From the horse’s mouth
Honeywell are pitching to the UK market a zoned central-heating control system that works with the kind of central-heating setups that exist there. Here, these typically have a gas boiler which heats up water which is passed on to radiators installed in each of the rooms, with this heat source also being for the household’s domestic hot water needs.
This system, known as the Evohome, implements wireless control using a proprietary 800MHz radio system. The main control surface is a temperature controller that is equipped with a colour LCD touchscreen but a householder can also purchase a “remote network gateway” that links to the home network to allow control from their smartphone or tablet. It doesn’t matter whether that are at home or away with this control.
There are various “wireless relay boxes” and “wireless controllers” that pass the control signals from the controller on to each other to manage the heating system for comfort and efficiency. Honeywell also even supply special thermostatic radiator valves that are part of this system to provide for room-based zoning so that this system can cater for local comfort needs in an efficient manner. The zoning ability also allows for management of the domestic-hot-water temperature to suit safe efficient provision of this service.
It is also able to work in a “learning” manner that adapts the central heating system’ behaviour to follow the household’s daily routine and lifestyle rather than the household revolving around the system’s requirements. As well, there is support for OpenTherm functionality for compatible boilers so as to support simplified installation and monitoring of that appliance from the controller.
But there are questions that can be easily raised about this system such as whether this system implements Zigbee or Z-Wave for inter-device communication especially if other devices do the job better than the Evohome devices. Similarly, the use of other common standards for network-based HVAC control could open paths for hardware, software and service providers to allow for a heterogenous approach for building-automation applications.
What I see of this is an attempt to provide “per-room / per-radiator” heating control for a UK-style hydronic central-heating system at an affordable cost with the ability to know what’s going on in each room and providing the ability to manage it from your home network.