Advice for a new home build

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Hollywoodperth, Sep 9, 2018.

  1. Hollywoodperth

    Hollywoodperth

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    Hey all, I've been looking for a near energy management tool for my new home build for a while and today I came across the 5000ETP10W 10 in touch screen. It looked great and ticked all the boxes (mostly).

    What I want it to do:
    - Energy management & trending
    - Air con control of multiple zones, particularly individual temp control of multiple zones
    - security cams visible through the wall display
    - control of lights in the living/kitchen where the wall display mounted
    - motorised curtain control

    What I don't need:
    - control of every individual power point in the house
    - control of every single light on the house

    Any advice on where to start, mistakes to avoid, things ppl would do next time, brands of CCTV cams or blind motors to use, etc.

    Much thanks
     
    Hollywoodperth, Sep 9, 2018
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  2. Hollywoodperth

    daniel C-Busser Moderator

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    Hi,

    The features you mention are possible. There is a lot to consider so it would be worth talking to a C-Bus integrator in your area if you haven't already. Be skeptical of any builder's sparky claiming they can do without proof of previous jobs they've done.

    Just want to point out that you will need a 5500SHAC controller to go with the touch screen. They are both IP-based devices and will connect to each other via your home network.
     
    daniel, Sep 10, 2018
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  3. Hollywoodperth

    Hollywoodperth

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    Cheers Daniel. Yeah I can see I need a 5500SHAC, that bit was straight forward.

    I won't be getting the builders to do too much other than the minimum and making allowances etc so it all fits later.

    I hope to program the c-bus myself which should keep the costs down (plus I can fix it myself in the future if it starts playing up).

    Was planning on putting the 5500SHAC in a cabinet in the garage, 5504CMU (current measurement) in the switchboard, linked back via c-bus, L5501RBCP to control the blinds, CCTV to be IP cameras and connected via the network
     
    Hollywoodperth, Sep 10, 2018
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  4. Hollywoodperth

    daniel C-Busser Moderator

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    Sure thing. Actually I did something similar last year - had a builder's sparky, my own C-Bus sparky, and myself on Toolkit. My biggest piece of advice from painful and expensive experience would be to not even mention C-Bus to the builder initially. Typically for a resi build the sparky gives the builder a standard "package" price for say 70 lights, 3 data etc, and then variations are done off of that. As soon as you mention "C-Bus" that package gets chucked out the window and they price up a new quote up from scratch for everything - hello Crazypriceville!! Not to mention, the lighting designer got extremely muddled and we had a lot of misunderstandings with the plans.

    So my advice is to get the lighting plans for the house drawn up as standard 240V, make it a truly boring vanilla residence - get your baseline variation price (as firm as possible). Then put in your extras - DIN Rail cabinets (for C-Bus, shh), NBN/data cabinets, data ports, recessed speakers, whatever else you want, and get variation prices as you go. By now you'd be wincing but at least you have a chance of understanding where the money's going. ONLY THEN get the variation done to bring your C-Bus guy into the picture - remove the 240V switch wiring and run all the loads back to cabinets instead, and get firm quote #3. Because the longer 240V runs should be offset by the removal of the switch wiring, you can reasonably expect only a small variation for this last part.

    My C-Bus guy came on-site at first fix to run the pink cables and at second fix to install sensors and check the builder's wall cutouts. We waited till after handover to put in all the input & output units (due to theft/loss not being covered by builder's insurance) and I did the TK programming as he wired them in.

    My garage wall has 3 x 4FCC60s neatly spaced - one is the sub-board and two are C-Bus 240V. One thing I overlooked early on was the need to keep SELV gear such as the 5500SHAC / DTSI separate - it shouldn't go in the 240V cabinets. I ended up putting it in other cabinets elsewhere in the house.

    Hope that helps some.
     
    daniel, Sep 10, 2018
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  5. Hollywoodperth

    Hollywoodperth

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    Why the need to separate the LV and ELV equipment?

