New smart wifi radiator valves from Shelly

Hi folks

I pauzed my node developments temporarily to be able to work on my own home automation.
And I must admit that my Shelly plug S switches work very smooth, and are very easy to integrate into Node-RED. So I started searching for other useful Shelly devices, and I saw that they now have also wifi radiator valves in pre-sales.

These valves seem to fulfill quite a lot of my requirements:

  1. Wifi (so no separate Zigbee or ZWave wireless netwerk required).

  2. Fully manually operatable (so still work when Node-RED is down):

    image

  3. Long battery life.

  4. USB-C port for fast recharge (approximately 5 hours)

  5. No hub required

  6. No cloud service required????

Does anybody see whether those devices need an internet connection for a cloud service? And I am also not sure whether they can be integrated easily in Node-RED like their switches?

Because until now the only wifi valves were the two types proposed by @TotallyInformation in another discussion. Not sure whether those other valves (Drayton Wiser and Honeywell Evohome) are better for my purpose than these ones from Shelly?

Thanks !!!!
Bart

Morning Bart.

Yes, they will.

If they have similar features to every other shelly device (and they will) then...

  • you can use cloud services (via internet) - OR - MQTT
  • you can use cloud services - AND - http rest interface at the same time

In basic terms, you can control them via cloud and node-red at the same time using http OR you can turn off cloud and use MQTT.

I personally chose to keep & use cloud - therefore my shelly devices are controlled in node-red via http (or to be more specific, via the node-red-contrib-shelly nodes) which works perfectly.

Hey Steve,
Did you see something about mqtt for those trv's, or do you assume it (because they allways do it like that)?

They can be locally controlled it seems, just like the other shelly devices

Use devices with your one local or centralized server - you can keep them fully isolated from public Internet network. Shelly TRV is compatible out of the box with Home Assistant. All other home automation solutions can monitor and control Shelly TRV using REST, MQTT, and CoAP protocols. Shelly devices can also be grouped with all Shelly devices, as well as other smart home devices on the home network.

Shelly TRV can be controlled directly and without a hub through your smartphone with Shelly Cloud
App. Manage and control the heating in your home, set quick profiles, scenes, schedules, and adjust settings wherever you are through the Cloud access, or only on the local network!

I have zwave valve controllers, these dont last 2 years. But I wonder how this works ? Do you need some usb adapter with a (long) cable to the valve to charge it ?

Shelly TRV has 6500 mAh rechargeable battery with up to 2 years of battery life. The smart valve is enhanced with USB-C port for fast recharge in approximately 5 hours.

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indeed - running round the house charging all my radiators was not something I had on my list of things to do in 2022... yet more work to stand still/feed our silicon overlords..

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One downside after quick glance is that they operate at 2,4GHz which is quite busy when living in flat with dozens of access points in range. I would guess 5GHz seems much more IoT friendly.

Well I assume that is a disadvantage of all wireless devices, including all trv's (zigbee, zwave, wifi...)? Or did you find something else?

I have now classic thermostat radiator valves, and now I am running round the house daily (to adjust them during) the winter period :wink:

Normally I am not a pre-order type of guy, but I think I am going to try a few of those...

If they really can last two years on battery... then yes a once a year "inspection" is probably no bad thing... will be interesting to find out.

Interesting. Will wait with baited breath to see how you get on with them. A little expensive compared to 3rd-party Zigbee2MQTT compatible devices.

Of course, you could always make your own : MQTT TRV based on a EQ3 - Hardware - Home Assistant Community (home-assistant.io), Part I - MQTT Radiators! - Hacking the Radiator Valve (TRV) - YouTube :grinning:

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They have a USB-C connector so you could always wire them up to a low-voltage circuit around the house :rofl:

Zigbee seems to be a lot better behaved on a busy frequency than WiFi. But they shouldn't need too much bandwidth so it should be fine.

Yes, I always hated that. In fact that was more of a driver to me than saving money.

Same for lighting. With the lighting schedules, the house always has light in the right places for general use, no fumbling with switches :grinning:

Let's hope they don't do much, otherwise the battery won't last that long...

The problem is you expect them to listen to you home automation commands all the time.
So wifi must be on.
And wifi is the the power consuming part of the device
So they probably work with a sleep mode.
But if a device sleeps, no connection with your home automation.
Bandwidth has little to do with that.
Wonder what limiting the connection gives or what solution the have for this problem

The other Shelly devices have a set topic that they subscribe to. So they don't need to be connected permanently, they should get the command when they connect.

These things clearly have a fairly hefty LiOn battery in them anyway.

Hi Bart,

I have 15 homematic valves around the house (actually I would need 10 more) for more than 5 years

  • run on 2 AAs for around two years battery swap is fast and cheap (I would take damaged lipos into account)
  • a complete valve run every week to avoid stuck valves during summer
  • a LCD display (why they use LED through plastic? ok looks cool and easy to clean)
  • a big rotary control for easy manual operation. Why push buttons on the side where in at least 4 location in my house it would be impossible to reach the buttons?. Mode switches and a boost button (very useful: opens the valve to a programmable percentage for a certain time. M
  • reliable 868MHz technology. No collision with the crowded 2.4gHz band. Huge range (up to the far end if my Garden
  • node red via simple bridge. (Biggest downside: bridge has weak mcu running a java app looking and feeling like from the 90th or early 2000)
  • communication between window sensors and other valves directly even if everything else is offline
  • window sensors (optical) running on AAA and have the size of my pinky finger.
  • no could no internet necessary.
  • programs stored in the valves mcu again autonomous operation
  • I pay 35€ each. So half the price (no discount for bulk orders?)

