The OpenTherm Association has announced it is intending to introduce the OpenTherm protocol more widely in the UK and has launched an initial three-year awareness campaign.
The campaign will aim to raise awareness of the protocol, its benefits to the heating industry as a whole and to manufacturers and installers in particular.
The idea for a single, common standard for communication in the domestic heating sector between heating controls and central heating appliances – boilers and air heaters – has reportedly been mooted for many years and growing in popularity across Europe. However, it has only recently begun to make its mark seriously here in the UK.
OpenTherm is a non-manufacturer-dependent system of communication, currently utilised predominantly between modulating HVAC heating appliances and room thermostats. It consists of a communication protocol as well as an interface specification and utilises established technology, combining simple installation procedure with high functionality and future expansion possibilities. The OpenTherm protocol also facilitates digital boiler modulation and, as a result, load compensation requirements are said to be met.
The basic function that every OpenTherm controller must provide is the communication of the heat requirement – the control setpoint – to the heating appliance. This heat requirement is calculated by the controller, based on the difference between the set temperature and the desired one, or another form of control such as outside temperature control. The OpenTherm protocol also supports many other non-compulsory functions offering manufacturers the opportunity to develop multiple product variants.
If a large base of OpenTherm compatible products were to be installed, it could reportedly facilitate the implementation of a range of new solutions that could improve energy use, reduce the carbon footprint of a heating installation and reduce its total cost of ownership. Typical potential examples of this could see an increase in home automation and the availability of remote diagnostics for domestic installations.
The OpenTherm Association has said it recognises that in order to establish this OpenTherm protocol, it needs to effectively communicate and illustrate the ‘what’s in it for me’ benefits to those manufacturing the equipment and those installing it in homes up and down the country. This is the reason for the launch of the awareness campaign, which will aim to relay those benefits to the key decision makers in the industry.
The OpenTherm Association already has a number of members signed up to work to introduce a wider acceptance of OpenTherm as a standard in the UK. This includes Ideal Boilers, Honeywell Resideo, Danfoss, SALUS, ESi and Schneider Electric. It also has the support of industry bodies HHIC and BEAMA who are said to be committed to supporting OpenTherm’s wider introduction in the UK, as they recognise the benefits of developing a common use ‘Open’ system.
For manufacturers of heating boilers, controlling devices and associated products who are interested in developing and producing OpenTherm compatible products, can approach the OpenTherm Association secretariat to obtain a data sheet, free of charge, by completing the request form on the OpenTherm website.
For more information, head to www.opentherm.eu.