Ideas for monitoring a chiller

I am a member of a curling club that has a dedicated facility. We operate a chiller to make the ice, and every now and then it decides to turn itself off requiring a manual restart. We have a remote camera on the chiller control panel so we can look to see if it is running, but obviously we’d like some sort of automated alert when that happens. The chiller is located outside.

I’m thinking of 3 possibilities and trying to determine if we could easily do any of these 3 with smartthings.

  1. Monitor the decibel level at the chiller. It’s quite loud when it’s running, almost dead quiet when it’s off.

  2. Monitor vibration on the chiller. I assume there’s enough difference between running and not to trigger an alarm.

  3. Monitor a drop in temperature of either the ice or the refrigerant lines. If either drop enough in a few hours we’d know there’s a problem.

Any suggestions on how to do any of these using smartthings?

monitoring the vibration and temp of the refrigerant lines would be fairly easy with the samsung smartthings door/window open/close sensor as it is sensitive to movement and has temp.

In commercial/industrial controls, you usually measure the current draw of the chiller/compressor to confirm operation. Not sure if there is a CT/input device that is compatible with ST though.

there are some 120v plugs that monitor wattage, but an ice machine might be 240v and draw more then the max wattage of the plug.

Those can alert if vibration is detected, but this would be the opposite. Can you configure an alert to trigger if vibration is absent?

Yea, I think the chiller manufacturer offered us a CT input device for $15k. Not in the budget for our club at the moment.

That seems way too high. Even with industrial level controls, this should be may be $2-3k for the CT and logger. If someone knows of an analog ST input module that accepts analog mV signals, then you could read if the power is on or off and warn accordingly. Labor and wiring would add more, but not $12k.

I’ve got a neighbor who is an electrician, I’ll ask him what it would cost. Would still need to figure how to use that to trigger something like a text. Thanks for the idea though.

there is a ST automation for clothes dryer to notify when it stops vibrating using the smartthings door/window contact sensor’s movement detector.

Cool, I’ll check it out. Thanks!

What outlet does it plug into, 110 or 220?

It doesn’t use standard plugs. Pulls too many amps. Not sure how it’s wired, but it can’t be unplugged.

As you don’t need to measure amps, you could also get a current switch that would yield a binary on/off output that could be read by more ST modules. Installation would be similar.

That’s the key words! Measuring the amperage will let you know if it’s working. An Aeotec Home Energy Meter will do the trick but it’s kinda expensive. The chiller is more than likely on its own circuit and you can install the meter at the breaker. Then use webCoRE to write a rule to alert you if the wattage stays below a certain value for a certain period.

Ooh, that might be the winner. Seems the cleanest approach. Thanks!

Learned that the chiller is connected through 3x250A circuits so too much for this device. Back to trying vibration it seems.

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oh dang, thats a 3-phase device. when there is a power failure people run to those to see if its really off.