What radiator valves to buy

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Hi all,

I have just installed central heating, and I am now looking to install remote controlled radiator valves.

There are quite a few to choose from. Danfoss LC, Tado, Eurotronics, etc…

What I would like to know is which radiator valves the OpenHab community has the best experience with. I would like to learn more before putting down more money…

Evohome are good but that’s an independent system which will either work alone or as part of OH.

One cannot give a simple (and correct) answer. There’s various control concepts and physical specifications to apply in different countries and housing situations. You need to be way more specific.
We also expect you to search the forum first

I do more or less this set-up
Cheap, very reliable

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Ok. I will be very specific.

I need a remotely controlled valve that I can integrate in to OpenHab. I would prefer not to use something that relies on an external service, and it would be nice if I could read out the position of the valve, and the temperature it measures.

I did search the forum, but mostly found posts by people describing how something did not work as expected. Eg. that Danfoss is a non go, and that the Eurotronics Spirit (which I was about to buy) has issues to.

People that have issues are more likely to post than people where everything worked like a charm. I was hoping to get some feedback from the latter.

Looks interesting, but this will unfortunately not fly with the wife… To many dangling cables.

Some of the smart radiator valves can report current vs. target temp and not others. You might want to check the specifications depending on your needs.

If you’ve not got past the first part of the original post, then you’ll not see that I’ve substantially tidied it up since my initial prototype in my old house (the “dangling wires” photos)!

I’ve now run everything hidden, I have some temperature sensors in the ceiling, I’m also able to use any other temperature-reporting devices I wish - I can now even control it via Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa for hands-free operation.

If you don’t want to go to this level, then I would also suggest looking at Drayton Wiser - although this is a remotely accessible service, I think that you can also control it internally from openHAB without needing their cloud service… somewhere later in that linked thread should give you some further details.

That’s up to your DIY skills, I have hidden most of mine behind the skirting boards.

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I use the EQ3 Max thermostats. They’re older technology than what’s around today, but work very well and reliably enough.

With openhab2, and buying new today, I’d be looking at the EQ-3 Homematic IP valves. You need to buy a controller, but you can run one on a Raspberry Pi with an antenna. They run IP over 433MHz, and that means they’re both more reliable, more battery efficient, and better at reporting current temp and valve position than the Max ones that I have. I’ve considered upgrading, but I have about 13 devices, so it’d be over a thousand (NZ) dollars to change out. I can live with what I have for a while longer.

They’re a bit hard to assemble information on as they’re quite German, but there is enough information in English to get them working. They’re also a more open standard than previously - they’re pushing Homematic IP as a broader standard that they’ve open sourced.

What I’ve deduced from what I’ve read is that Homematic came after the Max standards. Subsequent to that they brought out Homematic IP, which is basically embedding their message formats into an IP wrapper over 433MHz. There are some discussions that suggest that Homematic is better than Homematic IP, but I think those are dated as they predate the release of the new CCU3, which supports both and allows them to interoperate.

Thanks for the info on homematic. I’ll look in to that (and I can deal with German :slight_smile:

There is something else I would be interested in knowing:

Do these thermostats operate in a full on/full off mode, or do they open valves proportionally?

I use the Eurotronic spirit radiator valves. Especially with an external zwave temperature sensor, it works very good.
I’m now trying to create a smart (virtual) thermostat, based on Domoticz SVT to control my heating.

Keep us apraised of your progress, please…
Thanks

How do you come to think that? Max are mechanically and electrically essentially the same, they’re cheaper and don’t require any CCU or controller to work (just the cube if you want to control them from OH), let alone they’re not vulnerable on IP level.
Homematic IP to become open sourced ? Dream on, man. EQ3 is keen on dragging you into their ecosystem to sell you more of their proprietary stuff. For me the #1 reason not to start with HM.

I have been using for a year two types of Z-wave TRVs: Eurotronic Spirit ZWave and Danfoss LC13. Pretty satisfied with both. After this year of testing bought another few of both brands. They are prices alike and the cheapest on German Amazon of all zwave. For zwave you will need a usb adapter or RPi shield.
Danfoss looks much better (small, slick) however is told not to send actual temperature to the controller over zwave. I’m not sure about that now, because I see on the OH2 console messages from those heads with temperature data eg.
[GroupItemStateChangedEvent] - gTemperature changed from 19.9 to 20.2 through GF_LivingRoom_Temperature_Right

Eurotronic has much more info available to read and control. You can close it completely with a command, for example. You can send to it an external temperature reading similar to a remote temperature probe.
That’s why for covered or hidden heaters I bought Eurottronics and for the living room Danfoss.
With Danfoss be careful with the exact type. LC13 works well on OH2, others to be checked, cause some operate on a closed system only with Danfoss controller. Can’t remember exact types.
Batteries last ca. a year on both heads.

Work in progres :smiley: : Smart Virtual Thermostat (beta version)

You should try the thermostats from Devolo or Popp, they are the same hardware but having another firmware which reports also actual temperature, and not only the set temp).

Recently I have found a topic on openhab forum discussing the new Danfoss’ implementation of zwave protocol in this thermostat which is closed and does not communicate with openhab yet. Skilled people work on it, but LC13 should be selected with caution now. Details here:

I have also noted Devolo zwave thermostat on same hardware as Danfoss told to be reporting the actual temperature. Haven’t tested myself.