Renowned for innovative electric heating solutions, Midlands-based electrical heating specialist Ecolec, has launched its latest novel design solution – Ecolec Multiple Zone – a new wireless, remotely controlled Smart Controller – using a PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone – that allows you to control temperature and heating in up to 10 separate zones within your home with absolute precision.
You simply need to log in to your home/office Ecolec heating system via the internet to check the air temperature in any zone/room to make the program changes necessary. This system offers you unique levels of flexibility for controlling your heating system remotely.
The Ecolec Multiple Zone Gateway is connected via a network cable to your home or office internet router. Programming and control is then available using a PC, tablet,or mobile device with a PC app, browser or mobile app via the internet. The signals between the Gateway, thermostats and heaters are all wireless. Wireless signals between the gateway and each zone’s thermostats and radiators communicate at 433 mHz.
One of the first users of this revolutionary new control system is Robert Page. His apartment needed modernising and one thing he wanted to introduce was simple and effective control for the heating system. His story illustrates perfectly the flexibility and precision of the new system.
The heating in his apartment was electric already, as is common in apartment developments, and the original developer had installed Ecolec electric panel radiators in a fairly random way. Robert set about repositioning these in a more logical way, under windows, adding a couple of additional radiators for additional comfort in the colder months. He undertook an amount of research and discovered the control systems available were either very simple and not what he needed or very complex and expensive and controlled every aspect of the home – lighting, curtains, doors and security as well.
He then looked more closely at the Ecolec offering as the radiators had come from the company and discovered the Ecolec Multiple Zone system and realised this was what he had been looking for all along. All he had to do was plug the gateway into the broadband router and pair up the thermostats with the radiators and link this to the web site Ecolec supplies.
"Every family is different of course," he says. "But in ours, I work from home, my wife goes out to work and we have a daughter who has returned to the fold and keeps unusual hours – as they do! The new heating system with the remote control facility copes easily with this as each space can have its individual temperature and timer controls. For example, when I work at home, I simply heat the area in which I work. The other rooms are kept at a lower temperature. And it’s all controlled from our iPad. When we are away on holiday the apartment can be set to ‘away’ mode by just setting a lower temperature, so nothing freezes. In our case, when we are on our way home, an hour or so before we arrive, using our iPad we switch on the heating so the apartment is warm and welcoming when we get back!"
Ecolec’s Chandru Ray is understandably upbeat about the new system and the warmth with which it’s being received: "It is unique and it offers precise control over electric heating systems, offering the ability to communicate with and control up to ten different zones remotely," he says. "For those who are technically minded, when using the system on multiple devices, there is no need to upload the settings to a central server – this is the case with slightly similar systems from competitors and this can cause huge frustration if you forget! We’ve designed the system to be as simple as possible whilst offering fairly complex options – with up to ten individual zones controlled."
One potential novel use for the new system might be for a small ten bedroom hotel – allowing the owner to control the temperature remotely from outside the bedroom, a to optimise the use of the heating system depending on whether the rooms are occupied or not. It’s a great way to reduce energy costs, heating the occupied rooms and leaving unoccupied ones at a far lower temperature to take the chill off the rooms only. The age of the smarter control is here to stay!