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Thread: Heater Program

  1. #1
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    Heater Program

    Can someone please help me to understand this Heater program?

    Fallback OFF
    If Tmp < 78.0 Then ON
    If Tmp > 79.0 Then OFF


    To me, this would say that is the temp is less than 79 degrees, the heater would be on. However, my tanks is currently sitting at 78.6 and the heater is off.

    I am just trying to understand this logic to apply to other things in the future.

    If the heater program turns off the heaters as soon as the temp is above 78 degrees, how would the temp ever get to 79 degrees with the heater still on?

    Sorry if this is dumb question.

    Thanks!
    Russ

  2. #2
    Master Control Freak RussM's Avatar
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    The outlet will turn ON as soon as the temperature drops below 78.0. It will then stay ON until the temp hits 79.0, and then will turn OFF. It will then stay OFF until the temp goes below 78.0 again, then will turn ON, stay on until the temp once again exceeds 79.0, so on and so forth. This will maintain the tank temperature with the specified 1-degree range. (Actually, it will be a 1.2 degree range)
    I'm not a Neptune support rep. Please do not send me PMs with technical questions or requesting assistance - use the forums for Apex help. PM me ONLY if the matter is of a private or personal nature. Thanks.

  3. #3
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    So, that's what I understood the program to be, but i'm sitting at 78.5 right now, the output is set to AUTO and is currently "off". Any thoughts on what I should be looking for to resolve?

  4. #4
    Master Control Freak RussM's Avatar
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    There's nothing to resolve - it will not always be ON at 78.5. It will only be on if the temp has dropped below 78.0 and is still in the process of bringing the temp up to 79.0.
    I'm not a Neptune support rep. Please do not send me PMs with technical questions or requesting assistance - use the forums for Apex help. PM me ONLY if the matter is of a private or personal nature. Thanks.

  5. #5
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    Ah, I got it, so it could be on it's way back down from 79.

    Thanks so much.

  6. #6
    Master Control Freak RussM's Avatar
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    You got it!
    I'm not a Neptune support rep. Please do not send me PMs with technical questions or requesting assistance - use the forums for Apex help. PM me ONLY if the matter is of a private or personal nature. Thanks.

  7. #7
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    RussM is there anyway to also do amps for the heater along with temp?
    In case it fails, i don't want to cook my whole tank. How would i find the amps my heater is using and what is an abnormal range (example heater failure)

  8. #8
    Master Control Freak RussM's Avatar
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    Kharn101, your profile here indicates that you have an Apex Lite, and presumably an EB8. The Apex Classics do not have per-outlet current monitoring. So, no, there is no way for you to do that. The newer Apex released in 2016 and EnergyBar 832 do have that capability.
    I'm not a Neptune support rep. Please do not send me PMs with technical questions or requesting assistance - use the forums for Apex help. PM me ONLY if the matter is of a private or personal nature. Thanks.

  9. #9
    Frequent Visitor Todd's Avatar
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    Even with the capability, I don't see how it would be useful for a heater. If a heater fails open, amps will be 0 and therefore safe. If it shorts, amps will spike, but will trip a breaker.

  10. #10
    Administrator alb's Avatar
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    Kharn101, it's always recommended to use a heater that has it's own thermostat (as opposed to those that have no thermostat control at all), so that for the tank to be cooked, both the Apex and the heater would have to have failed such that the heater would be on. While that's not impossible, it's unlikely.

    When it comes to heaters, always set things up so that as many things as possible would have to go wrong for a disaster to occur.

  11. #11
    Frequent Contributor zombie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kharn101 View Post
    RussM is there anyway to also do amps for the heater along with temp?
    In case it fails, i don't want to cook my whole tank. How would i find the amps my heater is using and what is an abnormal range (example heater failure)
    If you had a 2016 apex the thresholds I use are 150% of amp rating to detect high impedance faults and 50% of watt rating to detect both arcing contacts (internal contact opened partway but is still powering heater) and if the heater contact opened when it shouldn't have.

    You might be an engineer if...You have no life and can prove it mathematically.

  12. #12
    Frequent Visitor rlbannon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zombie View Post
    the thresholds I use are 150% of amp rating to detect high impedance faults and 50% of watt rating to detect both arcing contacts (internal contact opened partway but is still powering heater) and if the heater contact opened when it shouldn't have.
    Do you mind providing your code?

  13. #13
    Frequent Contributor zombie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rlbannon View Post
    Do you mind providing your code?
    This is a 150W heater that normally pulls 1.2-1.3A. This locks to manual ON when true so I get an alert and it prevents the heater from further damage. I do the same thing for pumps as well. Just check the dashboard tile to get base watts and amps values.