    I'm not sure I'll have much LV since I will only be switching three light circuits and one blind circuit... but curious to know the reasons behind this
     
    Hollywoodperth, Sep 10, 2018
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  6. Hollywoodperth

    jboer

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    Short answer is that it's the rules. The AS3000 (and accompanying standards) (which is basically the electrical rules of the country) has quite a bit on segregation of various services and different voltages.

    Technically LV and ELV need to be segregated and/or protected mechanically. It does become very hard in some instances to do this properly with control, but it should be very much considered at design stage.
     
    jboer, Sep 10, 2018
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  7. Hollywoodperth

    Hollywoodperth

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    Not sure I agree with this logic but happy to learn more. AS 3000 states that cables of various voltages inside a common duct/wiring enclosure must be partitioned or insulated to the highest voltage.

    Im not aware of anything at all that says ELV and LV cannot exist in the same DB or switchboard.
     
    Hollywoodperth, Sep 10, 2018
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  8. Hollywoodperth

    jboer

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    You can, if you can have adequately, segregated sections where you are connecting your equipment. Most boards unless specifically designed control boards make it rather hard to do this. It is very hard to keep an appropriately rated double insulation or protection all the way up to your terminals on an ELV connection. Also Ill need to look up the clause, so might be wrong but you can't treat a service as ELV unless it is segregated. For example DALI, although electrically it is ELV, because it isn't usually an isolated or segregated service, it should be treated as LV.

    Personally, I think the question is, if you have the option why would you? Having to worry about protect and segregate your ELV, Ethernet, Serial lines, all the things that you connect into your controllers should be segregated for not only safety but also signal quality.

    This is a decent document by Clipsal that talks about segregation of the C-Bus cabling and ect:
    https://updates.clipsal.com/Clipsal...2/Handbook_-_C-Bus_Hardware_Installation2.pdf

    (Edited to add link to manual)
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2018
    jboer, Sep 10, 2018
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  9. Hollywoodperth

    Roosta

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    I am just gonna pipe in here re your original post..

    And this may lead to a flaming.. As I am a bit out of the loop these days..

    For what you want to achieve are you sure that Cbus and the Shac and ethernet wall panel are the best solution..

    You said you want:
    Energy management and trending - no offence to cbus but this is a somewhat after thought and something it doesnt do well in my opinion.
    Air con control, multi zone and multi temp - again without knowibg the AC unit you are going its hard to gauge, however assuming a ducted reverse cycle system, again something that cbus just doesnt do well in my opinion..
    Security cameras viewable on the wall display - not sure this is even possible with the ethernet wall screen and shac unit?
    Control of lights in kitchen/living - yep easy
    Control of motorised blinds - yes

    You also mention not wanting to do all your whole house.. in my opinion, again, bit out of the loop these days, this is a mistake, particularly with cbus, and if you are looking for energy management then its a no brainer..

    I think realistically you would be better off looking at something like push controls or elan G, and using that with a variety of products to achieve the control you are wanting. Yes maybe cbus for the lighting and blind, or maybe nero.. At least with nero the wiring is conventional and can be reversed later on.

    Add to that you want to program yourself and instantly i see/hear alarm bells.. just pay some money and have it all setup and working from the get go.. so many times people go down this path and it leads to a half assed mostly not working system that disappoints everyone and gives the product a bad name..

    Anyways just some 2 cents to ponder..
     
    Roosta, Sep 10, 2018
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  10. Hollywoodperth

    Hollywoodperth

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    The clause in the latest edition of AS 3000 (2018) is Section 3.9.8.3.

    The exact wording: "Cables of high voltage circuits and cables of low or extra-low voltage circuits shall not be enclosed in the same wiring system."

    Key word, 'wiring system', not switchboard. As a good example, skirting ducting commonly used in commercial fitouts needs to use a two compartment duct, one for ELV network cables, one for LV.

    A switchboard can have multiple voltages (ELV/LV) inside the switchboard. The photos in the C Bus handbook you sent demonstrate good practice. Induced voltage won't magically jump into the network cables. It's not HV. Seperation required is only mm. Also double insulation isn't a requirement inside the switchboard for various voltages. A switchboard is not a 'wiring system'.

