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robhar

Alde Heating not working after night mode ends

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Posted (edited)

To Alde

 

the best way to dissipate heat in a heating system is to circulate the fluid round the radiators. This does not now happen as the pump stops after 2.5 mins in this so called smoothing period. This circulation would introduce cold fluid from the cold pipe work and radiators thus dropping the boiler temperature. The system should then increase the heat input. Most heating systems have an operational temp of 50 - 60 c for efficient heat transfer by the emitters. This is why we find the new approach difficult to understand 

Edited by Bobsandy
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I also don't  buy the Alde explanation.  We are on our third van (for reasons to complex to go into) from three different manufacturers, each has has the 3020 Alde system fitted and each works as I would expect - that is as soon as night mode ends the boiler fires up, the pump comes on and they stay on until the set temp is reached. We do not use day mode so the temp increases from the night mode setting to the default mode setting, and vice-versa in the evening.

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I'm glad its not just me that has this issue. I have had 2 previous caravans with the Alde system and none of them had this smoothing period. If I wanted the hot water and heating to come back on at 7:30 I just set it to leave Night mode at 7:30 and hey presto, the boiler would fire up and keep going until the set temperature is reached. Now I have a so called "intelligent" system which seems to think its OK to delay the fire up of the boiler and pump by 30 minutes. This is one so called enhancement I could do without.

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Posted (edited)

Sounds to me like some sort of PID control although slow responding.  If the heating comes on a full power the switches off when it reaches the setpoint.  It would result in large temperature overshoots which is not desirable.   

 

Surely the simple and practical solution is to end the night mode 30 minutes earlier and get on with your life?    

 

The final line was written before robhar posted.  So it wasn’t a personal did honest!

Edited by fred

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Thanks Fred, yes I can see your point but the problem is the system is not injecting any heat into the system during the initial 30 minute warm up. I have run a test using gas only as the heating source so I could listen for the boiler firing up. It did not fire up at all until the 30 minute smoothing period ended. I am wondering if this smoothing period is intended to work when the system is cooling down rather than warming up. For example when changing from default or day mode to night mode I would presume you would want the caravan temperature to reduce. However if the Alde system is hot you may well want the pump to run for a short time every few minutes to dissipate any heat build up at the top of the radiators or emitters as Alde calls them.  Perhaps Alde staff can come back to us and explain why a smoothing period is required when there is no heat in the system.

 

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I thought that Alde comment about working with rigs with lots of heat emitters possibly implied that caravans just don’t have enough radiators fitted or perhaps I am reading too much into it.  

Personally we have a 3020 system and use the night day and default modes.  I can’t say I have noticed this behaviour.  But then again I am not concerned accuracy I set a temperature value that gives us a comfortable temperature. I am not in the least bit worried if the temperature on the controller says 20c but the actual temperature is 18 or 22 I don’t care as long as I am comfortable. The same is true with the end of night period that’s set at a time to end to give me a comfortable temperature when I get up.  

 

One one piece of advice we were given when we first got the van. Was to improve heat up time switch the temperature up to max. So it doesn’t start trying slow down the rate of heat up as it reaches the setpoint.  We store our van so when on a Friday night the indicated temperature is 3.5C there is a lot of heat required to warm the fabric of the van up and I want this to happen as quickly as possible.  Btw a fan heater is a waste of payload if you aren’t on ehu. 

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Hi Fred

the system doesn’t reduce the heat input noticeably when it’s approaching the required temp, it’s that it doesn’t heat up at all when the van is cold having come out of night mode. Yes we could circumvent the issue but this so called smoothing period of 30 mins does nothing to raise the temp of the van. 

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I shall run some more tests this week looking at the service menu on the control panel as this will tell me the temperature of the water and glycol in the system. I will check the temperatures near the end of night mode and then again 25 - 30 minutes after night mode ends. 

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Hello. With similar performance being described, you may find that the caravans in question are similar models.

 

There is a smoothing period when switching from Night or Day Mode, but the problem may be more due to performance of the installation in general.

 

For example, many Alde installations do heat up very quickly, with the possibility of UFH, dedicated ducting, heated bed boxes, zonal heating, etc.

