Room Temperature Logger

Any other Phidget projects you've done not related to the above subjects
MarkS
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Room Temperature Logger

Postby MarkS » Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:45 pm

My latest project is a floor-to-ceiling temperature logger. The inspiration came from a 1929 study by the University of Illinois Experiment Station, which investigated the effects of various type of steam heating radiator enclosures on the heating effect produced by those radiators in a controlled setting. The U of I study observed and compared heat distribution patterns in a specially-constructed room, measuring room temperatures with thermocouples at the floor and ceiling, and several heights corresponding to "breathing levels" when an individual is seated or standing.

My project's objectives are to:

1. Measure the heat distribution patterns in various rooms in the house, which is heated by cast iron steam radiators.
2. For rooms with ceiling fans, compare the heat distribution patterns with and without the fans running.
3. Fine-tune the radiator venting by comparing the data from each room, along with boiler cycle time data (recorded by the EcoSteam boiler control software), to identify rooms which over/under heat.

For this project, I used a Phidget SBC2 single-board computer equipped with six Phidget 1121 voltage dividers and six 10K +/-0.5C thermistors. The logging application software is written in Java. Temperatures are measured at 3", 18", 42", 60", 78", and 102" from floor level. Temperature data is sampled every five minutes and recorded to a csv formatted log file on the SBC. Log files are created/closed by a toggle switch connected to an SBC digital input. Completed log files are downloaded over wireless from the SBC to a PC where the data is charted and analyzed.

Photos of the logging "stick" and a sample annotated temperature chart are provided below.
TemperatureLogger0.JPG
Temperature Logging "Stick"

SampleTemps.JPG
Sample Room Temperature Profile

Reference: Willard, Arthur C., et al. Investigation of Heating Rooms with Direct Steam Radiators Equipped with Enclosures and Shields. University of Illinois Engineering Experiment Station, Bulletin 192. Urbana: University of Illinois, June 1929. Print. <https://www.ideals.illinois.edu/bitstream/handle/2142/4165/engineeringexperv00000i00192.pdf>
Link: EcoSteam - Residential Steam Boiler Control using Phidgets
"Bringing 21st century automation to a 19th century home"

frodegill
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Re: Room Temperature Logger

Postby frodegill » Wed Nov 13, 2013 2:37 am

This is very interesting. I am also logging room temperature, but only at one location. If I read your chart correctly, during morning recovery you have up to 13F difference from floor to ceiling? Do you have curves for the rooms with ceiling fans?

MarkS
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Re: Room Temperature Logger

Postby MarkS » Wed Nov 13, 2013 5:34 am

Yes, I was somewhat surprised by the size of the temperature differential between floor and ceiling. But the data from the U of I study shows an even larger differential of between 20 and 22 degrees, so my data doesn't seem out of line.

I'm just starting to log results with ceiling fans running. Once I get a couple of rooms done I'll post more results.
Link: EcoSteam - Residential Steam Boiler Control using Phidgets
"Bringing 21st century automation to a 19th century home"

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burley
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Re: Room Temperature Logger

Postby burley » Thu Nov 14, 2013 8:21 am

Since you are running a radiator it doesn't surprise me too much that you see such a wide spread. The heat distribution will occur more slowly since there is no driving force mixing the hot and cool air. If you had a forced air system I expect you would see more uniform results(not that it really matters of course).
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