    Really, if you are worried about induced voltages, use screened cable, don't rely on segregation - and avoid parallel runs.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2018
    Hollywoodperth, Sep 10, 2018
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  11. Hollywoodperth

    Hollywoodperth

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    Really appreciate the feedback! This is what I am looking for:

    I agree that cbus doesn't have voltage inputs on the energy module, it relies on the nominal voltage. It's not perfect.
    I've found a decent air con control system which is tablet based and does multiple temp control of multiple zones so again no probs
    I've seen the IP cameras on the SHAC so I'm assuming that yes it is possible

    The advantage I see on cbus is that it is one system with one set of pages, not bullshit maintaining multiple systems for each piece of kit.

    In regards to not going cbus for every lighting circuit why is this a no-no? Why can't I simply hardwire the other lights (like normal) and have a cbus switch loop to the relevant ones? I just don't see the point to whole house 'scenes'. I mean if I want to turn a light on in the room, I just go to the switch. I'm not going to go all the way back to the touchscreen in the living/kitchen. On the plus side, get the switches installed with conduit and pull back a cbus cables in the future if you want to go rewire??

    For the programming I'm not too stressed. For disclosure, I'm an electrical engineer with a background in instro/automation.
     
    Hollywoodperth, Sep 10, 2018
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  12. Hollywoodperth

    Roosta

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    Ok fair points..

    So what kind of energy information are you interested in getting and seeing trends on? Will you then want to do anything with this information, this is where control comes in, and quote simply if the system cant control it, it cant control it..

    So all well and good to find an ac unit with an app and some level of control but can it be fully controlled from your control system. If not then your back to using the manufacturers app anyways..

    Definately do some research on IP cameras with the shac controller as all previous version of Wiser promised and showed camera functionality but delivered miserably, mostly due to incompatibility.. Again most security companies have there own app these days..

    Regards my whole house comment. There was a couple of reasons for this.. Having been in the field for a long time, i have seen it done all possible ways..
    Going back and retro fitting cbus later is generally a absolute pita of a job and the costs will often sky rocket accordingly..
    If you truely want control of your energy, you need to have Control of it.. you say you dont see the point of whole house scenes, i tend to agree, but do you see the point of ALL OFF scenes? Everyone is different and has different motivators, for some its family and offering some small features for the kids rooms, hallways and toilets. Simple stuff like having the lights only turn on to 20% at after a certain time, or timers on fans and toilet lights or being able to turn the lights off from your phone when you go to bed. Again largely an imagination and lifestyle thing, but for a few thousand $ during the building stage, all of a sudden you have a fully fledged lighting control system..

    So i guess in the end it all comes down to what you want and are trying to achieve.. I would still strongly suggest finding a local integrator (not just a sparky with cbus experience) and invest some time in chatting with them about the options out there to achieve what you want.

    Unfortunately for CBUS, which used to be a market leader, the market has caught up and left it in its dust..
     
    Roosta, Sep 10, 2018
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  13. Hollywoodperth

    Hollywoodperth

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    Just trend and visibility. I want to see each phase from the mains, combined 3ph from the mains and 1ph from the solar. That's all. No control

    Agreed, if someone can point out some known compatible systems that would be great. Same as for IP cameras

    Again, I'm honestly not fussed about turning lights off from my phone or the tablet. I enjoy going around making sure the house is closed/locked up before bed. I'll prob put in single button dimmers on a few circuits, cheap as hell. They don't need to go back through the cbus.

    Agreed theres a lot of individual systems out there. But they are individual systems. It's like having a home theatre with 8 remotes. Plus the ethernet touch screen has some awesome features like the 3D house plan that I am yet to see on any other system. It blew me away... took me a while to find out what it actually was since it's hardly on the clipsal website.

    I agree that all of the other older screens/interfaces are old and tired.
     
