Looking for powerful thermostat

I have two radiators in my living room that I’d like to automate. Problem is that their valves are a bit sticky, they need some more force to move (for closing).(Exchanging them is not really an option as this is a rented apartment.) Apparently too much for the average thermostate. I used to run a semi automatic Honeywell Rondostat which was able to operate the valves just fine. So it is actually possible for a device powered by 2xAA batteries :wink: I tried a HomeMatic HM-CC-RT-DN first, which did not have enough power to close the valve. Then I tried a Eurotronic Spirit Zwave, which I hoped had more power, but it also failed to do the job…

Comparing the devices I noticed that the Rondostat moves very slowly, so it seems to be very low geared and thus creating enough force from the two batteries to close the valve. While e.g. the Spirit in comparison is really fast and does this job in only maybe 2-3 seconds.

Now I don’t want to order and try each and every remote controllable thermostat that exits, so I wonder if anyone has a experience with this kind of problem, and maybe a solution, i.e. a device that could work? Technology wise I’m pretty open, it just should play together with OpenHAB of course.

Have a look at this.
These are cheap and you can test if it works by just plugging it into the mains.
If it works, then you have a bit of DIY ahead of you, but I have used this acroos the house (Rented as well) with great success

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Good idea, thanks! This indeed sounds pretty powerful. And it still seems sufficiently simple. And it solves the battery problem… I just need to find suitable temperature sensors. But I need to do that anyway.
The only thing that makes me a little skeptic is that the specs say it can apply max 100 N. The Eurotronic Spirit device, according to the manufacturer, can allegedly do max 120 N. And it is not able to close the valves. I have no prove though that it is actually applying that much force …

At the price of these actuators, it will cost you next to nothing to test if they work. Just wire one on a normal power cable with a online swith (Like a lamp) and test.
I have a normally close one. This means that the valve is close when no power is applied. They are a tiny bit more expensive than the normally open ones. But as the state of a radiator valve is closed most of the time (Especially in the summer !!) it made sense to get normally closed ones. They use about 2-3 watts when ON, plus the ESP 0.5W times 7 radiators = 21 watts when all on. if they were normally open, that would be 21 watts 24 hours 365 days = 184kwh!!

So do I. In case of outages (OH server, actuator, overall power, …) I want the water circulation system to be shut rather than start dripping … oh, and if your valve requires more than 100N it’s stuck or broken - replace it.

Well, this is a rented apartment, so replacing is not so easy. Otherwise this would have been my first option :wink: And I don’t know whether they require more than 100N, I’m just guessing… I just know that they are harder to move than other valves I have and it’s both of them, so no individual problem, I know that this semiautomatic Honeywell Rondostat was able to move them reliably (also with just 2xAA batteries), I know that the Spirit was not able to move it, although allegedly it can apply 120N… But your post reminds me that winter is about to come again and I somehow ignored that problem during this hot summer :grin:… I guess I’ll order one of these and try. And I need a solution for temperature sensors problem then… I don’t like having open circuit boards everywhere…

There’s many options. I have a ZWave network, there’s multisensors (Fibaro FGMS, Aeotec multisensor 6) to include temperature. There’s Qubino actuators you can also attach a 1€ DS18B20 (OneWire) to.
Or use any of the many other protocols supported by OH.

Problem with ZWave is that even a stupid temp sensor is ~50€ …:neutral_face: But the Qubino with sensor and the option to squeeze the entire thing into a flush socket makes it definitely more than interesting! Just came across your comment in some other thread about reliability of those devices, though… :wink: But I think I will give this a shot.

Other than that I didn’t really find a really compelling option for temp sensors. Except something self soldered, which requires a bit of work and time if you want to make it nice and don’t have any real experience with it, or something Jeelink based, but they are entirely unsecured and seem to have the annoying problem that you get a new device with every battery change…

Problem is with renting as that requires to go wireless in most cases.
If that isn’t a problem and you just wanted the temp sensors, consider running bus wires to a central location and put a Pi with the OneWire binding there. Or get SOnOffs, that’s effectively cheap circuit boards with an enclosure.
Else get those multisensors as they’ll allow for placing the sensor where it really should be, and while they’re 50€, too, you get motion and lighting in for “free” and for the Aeotec humidity as well.

Just for the record what I ended up with…

As actuators I went for “stupid” Danfoss Thermot (so called Stellantrieb, whatever that is in english :wink: ), max 100N, normally closed. They reliably close the valves now and look decent enough to mount them in a living room. They are available with 230V AC and 24V DC. I first bought a 230V, but then went for 24V for the living room.

As thermostat I use Sonoff TH16 running Tasmota, with plug in sensor, in combination with the 230V Thermot. In the Tasmota wiki are some rules you can use to make the TH16 act as a simple on/off thermostat. There is also a patched version which may be a bit nicer, but I did not try that yet.

In the living room I went for a Qubino On/Off Thermostat (comes with a sensor). Problem with all Qubinos is that the sensor you can attach runs with the main power, i.e. if attached to normal AC: with 230V!! Their idea is that you stuff it into some wall socket next to the thermostat. But in a rented apartment that is a challenge. It’s less than ideal, near the floor, near the heating or no free socket at all. And you can’t just drill a new one… So you have to run the 230V sensor wire more or less openly through the room… meeh. So I switched to 24V. The flush sockets showed to be less spacey than I had hoped for. But I was able to stuff the Qubino into the landline socket, and the needed power adapter (24V LED driver) into an unused socket at the other side of the wall :wink:
OpenHAB support for the Qubino in 2.2 is okay-ish. Many things missing, mostly config options. Some broken, like negative hysteresis values. But I was able to get the main functionality working for now. Maybe it’s already improved in 2.3, I’ll need to try that.
Afterwards I found that I probably should have gone for the Qubino PWM Thermostat, to get a more steady operation. Maybe I’ll try it later and use the current one as a normal switch.

For the remaining sensors I’m going to get some Sonoff S20 and hack them with cable based sensors.
(Reading the comments at Amazon the Aeotec did not really convince me. And it needs batteries or an external USB adapter.)

So, thanks again for the suggestions!