces with personal computer to provide the console 1300 on the personal computer. In one embodiment, the zone control functions of the blocks 710, 810, 910 are provided by a computer program running on a control system processor provided to a hardware console 1300. In one embodiment, the occupants can use the Internet, telephone, cellular telephone, pager, etc.
14 is a flowchart showing one embodiment of an instruction loop process 1400 for an ECRV or zone thermostat.
After initialization, the process advances to a “listen” block 1403 wherein the ECRV or zone thermostat listens for one or more instructions. For a zone thermostat, the instructions can include: report temperature sensor data, report temperature rate of change, report setpoint, report status, etc. 15 is a flowchart showing one embodiment of an instruction and sensor data loop process 1500 for an ECRV or zone thermostat. After initialization, the process advances to a “sleep” block 1503 wherein the ECRV or zone thermostat sleeps for a specified period of time. When the sleep period expires, the process advances to a wakeup block 1504 and then to a decision 1505.
In the decision block 1505, if a fault is detected, then a transmit fault block 1506 is executed.
After taking sensor readings, the process advances to a listen-for-instructions block 1508.
16 is a flowchart showing one embodiment of an instruction and sensor data reporting loop process 1600 for an ECRV or zone thermostat. If a fault is detected then a decision block 1604 advances the process to a transmit fault block 1605; otherwise, the process advances to a sensor block 1606 where sensor readings are taken. The data values from one or more sensors are evaluated, and if the sensor data is outside a specified range, or if a timeout period has occurred, then the process advances to a transmit data block 1608; otherwise, the process advances to a sleep block 1609. After transmitting in the transmit fault block 1605 or the transmit sensor data block 1608, the process advances to a listen block 1610 where the ECRV or zone thermostat listens for instructions. If an instruction is received, then a decision block advances the process to a perform instruction block 1612; otherwise, the process advances to the sleep block 1609. After executing the perform instruction block 1612, the process transmits an “instruction complete message” and returns to the listen block 1610.The process flows shown in FIGS. One of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that the ECRV and zone thermostat are configured to receive sensor data and user inputs, report the sensor data and user inputs to other devices in the zone control system, and respond to instructions from other devices in the zone control system. When an ECRV or zone thermostat receives a wake up signal, it takes one or more sensor readings, encodes it into a digital signal, and transmits the sensor data along with an identification code.In one embodiment, the ECRV is bi-directional and configured to receive instructions from the central system.
In one embodiment, each ECRV has an Identification code (ID) and the ECRVs attaches its ID to outgoing communication packets. Thus, for example, the central system can instruct the ECRV to perform additional measurements, to go to a standby mode, to wake up, to report battery status, to change wake-up interval, to run self-diagnostics and report results, etc. In one embodiment, the ECRV has an address or identification (ID) code that distinguishes the ECRV from the other ECRVs. The ECRV attaches its ID to outgoing communication packets so that transmissions from the ECRV can be identified by the central system. This band provides relatively good transmission through walls and other obstacles normally found in and around a building structure. In one embodiment, the ECRVs and zone thermostats listen to a radio frequency channel before transmitting on that channel or before beginning transmission. In one embodiment, the sensor, central system coordinates frequency hopping by listening to radio frequency channels for interference and using an algorithm to select a next channel for transmission that avoids the interference. Moreover, there are regulatory advantages given to systems that do not transmit continuously at one frequency. Channel-hopping transmitters change frequencies after a period of continuous transmission, or when interference is encountered. These systems may have higher transmit power and relaxed limitations on in-band spurs.In one embodiment, the controller 401 reads the sensors 406, 407, 416 at regular periodic intervals. In one embodiment, the controller 401 reads the sensors 406, 407, 416 in response to a wake-up signal from the central system.
In one embodiment, the controller 401 sleeps between sensor readings.In one embodiment, the ECRV transmits sensor data until a handshaking-type acknowledgement is received. The ECRV continues to transmit data and wait for an acknowledgement until an acknowledgement is received.
In one embodiment, the ECRV accepts an acknowledgement from a zone thermometer and it then becomes the responsibility of the zone thermometer to make sure that the data is forwarded to the central system.
The zone thermostat 601 compares the duct temperature to the room temperature and the setpoint temperature and makes a determination as to whether the ECRVs 602, 603 should be open or closed. The zone thermostat 601 then sends commands to the ECRVs 602, 603 to open or close the vents.
