Vermont Energy Control Systems

Practical monitoring and control for the real world


Really Smart House

Imagine if your house were really smart. It would be able to keep an eye on everything and let you know if there was a problem. It would be able to make good choices about heating and cooling and window blinds and every other system.

Despite all the talk, houses aren't really very smart yet. Part of the problem is that the different systems in the house are made by different companies, and the designs are proprietary. Another problem is that it's expensive to add 'smart' capability to each individual device.

Our system is designed to work with almost any device from any manufacturer - we can monitor and control anything from a garage door to a zone valve to a sump pump.

We recognize that every home is different. Rather than a limited set of proprietary devices, we provide the tools to let you realize your vision of what a smart home should be. Our platform is open source, so owners can add to both the hardware and software if desired.

Analysis Tools

One of the most powerful benefits of the VESTA controller is the analysis tools that it provides. In addition to the ability to download data for any day in the past year into a spreadsheet, a built-in web based chart tool allows you to review exactly what happened for any time period in the past year. The chart tool is interactive and lightning fast. You can page forwards and backwards in time or zoom in to look at a particular period of interest. Every input and every output is available. A simple click will add or remove a trace from the chart.

The chart tool uses an innovative technique for displaying discrete inputs and outputs. They are shown as continuous lines in a separate section at the bottom of the chart. The line is thick when the discrete was 'on' or 'active', and thin otherwise. This makes it easy to see the relationship between events.


See and understand what's happening. Monitor temperature, pressure, humidity, electrical current - whatever is important to understand the performance of your system. Results are visible in real time on any computer, smart phone, or web-capable device.

The standard VESTA controller supports 16 analog sensors of more than 10 different types covering a variety of parameters including temperature, pressure, humidity, and electrical current. It also provides 32 discrete inputs that can detect switch closures such as magnetic door and window intrusion switches, water detectors, and snap-action overheat sensors. All inputs can be scanned at user selectable intervals up to several times per second.

In addition to our own sensors, the VESTA controller optionally supports Insteon™ devices. Contact us for details.

VESTA provides a built-in web site that allows access from any web-enabled device. Both public and private (password-protected) web pages are provided. An included tool set allows the creation of sophisticated display panels with dial gauges, bar graphs, and other visual indicators as shown in this example.

Log Data

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it" - George Santayana, 1905

Almost any real understanding of system performance depends on access to data. The Vesta system logs the value of every input, output, and internal variable at a user-selectable interval. By default, values are logged every minute. That allows an entire year to be stored internally. Data storage does not depend on an Internet connection. Data for any day can be quickly downloaded into a spreadsheet for detailed analysis as in the example below.

Simple Web Interface

The Vesta comes with a built-in web interface that can be accessed from any computer, smartphone, or web-enabled device. The user interface supports initial configuration as well as monitoring and control. This interface allows you to see the status of every input and output as well as the internal rules that determine system behavior.

Password-protected pages let you change setpoints and rules, initiate actions, or directly control devices.

User Control

We believe that you should be able to control the equipment that you own. Too often, 'closed' proprietary systems make it difficult or even impossible to achieve the results that you want.

The Vesta system provides a host of options to control other devices and equipment, including proprietary systems. Our relay module can provide direct control of lights, valves, pumps, and fans. It can also mimic thermostats and contact closures to provide indirect control of proprietary systems.

The Vesta system provides a host of options to control other devices and equipment, including proprietary systems. Our relay module can provide direct control of lights, valves, pumps, and fans. It can also mimic thermostats and contact closures to provide indirect control of proprietary systems.

Our Variable Speed Control Unit allows inexpensive single-speed fans, blowers, and circulators to be controlled as variable speed devices, allowing precise matching of system performance to system demand.

There are four outputs that provide standard 4-20mA drive to control proportioning valves and other variable-speed industrial devices.

The Vesta can also take advantage of Insteon™ devices to provide control via house wiring, and even wirelessly in some situations.

Save Energy

A device that's supposed to save energy should be energy efficient itself. The Vesta Controller only uses approximately 3 Watts of electricity, or less than 25¢ per month. It's normally powered by a plug-in power supply, but its low power consumption means that it can also operate off of batteries for extended periods. A normal desktop computer uses 60 to 200 Watts - as much as 20 to 50 Vesta systems!

The Vesta Controller is also versatile when it comes to power sources. It can operate off of 115VAC using the provided plug-in power supply, or it can operate off of any DC voltage between 10V and 20V. This flexibility is a benefit in situations where the Vesta is powered from mobile vehicle power or from solar/battery sources.

Simple Rules

The Vesta system comes with a web-based rule editor that lets you create simple rules that can control complex systems. You don't have to be a programmer - the rule editor is based entirely on pull-down menus. All inputs and outputs are identified with names that make sense for your system. For instance, you see 'Outdoor Temperature' rather than 'Sensor 7'. You can't create an invalid rule, since the system only lets you choose from a list of options that are valid for each term:

The Vesta web interface also shows you which rules are active at any time so that you can easily see and understand what the system is doing. In the example below, a red dot next to a rule means that that rule is 'active'. With a glance, you can which rules are currently controlling system behavior.