Background & Rational
As technology and essentially our lives gradually converge into the Internet of Things (IoT) era, the idea of having home comforts connected to the world wide web excites the ‘geek’ inside most of us. In
2012, about 3.7 million things were connected to the Internet via sensors (Pretz, 2014) and that
number grows exponentially. The Manual heating control will soon be written in the history books as
some strange archaic method of warming our homes and the need (using the word in its loosest form)
for smart home devices is ever more prevalent.
There is a current trend of intelligent home heating controls with front running products such as Nest
and Hive leading the way. A recent study carried out in the United States shows the projected
adoption of smart home devices with smart thermostats in pole position (see Fig. 1).
However, the products currently on the market are an expensive option for the everyday consumer
who may not see the overall benefit to be worth the cost.
Nest Learning Thermostat is more than just a heating on/off controller, designed to manage all
sources of heating and cooling for the home. This controller monitors your individual routine and
learns when to reduce heating/cooling. Nest market this product as an energy and ultimately a cost
saving device for the home with results showing 10%-15% saving on annual energy consumption
The initial desired deliverables of the Home Heat Hub were to provide a fundamental level of heating
control & monitoring for the home with an avenue to expand the ‘intelligence’ of the device.
The Home Heat Hub will replace the manual, wired thermostat. It will have local digital display for
reading current room temperature and buttons/momentary switches to control required heating set
The device will be connected the homes Local Area Network (LAN) via a wifi connection and will
communicate with a web server for remote heating control & monitoring. The web interface will also
provide a temperature log to allow for analysis of temperature fluctuations
Heating will be controlled as a simple 1 stage control – on/off via an optical relay board.
As there may be safety concerns and problems with university insurance, this project will not
demonstrate the switching of a 240 volt load. For demonstration purposes the load will be an LED to
display when the heating is on.