Control box for underfloor heating
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Control box for underfloor heating

29/11/23

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Why is a control box an important control?

Underfloor heating is increasingly being chosen by investors as a primary installation, rather than just supporting traditional radiators. Therefore, the system managing it, including the control box, must be up to the task. It can’t be a product with random functions and inferior performance – if we care about the long-term efficiency of the plane installation. In today’s article we will point out the features that prove the usefulness of the central box for underfloor heating. What to follow when choosing it?

To begin with, let’s recall the advantages of underfloor heating

  • uniform temperature distribution in the room
  • long heat dissipation
  • thermal comfort: warmer at the feet, cooler in the head area
  • healthier air: better humidity, no dust floating at the height of the respiratory tract
  • arrangement discretion: does not affect the design of the room (unlike radiators)
  • heating energy savings: optimal temperature distribution ensures efficiency in heating fuel intake, underfloor heating also requires temperature control, which gives even more control over the intake and provides savings
  • underfloor heating – as a modern system – works well with popular systems using RES (e.g., heat pump, photovoltaics). Works with home automation and smart home control systems.

Underfloor heating needs the support of a matching control – every installer and every experienced user of this type of installation knows this. However, heating control is not only temperature controllers, which we sometimes forget, because this is the control we install in rooms in plain sight. Also of great importance for its efficiency are devices that are daily hidden from our sight in installation cabinets – such as the central box discussed today.

How does a control box for floor heating works?

The control box for underfloor heating controls the operation of thermoelectric actuators based on the readings of room controllers – in an ideal situation, each room has a separate control. The operation of these three devices is interconnected; together they regulate the flow of the heating medium in the individual floor heating loops. The regulators transmit a signal to th e box (comparing the measured temperature to the set temperature), the box sends a signal to the actuators, which open or close the flow in the loop they serve – activating or stopping heating to maintain the temperature set by the regulators. The box, actuators and controllers work closely together to automate the operation of underfloor heating.

Which control box is the best?

Installation

This question is most accurately answered by installers, since they are the ones who usually work with these devices. And it is on the basis of their opinions that we know that the details count. It is good if the cover is conveniently screwed on, but it is also important that getting to it is neither time-consuming nor frustrating. A minimum number of screws will be valuable here. Professionals like to choose models with a handy but sturdy attachment.

This seems obvious, but it is not so: professionals rely on a well-measured trim size. And this is because a product that is too massive causes technical problems. Many installers complain about the bulky size of the control box, so that the device does not fit in the switchboard. This makes installation more difficult and time-consuming, forcing installers into forced ingenuity. The flat box eliminates this problem.

Another issue is the mounting of the wires themselves. Transparency in their arrangement gives better orientation. Removable connection cubes, on the other hand, make the job easier; once the trim is screwed in place (or mounted on a DIN rail), the installer can unscrew the cubes from inside, connect the wires with a basic tool like a screwdriver, and then plug the cubes back in, along with the already screwed-in wires. Efficient and convenient.

Order in the box is priceless. That’s why it’s a good idea to opt for models that give easy access to each component of the device after removing the cover. This will help the installer avoid dismantling some of its parts when laying cables.

A great advantage is also the adaptation of the box for mounting on the aforementioned DIN rail.

Functional control box

If you want to effectively regulate the underfloor, you need to get yourself a decent and durable control box.

What features – besides installation improvements for installers – make a control box worth buying? There are several.

As a rule, central box communicate with controllers by wire or wireless. Although noteworthy are models with a more interesting mixed type of connection, such as a combination of: 2 wired and 6 wireless inputs, giving a total of as many as 8 control zones (see). Such a “combined” model is universal and will find use in any building. Keep in mind that we do not always have the freedom to run wires.

8 zones is a really reliable control, even if it runs in a more traditional form, that is, with inputs to wired controllers (see). The choice of communication method depends on your needs.

A well-thought-out control box is equipped with useful functions that increase its range of application. For example:

  • built-in heat source control module,
  • voltage output to control the circulating pump,
  • several minutes’ delay in switching on the pump and boiler (so that the actuators have time to open

Summarizing

The choice of the box is crucial, as it is an indispensable component of the automation that controls the surface heating – in combination with controllers and actuators, of course. The box must be well designed and solidly constructed, since the technological qualities of this hidden device in the control cabinet condition the operation of the entire system. It is impossible to efficiently regulate the flow of the heating medium in the underfloor heating system without it. The control box streamlines the system and minimizes energy losses.

Learn more about ENGO Controls control boxes: ECB08M230, ECB62ZB



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