 

If you find that in normal operation, after 30 minutes, the temperature is only halfway to bridging the gap between the actual room temp and your desired room temp, it's possible that there is a lower-end amount of heat emitter in the installation, and what it is there may have restricted ventilation. (This assumes that sufficient power is used for the conditions.)

 

So the trick would be to determine how long the installation takes to bridge the gap in normal operation, and add that to the 30 minute smoothing period.

 

Thus, if you determine your installation takes 60 minutes to bridge, and you want to get out of bed at 8:00, you should set Night Mode to end at 6:30.

 

It might seem a bit eccentric, but should achieve your aim.

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Change is inevitable - progress is optional

 

I've got an earlier Alde unit - turn the thermostat down when we go to bed and turn it up in the morning, simples!

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59 minutes ago, Black Grouse said:

Change is inevitable - progress is optional

 

I've got an earlier Alde unit - turn the thermostat down when we go to bed and turn it up in the morning, simples!

Is that how you run your central heating system at home?

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1 hour ago, Black Grouse said:

've got an earlier Alde unit - turn the thermostat down when we go to bed and turn it up in the morning

 

Me too and that is the same at home.

 

geoff

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1 hour ago, fred said:

Is that how you run your central heating system at home?

 

No - I have a programmable thermostat but it's old so simple and easy to use.

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To Alde

the problem is not a lack of emitters but the fact that in the smoothing period the temp of the fluid is not raised. Our two previous caravans fitted with Alde heating didn’t have the smoothing period, heated continually after night mode ended. If we ran on both gas and say 2kw electric, the time to heat up is obviously shortened but only after the wasted smoothing period when basically nothing happens to warm up the van. The result of the first 2.5 mins of the smoothing period is that the fluid temperature actually drops with the introduction of cold fluid from the emitters. Then the pump is switched off before the fluid temp recovers. This is then repeated another 2 times. This can easily be verified from the services option in the control panel. On manual control the system has no problem keeping the caravan up to temp no matter what the outside temperature 

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Well I ran another test today. Set night mode at 8c with water heating off and power level set at 3kw electric.  Night mode to end at 8:30am this morning.

At 8:25 am, according to the service menu,  the Glycol temp was 12c and water temperature was also 12c.  Air temperature was 11c

At 9am when night mode smoothing ended the Glycol was 33c,  water temp 26c and air temp 12c

I think this clearly shows that the smoothing algorithm is not fit for purpose because there is barely any heat from the radiators, the water temperature is too low for a shower and the system has raised the temperature in the caravan by 1c ( which could be my body heat and the cup of coffee I had with me as I cannot feel any warmth from the radiators and the bathroom radiator is cold). 

In contrast I ran another test with night mode off. At the beginning Glycol temperature was 20c and water temp 19c. Exactly 30 minutes later running on 3kw electric only the Glycol was 58c and water was 49c. The ambient temperature in the caravan had gone up 3c and you could feel hot air rising from the radiators. The towel rail was also hot.

 

I think this clearly shows, as Bob Sandy has said, that the smoothing function prevents the glycol and water systems heating up sufficiently to be any use.

 

As for the comment about installation issues, this is my 3rd Lunar Clubman with Alde heating and the previous 2 were fine so I doubt Lunar has forgotten how to install it correctly.  Also Bob Sandy has a Bailey so again its a major manufacturer who has plenty of experience in installing Alde systems over many years. Rather then blame the caravan manufacturers, I think the R&D people at Alde need to rethink the need for this smoothing function or at least allow it to inject some heat into the radiators and water tank during the 30 minute period. Perhaps if it ran for 5.5mins then off for 2,5mins would be an improvement.

 

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Glad I don't bother with all this technology lark, my caravan is at the correct temperature  day or night no faffing about my night setting is from 6 pm to 6 am day setting 6 am to 6 pm I let the sensor and thermostat do it business just like at home.

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8 minutes ago, oldboy said:

Glad I don't bother with all this technology lark, my caravan is at the correct temperature  day or night no faffing about my night setting is from 6 pm to 6 am day setting 6 am to 6 pm I let the sensor and thermostat do it business just like at home.