In one embodiment, the zone thermostat 601 displays the vent position on the visual display 1110.In one embodiment of the system 600 shown in FIG. 6, the zone thermostat 601 sends setpoint information and current room temperature information to the ECRVs 602, 603. The ECRVs 602, 603 compare the duct temperature to the room temperature and the setpoint temperature and makes a determination as to whether to open or close the vents. In the systems where the thermostat 720 is provided to the central system or where the central system controls the HVAC system, the central system knows whether the HVAC system is providing heating or cooling; otherwise, the central system used duct temperature information provide by the ECRVs 702–705 to determine whether the HVAC system is heating or cooling. In one embodiment, the central system queries the ECRVs by sending instructions to one or more of the ECRVs 702–705 instructing the ECRV to transmit its duct temperature.The central system determines how much to open or close ECRVs 702–705 according to the available heating and cooling capacity of the HVAC system and according to the priority of the zones and the difference between the desired temperature and actual temperature of each zone. In one embodiment, the occupants use the zone thermostat 707 to set the setpoint and priority of the zone 711, the zone thermostat 708 to set the setpoint and priority of the zone 712, etc.
In one embodiment, the occupants use the central system console 1300 to set the setpoint and priority of each zone, and the zone thermostats to override (either on a permanent or temporary basis) the central settings.
In one embodiment, the central console 1300 displays the current temperature, setpoint temperature, temperature slope, and priority of each zone.In one embodiment, the central system allocates HVAC air to each zone according to the priority of the zone and the temperature of the zone relative to the setpoint temperature of the zone. Thus, for example, in one embodiment, the central system provides relatively more HVAC air to relatively higher priority zones that are not at their temperature setpoint than to lower priority zones or zones that are at or relatively near their setpoint temperature. In one embodiment, the central system uses a neural network to calculate a desired vent opening for each of the ECRVs 702–705. In one embodiment, various operating parameters such as the capacity of the central HVAC system, the volume of the house, etc., are programmed into the central system for use in calculating vent openings and closings. In one embodiment, the central system is adaptive and is configured to learn operating characteristics of the HVAC system and the ability of the HVAC system to control the temperature of the various zones as the ECRVs 702–705 are opened and closed.
In an adaptive learning system, as the central system controls the ECRVs to achieve the desired temperature over a period of time, the central system learns which ECRVs need to be opened, and by how much, to achieve a desired level of heating and cooling for each zone. The use of such an adaptive central system is convenient because the installer is not required to program HVAC operating parameters into the central system. Thus, in one embodiment, the central system uses a first set of adaptation coefficients when the HVAC system is cooling, and a second set of adaptation coefficients when the HVAC system is heating.
17 shows an ECRV 1700 configured to be used in connection with a conventional T-bar ceiling system found in many commercial structures. In the ECRV 1700, an actuator 1701 (as one embodiment of the actuator 409) is provided to a damper 1702. The damper 1702 is provided to a diffuser 1703 that is configured to mount in a conventional T-bar ceiling system. 18 shows a register vent 1800 configured to use a scrolling curtain 1801 to control airflow as an alternative to the vanes shown in FIGS. An actuator 1802 (one embodiment of the actuator 409) is provided to the curtain 1801 to move the curtain 1801 across the register to control the size of a register airflow opening.
For purposes of explanation, and not by way of limitation, the algorithm 1900 is described herein as running on the central system. However, one of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that the algorithm 1900 can be run by the central system, by the zone thermostat, by the ECRV, or the algorithm 1900 can be distributed among the central system, the zone thermostat, and the ECRV. In the algorithm 1900, in a block 1901 of the algorithm 1900, the setpoint temperatures from one or more zone thermostats are provided to a calculation block 1902. In one embodiment, the block 1902 calculates the register vent settings for each zone in a coupled-zone manner that includes interactions between zones. In one embodiment, the calculation block 1902 calculates new vent openings by taking into account the current vent openings and in a manner configured to minimize the power consumed by opening and closing the register vents.Register vent settings from the block 1902 are provided to each of the register vent actuators in a block 1903, wherein the register vents are moved to new opening positions as desired (and, optionally, one or more of the fans 402 are turned on to pull additional air from desired ducts).
After setting the new vent openings in the block 1903, the process advances to a block 1904 where new zone temperatures are obtained from the zone thermostats (the new zone temperatures being responsive to the new register vent settings made in block 1903).
The new zone temperatures are provided to an adaptation input of the block 1902 to be used in adapting a predictive model used by the block 1902.
The new zone temperatures also provided to a temperature input of the block 1902 to be used in calculating new register vent settings.As described above, in one embodiment, the algorithm used in the calculation block 1902 is configured to predict the ECRV opening needed to bring each zone to the desired temperature based on the current temperature, the available heating and cooling, the amount of air available through each ECRV, etc.



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