    Hollywoodperth, Sep 10, 2018
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  14. Hollywoodperth

    Roosta

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    So your basically happy to pay $4k to have a smallish touchscreen on the wall with a layout of your house (that will probably do nothing), power measurement of your incomers and solar, ac system and some ip cameras?

    Then pay a further $4k just to control your kitchen and living room lights and some curtains from the same screen?

    My final comments re-iterate, go have a chat with a proper home automation integrator and continue your research but dont be afraid of looking at what else is out there..
     
    Roosta, Sep 10, 2018
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  15. Hollywoodperth

    znelbok

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    High Voltage will never be in a residential home. High voltage is beast all of its own requires a different mindset.

    A residential property will only have LV and (s)ELV - predominately LV (240V - 415V).

    I'll throw my 2c in here as well - I read the comments and agree with some and not others.

    If you're going to put C-Bus in part of the house, then do the whole lot. You will have nothing but regrets if you don't.

    Multizone A/C is going to depend on the manufacturer and is not the area for C-Bus. Clipsal pulled the HVAC controllers. Best you can do is find one that has an automation interface or go get a product like the Coolmaster (or now Coolnet) and integrate that with the SHAC (or other) C-Bus controller.

    Keep the camera system separate, but ensure it allows for integration. My personal preference was a Blue Iris system as it works with almost any camera and I can get images from it on my CQC system, on my android TV and it now has MQTT integration as well.

    Power measurement can be done in two ways - using CT's to measure the current on each phase or you could put in a second power meter and measure real values such as KWHr's, currents, voltages and more. Meters are available with MODBUS interfaces and the SHAC talks MODBUS. You can even get cheap single phase meters with MODBUS if you want to monitor a sub circuit (e.g. a pool pump/system). I have one on my house water pump (we live on tank water), one on the septic system and my main meter is connected (only by pulse - 1 pulse = 1Kwhr). Throw solar into the mix and you have more to measure.

    Some of the downsides - no voice integration for C-Bus. No (cheap) plug in controllable modules for C-Bus, but I would still not be without it as it is so powerful when used with an automation system and the whole house is intergated.
     
    znelbok, Sep 11, 2018
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  16. Hollywoodperth

    Hollywoodperth

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    znelbok, thanks for that! I'd appreciate a link to some cheap modbus power meters. All the ones I've seen have been over $500.

    Any other advice on cameras? I've seen something vague about only a certain chipset is compatible?
     
    Hollywoodperth, Sep 11, 2018
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  17. Hollywoodperth

    NickD Moderator

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    My 2c.

    The C-Bus Current Measurement units are OK, but the Schneider PowerTag system is probably a better way to go, particularly with the SHAC. It will give you better accuracy, and more flexibility (you can get single and three phase units and more flexibility in the number of channels. It connects to the SHAC via Modbus.

    For AC, I'm not sure if it supports individual setpoints for different zones, but check out the iZone AC controllers. I know these can be integrated with the SHAC.

    I personally agree with the sentiments that by only "switching 3 light circuits and one blind circuit" it seems like you will be missing out on a lot of the automation that is possible. Are you trying to save cost or just don't see the need?

    As for the comment above about "no voice integration"... not sure where that's coming from... its certainly possible to integrate any of the 3 main voice assistants into a C-Bus system.

    Nick
     
    NickD, Sep 14, 2018
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  18. Hollywoodperth

    Hollywoodperth

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    Nick, thanks for the reply. Some great things in there.

    I haven't used the PowerTag before... looks brand new. Reading the literature on it, seems that it needs to use the SmartLink SI D module. Each PowerTag is wireless to the SI D comms module which can then use ethernet/modbus.

    A 3P PowerTag is approx $400, the SI D comms module is approx $475. So to measure a single 3P circuit that's pretty expensive. I can pick up the 5504CMU C-Bus current module with 4 CTs for under $400. The 5504CMU will communicate directly, the only difference is that it doesn't have a VT output it relies on a fixed nominal voltage.

