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Automation Considerations

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If you are considering a Building Automation System to control your HVAC equipment  to help lower your electric consumption then you are on the right track. Depending  on the size of your company or facility, the answer to saving energy may vary.

Option 1:

  • You ask your employees to turn the equipment off before  they leave or just turn the temperatures back. In most cases this only works for  a short time.

Option 2:

  • Electronic time clocks and programmable thermostats can be added for small locations, where it is not going to be a challenge  to keep up with schedule or holiday changes. Good products are available that we can install to meet your needs.

If your company is large enough that you would need to check with several departments  to decide the upcoming schedules, then the above options would be very time consuming  and unlikely to be effective without greater automation.

Option 3:

  • Setting  back temperatures and lighting by the time of day for each area of your building.
  • Using Automation to automatically adjust temperature set points to lower peak demand charges during occupied times.
  • Taking control of all the other building and office equipment that uses considerable energy when added together.

We have installed and serviced many EMS systems over the years and have dealt  with the problems that show up in the field when customers need a special program  or function to control equipment. You may want a system with the ability to use custom programs.

Process Control:

 Very few systems are versatile enough to expand beyond the usual environmental heating and cooling  control. Process control must be very reliable and cover a wide range of applications and at the same time, offer a front-end system that is user friendly but gives full  access to the needed parameters. Most of the systems that meet these requirements have high up front costs as well.If you are in the research stage or just looking at the possibilities for a project involving automation, we would like to assist you.

Some Questions:

  • Does the equipment have Sequential or Interlock Requirements?
  • If so, are they time related with verifications?
  • Are there  critical issues such as emergency procedures?
  • Does the equipment need alarm and take action capability?
  • Does the equipment have regular and override scheduling needs?

The System:

Once you have the answers to these questions you will find that choosing the right equipment will be more satisfying and produce the end results you are looking  for, (lower operating costs and more control of your equipment.)

 Using a smart control system is the smart way to bring a greater return on your investment. Systems that will make self-adjustments to the way they  control, to increase efficiency.  Choose a system that can pull groups of equipment together so they operate as one.

  Example:

The system looks at all the temperatures on the 5 floors, and checks to see how  cold it is outside, so it can determine what time it should start the Air handlers,  Pumps, Chiller or boiler. This assures that the space will be at the correct temperature  when the employees start there day.

 A smart system should also be able to add features to the example, such as:

The air handler can start first, then the pumps, then after an adjustable amount of time the chiller can start but only if the water flow has been confirmed and its not to cold outside to have it running.

System Features:

After you have researched and outlined your building needs. The next step is to decide on the type of control you want. Would a PC with user-friendly software And Ethernet LAN connections be needed or just set point, schedule and other minor  changes to be performed on a local touch screen or both options so your technicians  can get control from your mechanical room, while you have control from your office.

There are many types and configurations for you to consider. As a Controls contractor,  we want all our customers to be happy with their control system.

Caution!

There are many Contractors that install what ever they can convince the customer they need. Then both are unhappy when they have to keep coming back. With Thousands  of dollars invested, it's the customer that ends up back at the drawing board, trying  to make it work every day.

We get many calls from unhappy building owners that have systems that were improperly installed or programmed incorrectly, In some cases, the programmers do not understand  The sequence of operation of the equipment they are programming and end up damaging  motors and compressors from improper use.

 You can avoid some of the pitfalls with research, consulting, contacting others that have the controls your considering.

  For More information or references to help with your research, Contact us  

 


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