    Heat1Fail
    Set OFF
    If Output Heater1 Watts < 75 Then ON
    If Output Heater2 Amps > 1.9 Then ON
    Defer 000:10 Then ON
    Defer 000:10 Then OFF
    When On > 000:05 Then ON

    You might be an engineer if...You have no life and can prove it mathematically.

  14. #14
    Frequent Visitor rlbannon's Avatar
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    That's the first time I've seen the WHEN command and I can't find it here: https://www.neptunesystems.com/downl...nce_Manual.pdf. Is this saying if one of the output conditions exist for at least 10 seconds then turn the Heat1Fail outlet to AUTO ON (which would allow it to return to OFF if the condition reversed), but if the outlet stays on for five seconds turn it to manual ON (which would not allow it to return to OFF if the condition reversed)?

    And then I suppose you add something like this to your heater outlet code:
    If Output Heat1Fail = ON Then OFF

    Please tell me more (if there is more) about how WHEN works.

  15. #15
    Frequent Contributor zombie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rlbannon View Post
    That's the first time I've seen the WHEN command and I can't find it here: https://www.neptunesystems.com/downl...nce_Manual.pdf. Is this saying if one of the output conditions exist for at least 10 seconds then turn the Heat1Fail outlet to AUTO ON (which would allow it to return to OFF if the condition reversed), but if the outlet stays on for five seconds turn it to manual ON (which would not allow it to return to OFF if the condition reversed)?
    That's the just of it. The defer then OFF forces it to stay active for 10 seconds and the when statement locks it in (I could have used a defer of 2 seconds with a when of 1 second and the behavior would still work the same). The reason I do it this way is because my heater is set to turn OFF When this VO is ON. If the heater turns off, the amps and watts conditions become false, so the when is needed to latch it on so it doesn't start cycling on and off. An alternative method is to use a min time statement to let it "try again" after a desired time, but I don't like doing it that way because if this outlet is true, it means something might be seriously wrong with the heater and I want to minimize any further damage.

    You might be an engineer if...You have no life and can prove it mathematically.

  16. #16
    Master Control Freak RussM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rlbannon View Post
    Please tell me more (if there is more) about how WHEN works.
    ‘When’ is one of the recent changes/enhancements. It is documented here:

    https://forum.neptunesystems.com/sho...-Firmware-4-52

    Other recent changes are here:

    https://forum.neptunesystems.com/sho...-5-03-and-4-53
    I'm not a Neptune support rep. Please do not send me PMs with technical questions or requesting assistance - use the forums for Apex help. PM me ONLY if the matter is of a private or personal nature. Thanks.

  17. #17
    Frequent Visitor rlbannon's Avatar
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    Thank you, RussM. Actually found those myself not long after asking for more. I just forgot to delete the request.

  18. #18
    Frequent Visitor rlbannon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zombie View Post
    This is a 150W heater that normally pulls 1.2-1.3A. This locks to manual ON when true so I get an alert and it prevents the heater from further damage. I do the same thing for pumps as well. Just check the dashboard tile to get base watts and amps values.

    Heat1Fail
    Set OFF
    If Output Heater1 Watts < 75 Then ON
    If Output Heater2 Amps > 1.9 Then ON
    Defer 000:10 Then ON
    Defer 000:10 Then OFF
    When On > 000:05 Then ON
    Hi, I have two 500 Watt Finnex titanium heaters with Finnex controllers for backup. Finnex controllers are set to 80 degrees, and their temp, when the unit is on matches the Apex Temp1. The heaters usually run a little above 400 watts each and a little below 4 amps each. I created two virtual outlets, but have not yet added the final code to the heaters. I wanted to test the Fail code first. My Fail code failed! Both Fail outlets have turned ON, but it doesn't look like the trigger conditions were met. Here is my graph and code for Heater_L:

    Heater_LFail vs HeaterL Watts and HeaterL Amps.jpg


    Heater_LFail
    Set OFF
    If Output Heater_L Watts < 250 Then ON
    If Output Heater_L Amps > 6.0 Then ON
    Defer 000:10 Then ON
    Defer 000:10 Then OFF
    When On > 000:05 Then ON

    Heater_L
    Fallback ON
    If Temp1 < 78.0 Then ON
    If Temp1 > 78.5 Then OFF
    If Time 20:00 to 07:59 Then OFF
    If Temp1 < 77.8 Then ON
    If Output Both_Ret_ON = OFF Then OFF

    Here is my graph and code for Heater_R:

    Heater_RFail vs HeaterR Watts and HeaterR Amps.jpg

    Heater_RFail
    Set OFF
    If Output Heater_R Watts < 250 Then ON
    If Output Heater_R Amps > 6.0 Then ON
    Defer 000:10 Then ON
    Defer 000:10 Then OFF
    When On > 000:05 Then ON

    Heater_R
    Fallback OFF
    If Temp1 < 78.0 Then ON
    If Temp1 > 78.5 Then OFF
    If Time 08:00 to 19:59 Then OFF
    If Temp1 < 77.8 Then ON
    If Power Apex Off 001 Then OFF
    If Output Both_Ret_ON = OFF Then OFF

    It looks like Heater_R had a power dip I can't account for at the trigger time, so that ON is understandable, but Heater_L looks like it was perfect the whole time. Please look this over and tell me where I went wrong with the code. And if you have any idea how I might go about diagnosing what have happened to my Heater_R please comment on that as well.

