Hello - a few questions regarding heat pump monitoring and emoncms


I’m currently studying at the Centre for Alternative Technology on the Renewable Energy Masters and working part time as a renewable energy installer covering multiple technologies.

I really wish the ESP8266 heat pump monitor was available when I started my dissertation project! Very excited to see someone has developed this! I’ve built a phase change material thermal store which is integrated to my mitsubishi ecodan 5kw heat pump system. The aim of the project is to ascertain the financial and performance implications of using such a system to shift the running of the heat pump into either off-peak (or potentially time of use) tariff times or to more favorable outside air temperatures.

Once I’ve completed my dissertation I’d like to fit an ESP8266 board to my setup and would like to encourage clients for the company I work for to have them fitted as an extra. It seems like this would give us a better insight into the running conditions of the heat pumps we install. A lot of the heat pumps we install have monitoring built in but not always with the capability we would desire. Also having the same system on various different heat pumps gives a level playing field which may give some unbiased insight into performance.

Ive got a few questions regarding the monitoring and the capability of the dashboards, sorry if they are answered elsewhere, I’m still reading through the documentation.

Is it possible for an installer to view all the heat pumps they have installed with monitoring in one portal or would a separate login be needed for each install? If not is there a way of giving the client their login and have the data bounced over to a separate installer dashboard - possibly a collection of dashboards with various client installs?

Is there a way of setting up alerts or notifications if specific events happen? For example, if daily COP drops below 2 or brine return temp drops below 0°C?

How much calibration is needed for the system? Have you found that most of the time voltage and current are within 5% accuracy or does the system needed calibrating for every installation?

Look forward to setting up the board and getting involved with the community. I hope in time I can offer some input to the project even if it is just installing more monitoring!

Thank you

Jim McKenzie

Hi Jim,

Great to hear that your at CAT. Fantastic place. @TrystanLea who designed Emoncms and the heatpump monitor is often around in cat, we have been working with @johncantor.

Yes, this is possible with new emoncms groups module. Currently live on emoncms.org

Emoncms.org does not currently support alerts, however this is easily achieved with nodered. https://guide.openenergymonitor.org/integrations/nodered

Usually systems don’t require calibration to obtain reasonable accuracy. @TrystanLea and @johncantor will be able to clarify heatpump specific calibration?

Hello @jmckenzie, great to hear your interest in the heatpump monitor and that your also studying at CAT.

The new emoncms groups module (New Emoncms Groups/Administration module) is being developed partly for this exact application, the present version at an early stage. Alarms and notifications is on the todo list for v3.

Given how sensitive the accuracy of the COP reading is to errors in electrical power measurement and heat measurement, we have been installing the heatpump monitor alongside Elster A100C class 1 single phase power meters which have an IrDa output port that the heatpump monitor can read the meter reading from. We have also been using the more expensive Kamstrup 402 heat meters, the role of the heatpump monitor is more as a data reader and interface to WIFI, although you can use CT based power monitoring in parallel and VFS flow metering if you’re not after class 1/2 accuracy.

There is a note on this in the electricity monitoring section of the heatpump monitor documentation here: https://github.com/openenergymonitor/HeatpumpMonitor/blob/master/installation.md

Im away at the moment in Scotland but it would be great to meet when your next at CAT and to learn more about your research with the heat store as well.

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Hi Guys,

Thanks for replying so fast, I thought you’d be linked to CAT in some way you have been mentioned a few times in my lectures.

@glyn.hudson Wow, Node RED looks really powerful! Have you come across zapier? I’m just trying to automate as much as I can at work at the moment, I’m using Zapier to connect a lot of web based apps that we use like Trello and Hubspot CRM. Zapier has a “zap” that can poll MQTT data from a server and transfer it into other apps like google sheets. It seems like I might be able to setup a system that notifies everyone in the company via their hubspot or trello app on their phone that we have an issue with a heat pump (COP, daily consumption etc.) I think I’ll have a go at implementing this once I am free from my studies. I found this, looks quite interesting: Use Hardware as Trigger for APIs (via Zapier) | by Fokke Zandbergen | Medium

@TrystanLea Groups module looks brilliant! Thats exactly what I was thinking looks perfect for what we would want. Interesting thinking about using the system for large population heat pump research, am I right in thinking you guys know Chris Martin from the Energy Monitoring Company? Has he spoken to you about using the heat pump monitor for the energy saving trust heat pump trails?

I’m currently validating my power measurements with a pulsed output from a class 1 energy meter, my readings would have been quite out without it. Unfortunately (even though I should know better having done a foundation in electrical engineering) I decided when I was in a major rush to get logging and had little money left that I would measure voltage and current seperately with transducers. This meant I would only be measuring apparent power, it seems that the power factor correction of the pump isn’t as good as I thought it was. Plus when in standby it seems to be drawing 250W but the class 1 meter shows about 18W! I think this must be something to do with the power factor correction capacitors still being connected to the grid, so they effectively are trying to correct the lagging of the grid?

Have you been able to compare the VFS flow metering with a heat meter? It would be great to use the VFS option instead, much cheaper and some pumps already come with one, Mitsubushi ecodans definitely do, I think Daikins do as well. Have you tried splicing the voltage output on these to feed the logger as well as their controllers? I had toyed with the idea of doing it with mine but wasn’t sure if this would affect the output voltage?

Yeh I’d love to meet up for a chat. I will be up there on the 19th of June doing my viva presentation for my dissertation. I may come up a day earlier to see some of the other presentations so possibly around from the 17th to the 19th if your around?

That seems a likely explanation.