Can I modify an X-10 Appliance module to use a duty cycle. Answered
I need to modify an X-10 appliance module so it will turn on when activated with the motion sensor but the modification I need is to limit the ON time to a duty cycle. Here's the reason. I use an X-10 Eagle Eye motion sensor to activate a recirculating hot water system. In the morning, the motion sensor is activated, the recirc pump turns on and my solar hot water tank is circulated throughout the house. There are (2) problems with the stock circuit.
1) the appliance module sometimes stays on randomly and can drain the hot water tank overnight, or worse, trigger the electric heat and run up a huge bill. So, the Appliance module definitely needs a forced cycle at that unit to prevent running continuously.
2) when people are always in the room with the motion sensor, the pump only needs to stay on for a few minutes per hour to keep hot water in the recirculation system, but when motion activity is continuous then the motion sensor stays on and triggers the circulation pump to run continuously thereby draining the solar tank needlessly.
I've believed X-10 could do well by adding a duty cycle to the module but maybe someone here has the ability to guide me how to do this. My duty cycle would be something like 3 minutes per 60, for example and preferably adjustable so other applications can use it. So, once activated by an X-10 signal, the appliance module would run no more than duty cycle allows regardless of the motion sensor commands. However, if the motion sensor commands OFF I suppose that makes sense to continue to use that command.
My preference is to put the components inside the X-10 Appliance module if that is possible and safe. Putting controls in the Motion sensor does not prevent the pump running beyond the duty cycle and adding PCs or other controller boxes is not desired. However, if a microcontroller would work and fit then I think it could be the basis for a much more functional X-10 module. I've researched the other Appliance Module modifications but so far I don't see anything that would extend to this feature. I do appreciate your ideas so thanks in advance.