Monitoring boiler temps with an arduino

Ok, so I have a problem; a measurement & charting problem.  The first step is to admit you have a problem; but I don’t yet want to change, it’s too much fun!I recently hooked another Arduino to a couple of TMP36 temp sensors, following the nice little guide at Adafruit, and used it to monitor the input & output temps of the hot water boiler which heats my home.  You can click the image above to see the live feed (hopefully, assuming things are still hanging together).

I was partly motivated to do this because my boiler manual states that the inlet temp should always be above 140F, with various methods to achieve this.  The guy who installed it didn’t put in a temp gauge, so I had no idea.  Turns out that when the main zone fires, it’s NOT getting to 140F, and now I’m concerned about damage caused by condensation as a result.  But that’s only so interesting.

What I find more interesting is that now I can see how often the boiler fires (by the temp rise) and I can even discern which zone called for heat (because the smaller aluminum-fin baseboard zone gets much hotter than the larger cast-iron radiator zone).

I’m also monitoring temperatures & setpoints in each zone by querying my wifi thermostats [amzn] and creating a pachube.com feed for that here.  I should add the thermostat call-for-heat state too; it’d be interesting to overlay temp, boiler runtime, setpoint, etc to see how the system works together.  The hacky perl script which queries the thermostats & sends that data to pachube.com can be found here.

I’m not sure what real use I can make of the data, but it’s still interesting to have, IMHO.  The first thing that comes to mind is that it’d probably be more efficient if some effort was made to coordinate firing the two zones together whenever possible.  Any other ideas?

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