 

The OP does not have to use the auto function.  I don’t use mine.  I think he feels that it’s installed and paid for, so should work as expected

 

John

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15 minutes ago, oldboy said:

Glad I don't bother with all this technology lark, my caravan is at the correct temperature  day or night no faffing about my night setting is from 6 pm to 6 am day setting 6 am to 6 pm I let the sensor and thermostat do it business just like at home.

Thats my problem oldboy, the sensor/thermostat is not allowed to do its business because of this smoothing period. Yes I can choose not to use this feature and in the summer months heating is normally off anyway. I have had this Alde system in 2 previous caravans so have experienced it working normally. However my latest caravan does not behave normally as it creates this 30 mins of smoothing which actually turns the heater on for about 10 mins and keeps it off for 20 mins after night mode. This feature is not there to protect the system or user as if you just turn on the system when arriving on site it heats up quickly without this on/off cycle for 30 mins. 

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Hello. The latest test that you describe is what we'd expect if switching from Night Mode to a normal mode temp that was just about the same as ambient. But presumably in these tests, the desired temp was set to something clearly higher.

 

So we'll keep investigating. However, because there are so many configuration permutations, the best form of investigation would be for us to test your installation hands-on, which can be done at our service bay in Wellingborough, Northants.

 

Ultimately though, if the smoothing period isn't achieving much in your installation, you can effectively ignore it by bringing forward the time that Night Mode ends by 30 minutes.

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To Alde, here are some more test results. Night mode set at 10c, hot water off, gas only and to end at 8:30. Default set at 18c water on, gas only.  At 8:25 this morning just before Night mode ended the Glycol temp was 30c, water temp 28c, ambient temp 12c. At 8:30 the system left night mode and the pump could be heard running. It ran for 2 minutes or so and then went off for 5 approx. This cycle continued for the 30 minutes smoothing period. I had the service menu displayed so could observe temperatures.

At 8:32 the circulation pump was running and glycol temperature dropped to 28c water remained at 28c boiler had not fired up (see exhaust fan rotation speed in pictures).

At 8:59 after 29 mins of on/off running in the smoothing period the glycol temp was 22c and water 21c ambient was 13c. During the entire 30 min period the exhaust fan speed remained at zero.

See photos (file name gives time). 

So, it is clear no heat has been produced in this 30 smoothing period, in fact all thats happened is the cooler glycol in the radiators has been pumped into the boiler and has reduced the temperature of the hot water.

20190509_082932 (1).jpg

20190509_083219 (1).jpg

20190509_085926 (1).jpg

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You need to include details of external ambient temperature and internal temperature - otherwise it's not possible to know what the system should be doing.

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55 minutes ago, Black Grouse said:

You need to include details of external ambient temperature and internal temperature - otherwise it's not possible to know what the system should be doing.

The ambient temperature is shown in my post 12c at 8:30 rising to 13c at 8:59am. The outside temperature was 8c. Given these temperatures I think most users would expect the system, on leaving night mode, to heat up and raise the water temperature to  60c and start to raise the internal temperature to the 18c set as the default. My point is that the boiler has not put any heat into the system during this 30 minute period resulting in no hot water and cold radiators.

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A quick update on the Leaving night mode issue.

A visit to Alde hasn’t resolved the problem and I’ve provided more info for them. They have been very helpful and are communicating with the person responsible for the controller software. I’ll post again if there’s any change.

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4 hours ago, Bobsandy said:

A quick update on the Leaving night mode issue.

A visit to Alde hasn’t resolved the problem and I’ve provided more info for them. They have been very helpful and are communicating with the person responsible for the controller software. I’ll post again if there’s any change.

Thanks as we have had the same issue on our 2018 caravan since new, but were told that is the way that it is supposed to work.

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7 hours ago, Bobsandy said:

A quick update on the Leaving night mode issue.

A visit to Alde hasn’t resolved the problem and I’ve provided more info for them. They have been very helpful and are communicating with the person responsible for the controller software. I’ll post again if there’s any change.

Hi Bobsandy,

Thanks for your update, I have simply followed their advice and set the end time 30 mins earlier, so the pump cutting in and out now wakes me up earlier as my head is above the boiler 😫 lets hope they fix yours then send out a fix to the rest of us who have the same issue. 

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