  19. #19
    Frequent Contributor zombie's Avatar
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    80 might be too low on the finnex controller. If the thermostat and the temp probe match exactly, even the latent heat could shut off the finnex that close. I like to compare the two readings at the upper setpoint to get a baseline and then add 2 degrees to that.

    You might be an engineer if...You have no life and can prove it mathematically.

  20. #20
    NSI Member rkpetersen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zombie View Post
    This locks to manual ON when true so I get an alert and it prevents the heater from further damage. I do the same thing for pumps as well.
    zombie, would there be any value to doing something like this for LED lights? Or is their typical failure mode too different from devices like pumps and heaters?

  21. #21
    Frequent Contributor zombie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkpetersen View Post
    zombie, would there be any value to doing something like this for LED lights? Or is their typical failure mode too different from devices like pumps and heaters?
    It depends on the driver. For the most common constant current drivers, and open circuit on the LED string will shut it off completely and bring power near zero. A short will reduce the power by an unspecified amount that is dependent on where the short occurs within the string. High quality drivers can sustain a short indefinitely without further damage as long as it's within the voltage bounds otherwise it will shut off completely.

    I probably wouldn't lock it out especially for a dimmable fixture. The only thing the apex could detect on those is a complete failure( at that point the light is already off) or a high impedance fault on the AC cord which is unlikely to be within the narrow range of tripping the breaker and overloading the outlet.

    I would say the best idea would be to determine the wattage draw at the lowest intensity you will run it at and set an alarm only for when wattage drops below that level plus a margin for error.

    You might be an engineer if...You have no life and can prove it mathematically.

  22. #22
    NSI Member rkpetersen's Avatar
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    Thanks, I will do that.

  23. #23
    Frequent Visitor rlbannon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zombie View Post
    80 might be too low on the finnex controller. If the thermostat and the temp probe match exactly, even the latent heat could shut off the finnex that close. I like to compare the two readings at the upper setpoint to get a baseline and then add 2 degrees to that.
    I just now have time to work on this again. I haven't tried raising the Finnex controller temp yet because based on my VOs' behavior, I'm not sure I understand how they are supposed to work. At this moment, my real heater outlets are on AUTO OFF. When I set the VOs to AUTO, they turn ON almost instantly, even though the real outlet is off. Am I missing something? These VOs should only turn ON if the conditions are met AND the real outlet is ON, correct?

    Edit: I have noticed that if I set them to MANUAL OFF for a minute or so instead of straight to AUTO, they do not immediately return to the ON state.

  24. #24
    Frequent Contributor zombie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rlbannon View Post
    I just now have time to work on this again. I haven't tried raising the Finnex controller temp yet because based on my VOs' behavior, I'm not sure I understand how they are supposed to work. At this moment, my real heater outlets are on AUTO OFF. When I set the VOs to AUTO, they turn ON almost instantly, even though the real outlet is off. Am I missing something? These VOs should only turn ON if the conditions are met AND the real outlet is ON, correct?

    Edit: I have noticed that if I set them to MANUAL OFF for a minute or so instead of straight to AUTO, they do not immediately return to the ON state.
    You nailed it with turning to OFF first. Since these are latching VOs if they are ON before turning to AUTO they will shoot right back to manual ON. If they are turned OFF first and then switched to AUTO, then they will behave normally.

    You might be an engineer if...You have no life and can prove it mathematically.

  25. #25
    Frequent Visitor rlbannon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zombie View Post
    80 might be too low on the finnex controller. If the thermostat and the temp probe match exactly, even the latent heat could shut off the finnex that close. I like to compare the two readings at the upper setpoint to get a baseline and then add 2 degrees to that.
    SOLVED: It turns out it was the Finnex controller after all, but not how we thought. I set the data logging to one minute and noticed that when power was supplied to the heater, the heater would come on as it should, but would shut off for 4 minutes every 32 minutes, tripping the virtual fail outlets.

    Heater_R 32-4 minute pattern.jpg

    Finnex says: "That's normal for the HC-810M. This is how how HC-810M is programed to do, so it won't shorten the life span of the heater element. This feature can not be disabled." So...it's by design, and the feature can't be turned off. I just have to set my delays to 5 minutes. Thank you for all your help.

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