So what I think? Wifi is not a good choice, too expensive and if a valve is good designed and not using wifi 2 AAs are enough for around 2 years.
Today I would look into zigbee or z-wave and avoid wifi especially because: no mesh, power hungry, huge protocol overhead.

Only some thoughts - perhaps useful.

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Yes, nice solution.
But what "set to listen time" you want?
If you want a response within 5 minutes the wifi is getting connects/listen/shutdown every 5 minutes.
It wil drain your battery fast and still no realtime use.
Zigbee has the same problem but connecting is faster and uses less power.
Just my2cents

Don't get me wrong, I agree Zigbee is better - if you have a Zigbee network :grinning: But we've been through that discussion recently.

Hi Chris,
Seems I was way too focussed on the technical details, because I finally found something that fulfilled all my requirements. So focussed that I didn't see the small grey colored letters "Incl. VAT" with a bigger price (in smaller font). And indeed it seems that if you buy them in a bundle of 4, that the price is also just multiplied by 4. I really hate it when they do it like that, because normal working people have to pay VAT anyway ...
That is indeed expensive, because I need a lot of those...

No kidding. That would be cool: buy a cheap bluetooth trv, and replace the electronic board by an esp32 to have wifi and mqtt. Have been searching a bit for a maintained and "achievable" project, but nothing again...

That's why it is illegal in Germany to show prices without VAT until explicit consent that the deal is between businesses.

I'm still not convinced that Wifi is the right platform for this! Especially when battery powered. You want instant reactions of your actuators. So any sleep strategy is a bad compromise.

But DIY zigbee components showed up on the horizon:

I'm not promoting homematic (= EQ3) but for me they tick(ed) most of the important marks. Biggest downside of the older models I own is that they are not water resistant in any way. And guess what most of us doing with windows sometimes (according to my wife: Not often enough). Good bye one of the valves :disappointed_relieved:

As I currently transforming from wifi (I then use only for my DIY devices where there is no of the shelf component) to zigbee (Thank you IKEA for picking home automation devices to trick us into there stores - perhaps not making any profit on these). I now tested around 10 devices for 1 year and I'm quite happy. Especially with the mesh network reaching all corners).
So for the remaining 10 or so valves I'll give zigbee a chance (but still looking for the right device). But the afford of hacking 20 or so devices is not worth the money saved. But I don't use wifi devices with stock firmware because they have access to the whole world and easily include unwanted "features"

Yes, the price is why I've only purchased shelly devices in their sales.

I would agree. One thing to note if going down a DIY route though is to watch out for the Zigbee licensing. There is some talk that it isn't free. Don't know if that is true and whether it makes a difference but worth keeping an eye on. Also, because Zigbee seems to use different embedded processors, you can't just use Arduino programming.


To be honest, if you were looking to fit out a whole house, I would be highly tempted to spend the money on a commercial, integrated system like the Wiser or Evohome. Both of which (and there may now be others) can be integrated to home automation systems. Both of which come with "proper" boiler controllers that work in sync with the TRV's to get the best out of the whole system. They are generally really easy to fit, especially if you already have a standard controller wall plate for your existing boiler controls. In my case (with the Wiser), it was litterally a case of unclipping the old controller and clipping the new one in place.

If you don't go that way, if you are going to fit out many radiators, I'd perhaps get a trial selection of a few different Zigbee TRV's known to be compatible with Zigbee2MQTT. I doubt you could realistically beat the price DIY to be honest as long as you shop around. Get a compatible Zigbee controller dongle and visit Ikea to grab some mains powered Zigbee devices so that you can use them as mesh extenders.

Once you've got your basics set up, I can pretty well guarentee that you won't be wanting to go back to Wi-Fi devices in the future. Of course, with Node-RED and MQTT, that doesn't matter since you can tie everything together anyway as I do across 433MHz, Wi-Fi and Zigbee.

Oh, and I replace the 2xAA batteries in my TRV's about once a year for those devices furthest from the controller (I don't have an extender on my Wiser network). Maybe once every couple of years for those closer to the controller.

One thing to watch out for on TRV's is that the motor torque is sufficient. The Wiser TRV's do sometimes struggle. I find myself occasionally taking one off and doing a full reset and working the pin on the radiator a few times. You would also want to check for noise. Some of the early TRV's I believe were very noisy. I have to say that the Wiser ones are really quiet. So certainly worth getting a few different ones and trialling them if you are going down the independent route.

Noise and torque. Good tips! But makes my search again more difficult... Found here an article about zigbee TRV's in HomeAssistant, but the conclusion about battery life at the bottom is not a happy end.

Seems like it is easier to let a rocket return backwards to earth, compared to building a decent affordable trv...