[Greenbuilding] Triac Thermostats

Bob Jakaitis futureship0000 at hotmail.com
Sat Dec 17 11:06:15 PST 2011

Dr. John Straub wrote:

"Alas, triac or SCR control of electric heaters does not save energy."


John can you explain the differences between:

"Modulating heat pumps" and "Triac or SCR control" 


What do you think of the NEST "learning thermostat"  


I recently read this article about Best Buy running 3 pilot programs for
home sustainiblity products do in Chicago, Houston and San Carlos, Ca. : 



They have described a NEST "learning thermostat" that has sold out online:








Bob Jakaitis aka "Jake" 
NC General Contractor

Air Sealing and Energy Saving Services
Jake at the Lake Development Inc.
Tel: 704-236-3574
Email: jake at jakeatthelake.com











From: greenbuilding-bounces at lists.bioenergylists.org
[mailto:greenbuilding-bounces at lists.bioenergylists.org] On Behalf Of John
Sent: Saturday, December 17, 2011 9:38 AM
To: Green Building
Subject: Re: [Greenbuilding] Triac Thermostats


Alas, triac or SCR control of electric heaters does not save energy.  This
approach improves comfort and reduces the peaks on the house circuit,
prolongs heater life span, reduces the burning smell, but does not save

Modulating heat pumps (instead of the normal on-off) dramatically improves
efficiency as well as all the above benefits.  This is a huge difference.

The grid does not benefit from a sub-division of houses on tri-acs or
standard on-off thermostats:once 20, 30 or 300 homes get averaged together,
the peaks of individual units dont make any difference.  The grid cares
about peaks due to cold weather, or hot weather, when hundreds, thousands,
even millions of homes are on average demanding more power.

Using a electric heating is hopefully only going to be used for very small
loads in the future as banning 1500W heaters in buidings would be a good way
to reduce peak demand on the grid.

Dr John Straube, P.Eng.

On 11-12-17 8:26 AM, Richard Garbary wrote:
> Recently installed three triac

      thermostats in an all-baseboard

      > townhouse: rec-room/basement, living room, master bedroom.

      The owner

      > is very pleased with the results. Very accurate temperature


      > no wild swings above and below the set point. The thermostats


      > just enough wattage to match the heat loss. A normal

      thermostat is

      > just a switch, either on or off. Normal watt-density for


      > is 250 watts/foot. With the triac, watt-density can be

      reduced to

     > less than 50 watts/foot. Like heat pumps with inverter


      > the object is to run the appliance at the lowest power level,

      > continuously; this makes for a very low demand on the grid.

      One of

      > the many benefits is that it virtually eliminates "cold wall


      > because the baseboards are not cycling on and off.


      > This is a great upgrade solution (interim or until the money

      comes in

      > for the heat pump!) for anyone with baseboards. Just might


      > new life into a heating method that many have not considered,

      > especially in well insulated homes.


      > http://www.aubetech.com/support/faq.php?noLangue=2#TRIAC


      > Richard





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