    The iZone controllers look ok, but I want to do away with other interfaces completely and use the Cbus touchscreen as the sole A/C controller. I plan to do this using the CoolMaster bridge located remotely with the Cbus controllers. From what I can see the iZone would mean that there would be an iZone interface as well as a Cbus interface (making the cbus interface kind of redundant).

    The touchscreen would be installed in the main living area. The functionality I plan is:

    - HVAC control interface
    - Irrigation control
    - CCTV
    - Automated blinds (living area only)
    - Light control (living area only)
    - Serial interface to PV inverter
    - Metering of main switchboard power (incoming only, not every cct)

    The limitation on the lighting control is both cost and function. I simply don't see the need to control lights in a room that I'm not in. The concept of 'scenes' doesn't do it for me. Saying that, all GPOs and lights will be using rigid conduits to ensure that I can rewire later if I change my mind.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018
    Hollywoodperth, Sep 17, 2018
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  19. Hollywoodperth

    newsreader

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    Hi NickD,

    I hope the OP won't mind me hijacking his thread a little to ask if you would explain more about integrating CBus with say Amazon's Alexa please ?

    Any links to necessary products/software etc would also be much appreciated.

    Thanks
    Newsreader

    .
     
    newsreader, Oct 6, 2018
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  20. Hollywoodperth

    P_R

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    Hello hollywoodperth,
    We're in our house nearly two years now and I went through some of what you are going through now.
    *Forgot to add, we're also in Perth, south of the river.*

    I had an idea what I wanted as our previous house had c-bus. My challenge was to get a builder who understood what I wanted and could also do it. A few quoted silly prices - one quoted 2x what we actually paid. We were lucky in the end that the builder had done c-bus a number of times with his builds so knew how to accommodate it. The electrical company he used had also done c-bus as well and finally the integrator we picked had worked with both. So from that perspective, things were good. We still use that same electrical company for additional c-bus work as well as the integrator. The builder, sadly went under 3/4 into our build (legal problems elsewhere). Right up to that point, as a customer, all went well.

    We did:

    All lights. We missed out only the garage ones (store room and garage). But I should have these as well. Do all the lights as you will want to control them. If nothing other than all on/all off. Half are dimmable. Our house is two storey with the garage below the house. So we can't rewire that easily even though all cabling is via conduits, hence the advise to do all the lights at the start.

    All shutters. I make roller shutters, so of course did each window :). In terms of which motor, I don't think it matters. The module knows the motors need an up, down and off. Most standard motors will work. You can use motors which are also remote controlled, but these need to have the ability to respond to a remote AND a switch. Not many brands do this, but it is also unlikely you will want this anyway.

    IXLs, heating lights, external sensors, connected up too.

    Alarm, Ness M1 connected to c-bus. Allowed us to set the alarm so that all shutters go down, lights off. Same in reverse. Wife likes that part. Also have programmed a NightShutDown scene. All lights of, shutters down. Like you I also tour the house and make sure all the doors are closed and locked before bed. Front door opens via keypad code with is connected to the alarm. This is partly failsafe - if the c-bus is not working, I can still get it. Worst case, I can still use a key as well.


    Did not:
    No power points are c-bus connected as I could not see a need.
    No air con. I wanted to do this, but it was too hard. No a/c company wanted to know about it.
    We have an electric sliding door not connected, but should have. Would have been simple had I planned for it early enough. But I have added in temp sensors (with the help of this forum). Mainly so my 9yo knows the external temp so can pick his clothes. 1st world problems eh?
    Garage door not connected, but should have as I've left it open on occasions.
    No audio. Like the a/c, it seemed too hard. But because the house had cat5e everywhere both for c-bus and Ethernet, all our receivers are connected up the house Ethernet switch. We then use the Yamaha Musiccast.
    Theatre room - can be a one touch setup, but did not do this. I did not know enough about the options and possibilities so was cautious. There are products to automate this and connect to c-bus. Theatre room is quasi mancave, so I tinker here a little and might automate down the track.
    Phone control. Can't see myself fiddling with the house from a remote location, so did not bother with including this.

    Cheers,
    P_R.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2018
    P_R, Oct 8, 2018
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