Breaking News (5/30/18):
The Electric Imp Cellular is finally here. Steamback Renewable Thermal has literally been waiting years for this product. This will be a game changer for anyone who wants to affordably use the internet to watch and control things remotely. For example, us.
Steamback Renewable Thermal offers a mix of skills from many different industries. But what’s our favorite activity? Well, we like to make custom Internet-connected instrumentation to watch your HVAC system remotely via the web.
Throughout time and up until a few years ago, the only way an HVAC installer could truly watch their installs is to live with them, but that’s pretty much impossible. You as the client live with your system and as a result, you know it better than anyone, even your installer.
The internet is a blessing. Steamback Renewable Thermal can install a system for you and watch it for you as well. That’s peace of mind.
Steamback Renewable Thermal doesn’t really offer a specific package of any kind. Rather, we experiment with affordable tools as they develop and leverage free online services for datalogging and visualization. It’s a hobby, really. But a hobby that makes us far more effective.
Today we use mainly the Electric Imp 003.
Before this we used mainly the Electric Imp 002.
Here is one of our 002’s in the field. As we write this, this unit has been reliably sending temperature readings for over 2 years now without needing a single reboot or site visit. In fact, the unit above caught a heating system problem while the homeowner was on vacation, an automatic alert was sent out and the system was fixed before the house froze.
Curious if the little unit is still posting data? You can see for yourself right here:
In the past we also played with the Particle Photon (below) for a while but we found we preferred the Electric Imp online IDE much better.
Our devices are homemade and use our programs, meaning we can send the information anywhere we want online. Over the years we have tried dozens of online services for the storage and visualization of our system temperatures and they all have flaws.
One standout winner however is Thingspeak. It’s free and the phone-app is very reliable. Below is an example of what you can see on your android phone…