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The Future for Opentherm

PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 12:22 pm
by D_Hailsham
Yesterday, on a UK based forum, someone wrote:

OpenTherm is old technology now, and it is centred around the Netherlands. No one cares about it in the UK, the boiler manufacturers want to sell their own controls.

I agree that use in the UK is very limited and that it appears to be most popular in the Netherlands, but Old Technology?

What do others think? Is it being overtaken by Smart/Internet based systems? Does it have a future?

Re: The Future for Opentherm

PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 12:44 pm
by D_Hailsham
When I asked the author of the comment above what had replaced Opentherm, I got this reply:

Manufacturers use their own proprietary controls. There is no advantage for them offering compatibility with OT, because there is a limited instruction set and it erodes their controls sales.

Manufacturers only used OT gateways where they couldn't afford to develop their own stuff or there was legislation mandating it (Netherlands, I believe).

The internet had only just been invented when OpenTherm was being designed.

Re: The Future for Opentherm

PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 1:21 pm
by stefxx
D_Hailsham wrote:The internet had only just been invented when OpenTherm was being designed.[/i]


Ik weet niks van OpenTherm maar volgens mij is OpenTherm "geboren" in 1996. Internet in 1969. Dus of hij weet weinig van de geschiedenis, of hij heeft domweg de laatste twee cijfers omgedraaid :lol:

Sorry English... I don't know anything about OpenTherm but OpenTherm was "born" in 1996. Internet in 1969. So he doesn't know history or he simply swapped the last two digits of the year :lol

Re: The Future for Opentherm

PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 4:53 pm
by vanisher
Besides that, An open protocol like Opentherm is the future.
Look at the whole IoT discussion that is going on at the moment.

Re: The Future for Opentherm

PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 7:05 pm
by D_Hailsham
vanisher wrote:Look at the whole IoT discussion that is going on at the moment.

Not aware that there was a discussion. Where can I find more information?

Re: The Future for Opentherm

PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 7:09 pm
by vanisher
I meant in general.

Some big company's like Cisco are realy focussing on IoT at the moment. But for IoT you need sensors / actors that share an IP network.
Most company is the building heating etc etc are to scared to open up their protocols, but in the end they will lose because the customer will demand it.

Re: The Future for Opentherm

PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 8:12 pm
by D_Hailsham
IoT = Internet of Things!

I've been scratching my head thinking "What's he on about?"

Re: The Future for Opentherm

PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 10:15 pm
by vanisher
Uh, yes :) Sorry :D

Re: The Future for Opentherm

PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 10:28 pm
by marcelr
What do others think? Is it being overtaken by Smart/Internet based systems? Does it have a future?

I'm not sure. OpenTherm is not very open.
I don't know what the OpenTherm association charges for membership, not what the license fees for application of the OpenTherm protocol are. Whatever it is, for the manufacturers it's not free (neither free as in free beer, nor free as in free speech). So, it's costing them money even before their first OT device is being designed.

In general, most boiler manufacturers have their own thermostats, that go with their boilers. For them, it's not so evident to have a standardized protocol, which may entice buyers to get another thermostat, rather than the one from the boiler manufacturer. Again, it's potentially causing them losses in turnover. Not sure if OT was imposed on Dutch manufacturers by law, actually, I don't think so, Nefit (now Bosch-owned) was one of the last boiler manufacturers to implement OT (only last year, IIRC, before that, they used to have (rather limited) conversion modules). With OT being around for almost 20 years, I don't think it was imposed, and certainly not only last year.

So, why bother? To have a "standard" helps in design: you don't have to reinvent the wheel over and over again. For installation companies it's easier: A one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to troubleshooting thermostat communication (not sure if that's an issue at all). Thermostats-only manufacturers will like to have a standard: one thermostat protocol to rule them all.

Not sure if IoT will take over OT. Most people want a heating system that just works, gives the level of comfort they want, at a fair fuel consumption level. They couldn't care less about the communication protocol or interface. If you happen to have poor WiFi signal levels, your router fails mid-winter, shutting down your boiler, or you have to reset WiFi passwords on a boiler, just because you bought a new router or changed ISP, I think that will still put a lot of people off today.
Energy companies may want to have internet-connected thermostats. It gives them information about heating behaviour, detailed energy consumption rates during the day, and therefore may individualize sales policies for users, and lower distribution costs along the way. Some internet-connected thermostats already transmit this information.

grtz,

marcelr

Re: The Future for Opentherm

PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 9:30 pm
by hvxl
Those smart/internet based systems still need a way to communicate with the boiler. And since most smart thermostats are not made by the boiler manufacturers, they will probably not work with proprietary protocols. So people looking for a new boiler may shy away from boilers that do not use a general communication protocol if they ever want to be able to use a more advanced thermostat. This will take time because to most people a boiler is a boiler and the communication protocol won't be considered in the selection process. But if enough people find that their boiler limits them to using an old-fashioned thermostat, the word may slowly get out and it may actually be a boost for OpenTherm.

Re: The Future for Opentherm

PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 8:57 pm
by texnic
I am currently in the quest of finding the best thermostat for my rented house. I wanted it to be remotely controllable (with a smartphone), take into account the heating curve of the house, and control the DHW "comfort" mode of my combi boiler. The house came equipped with a Honeywell Round Modulation thermostat.

So far I've tried:
  • Honeywell Round Connected Modulation
  • Thermosmart Advanced
  • Nest 3 Gen.
  • Tado V2

All of them support OpenTherm, and don't seem to be very old. Nest has just added OpenTherm support actually, and others obviously don't seem to consider it a technology to descope. So my take on it: there is nothing better than OpenTherm at the moment. Not only is it relatively open, but I actually wonder what a private protocol can offer that OT doesn't. It seems to be pretty well designed.

The reason OT is not very popular outside the Netherlands, IMO, is that the Dutch are simply more advanced in terms of smart control of their heating. They are more into saving money by heating less, even more than the Germans. E.g. in Americas, a simple programmable thermostat seems to be a high-tech even in private homes. I live in a rented house in the Netherlands, have a rusty 10 year old boiler, and it supports OpenTherm. Note that Honeywell, one of the big names behind OT and its inventor, is an American company.