Today is “open source Nest” day it seems! We are considering doing an open source Nest based on the Raspberry Pi if there’s enough interest – designed by Adafruit & Mike Doell. Here are the renderings Mike is working on.
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Oh man! Just what I’ve been waiting for after building a test quasi-thermostat (an arduino + a few dht11s + single dht22 + a 4 relay board from dealextreme). It works but an open source relay board I built myself would have been better for learning.
Think of things that prevented people from buying the nest:
1) Needs to have a simple REST/JSON api so it can be integrated into a larger home automation/security platform
2) Wired wired wired.. lots of forums with people asking for that feature on the Nest. New homes, around here anyway, all have a dangling cat6 cable at every thermostat doing nothing at the moment (as do the electrical meter, water meter, gas meter, etc.. food for thought)
3) Expand that… POE would be even better.
4) As mentioned above, remote temperature units (indoors and outdoors), remote motion detection, etc.
5) I’ll think of #5 as soon as submit is clicked.
To make it really relevant, you need to have a good screen (preferably OLED or AMOLED) with a touchscreen (Really no need for more power than a RPi to make it work). Also it would be neat to have some empty space inside for an extention board, that can open a lot of hack.
As for the software, there is no need for anything fancy as long as we can put whatever we want on it. I am currently thinking strongly about such kind of device using calaos.fr technology. Will be quite awesome.
Yes, definitely, would love something like that here in the UK (where Nest isn’t even available), particularly if it were able to switch 240v mains-powered electric heaters rather than a boiler!
Consider using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth as an “owner detector”. Most people take their phone with them when they leave the house. Detecting the presence of a phone via RF would likely be a more reliable indicator of presence than a motion detector mounted on a random wall in a hallway. In the beginning you could just look for the MAC of the phones. In the future, wireless capability would allow integration with an app to adjust settings.
There is already some Raspberry Pi based heating project existing
Oh yes!!! Heat, cool, humidity
+infinity: “1. Make it so the user doesn’t need to access it through a third party on the internet.” (jorge)
The common 3rd party requirement is a security nightmare (availability, privacy, confidentiality, integrity are all affected) and a shackle (loss of control and freedom, as well as continued payments). It’s completely unacceptable to me.
Outside temperature is quite useful for humidity control and fresh air intake. For example, if the outside temperature is about 20 deg. F cooler than your inside temperature, that means you can dehumidify down to 50% RH simply by bringing in fresh air and heating it a bit. If it’s warmer than that, you need to run a dehumidifier. If it’s very hot and humid outside, you’re better off running an A/C or a tiny Dedicated Outside Air System (DOAS). If it’s extremely cold outside, natural air leakage is likely sufficient so you can turn off the fresh air intake. You should also humidify less to avoid condensation in windows and inside walls.
The importance of humidity and fresh air control is such to me that I built my own DOAS with an Arduino replacing the controller on a small heat pump. I would love a more capable and network-accessible HVAC control that would replace the thermostat and dehumidistat in my house, integrate my DOAS somehow (say with some customization on my part), and provide logs (dare I dream of reports as well).
I would look for the capability to activate several HVAC dampers, control a whole house dehumidifier, a fan (or HEPA filter) to bring in fresh air, a humidifier (e.g., power the solenoid that makes water flow to a humidifier in the HVAC system), and at least one other device (my DOAS). My dream system would activate a fresh air intake fan whenever the dryer runs so the house doesn’t go under negative pressure, which brings allergens into the house. I’d have temperature measurements from several locations to use in deciding what system to run. My dream system would have pressure sensors or switches that would tell me when air filters need changing. As a stretch goal, zoning capabilities would be interesting. Building an HVAC control system is an interesting hobby.
There’s an open source Android based thermostat at http://androidthermostat.com/ that could easily be converted into a Pi thermostat since it’s split into server and client components. The server component is essentially just a Java app that could run on the Pi with minor modifications.
I’d totally go for it. I was all ready to go Nest for both the thermostat and the smoke alarms, but now I’m far more interested in this.
The tricky part would be creating an implementation that can run high efficiency furnaces, as that’s apparently a bit more complex than just the usual on/off switching. But that’s not exactly a huge challenge compared to other stuff you’ve done.
Other add on features that would be nice: remote thermistors for additional data points.
Hope you decide to move forward with this!
We weren’t actually planning on releasing it for another month, but hey! This is a sneak preview of HestiaPi, our RaspberryPi Open Source thermostat that covers most of your requests! Waiting for your feedback!
I would really like that! I have found Hestia Pi doing pretty much what you asked and is open source running RaspberryPi but its not available for another month…
Would love to see something like that running off a BeagleBone Black.
Nice idea! We want an open source project like this in order to make sure we keep our privacy and control our data.
I’m actually fumbling my way through one of these projects. My needs are a little different than most peoples needs though given that our heaters are isolated in each room and our thermostats have to work with 240vac. I’m using a raspberry pi for most of my work. It will allow me to add a few nice benefits as well as simple thermostat.
If you have a radiant heating (or cooling) system, you might also appreciate the open-source thermostat I designed, which measures both air temperature & mean radiant temperature to more accurately measure comfort before it turns the heater (or cooler) on & off:
You’re welcome to merge stuff from my design with yours. I included CAD files as well as software for download.