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November 8, 2002: Pump timers and controls upgrade

When I added the extra pump and 2nd floor thermostat,
I found that I was constantly running around to the thermostats
to be able to turn the pumps on and off for testing.
I decided to add a switch to my thermostat relay box that
would let me manually override the thermostat to
OFF, ON or AUTO (thermostat control).

This saves a lot of time and allows me to check the operation
of the system manually.

I also decided to add timers to the pumps so I could
monitor how long the system was running each day.

Now I keep a log of the pump times and outside temperature
so I can monitor system performance.

It is already quite clear that the 2 extra collectors have significantly
reduced my propane consumption.  On a clear sunny day
collector temperatures are from 180 to 250F depending
on the outside ambient temperatures.

By the end of a typical sunny day my storage tank temperature
will be 150F or higher, which means much less propane consumption
to heat the building the following night!  In fact I have found that
the circulation pumps run for over an hour before any propane is
required to maintain 140F.  Then, gradually the Aquastar propane
heater automatically contributes more heat as the outflow from the
storage tank drops below 140F.  It takes several hours for the outflow
from the storage tank to drop down to it's nominal 70F which is the
return temperature from the radiant floor loop.

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