Category Archives: Training Department

Delta Controls – ORCAview Tip – Set Controller Clock (one)

To set the internal clock in a controller, select the controller in the left-hand pane of the Set Controller TimeNavigator window and choose “Set Controller Time” from the Tools menu.  A dialog box will appear allowing you to adjust the time and date before setting the controller’s clock.  The current date and time will automatically be obtained from your workstation’s clock.

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Saving Energy with Psychrometric Calculations

Saving Energy with Psychrometric Calculations By: John Becker

Hands up, who’s heard of psychrometrics?  You may think you haven’t, but if you’ve ever listened to a weather forecast I guarantee you have… Psychrometrics are the way engineers (and weather forecasters) describe a mixture of air and water vapor.  The air all around us contains some water vapor, which makes certain calculations a little complicated.  So why do we need to calculate these things?  Read on to find out…

One of the ways a building automation system can save you energy is by using cool outside air at certain times of the year instead of mechanical cooling.  This is called economizing or free cooling.  There are two types of economizers, dry bulb and enthalpy (a.k.a. wet bulb).  This is where psychrometrics come into play.

A typical dry bulb economizer would bring in outside air below a certain dry bulb temperature.  But this doesn’t account for the total heat energy contained in the air.  By measuring only the dry bulb temperature, the heat energy resulting from the presence of water vapor is ignored.  This can make a significant difference.  For example, you might inadvertently bring in cool but very humid outside air, causing your building to feel muggy and uncomfortable.  Or you could miss out on using some very dry outside air that’s a little warmer but could help remove heat and moisture from your building.

Psychrometric Chart

This psychrometric chart illustrates the benefit of using an enthalpy economizer.

If you look at the chart on the left, you can see the difference.  The area shaded blue represents conditions that a dry bulb economizer would consider adequate for cooling.  The area shaded green represents the ADDED conditions that an enthalpy economizer would consider adequate.  In this example it doubles the available conditions for economizing.  This can result in higher energy savings than with a dry bulb economizer.

Implementing an enthalpy economizer requires measurement of outdoor relative humidity in addition to temperature.  The GCL+ program below illustrates how to calculate Enthalpy, Dew Point, and Wet Bulb Temperature given Dry Bulb Temperature and Relative Humidity (all temperatures in °F).

This GCL+ program calculates various psychrometric properties of air.

This GCL+ program calculates various psychrometric properties of air.

Here is a version of the program you can see better and copy into one of your own Delta controllers:

// Calculates psychrometric properties based on Dry Bulb Temp (deg. F) and Relative Humidity.

Variable A As Real
Variable B As Real
Variable P As Real

A = (‘Outside Temp‘ – ‘Dewpoint‘) / 10
B = (A1)
P = 12.2 // Atmospheric pressure in psi (Denver)

Enthalpy‘ = Enthalpy (‘Outside RH‘, ‘Outside Temp‘, °F)
Dewpoint‘ = DewPoint (‘Outside RH‘, ‘Outside Temp‘, °F)

// Equation from Naval Weather Service Technical Note #7
If ‘Outside Temp‘ >= 0 Then
Wet Bulb‘ = ‘Outside Temp‘ – (0.034 * A0.00072 * A * B) * (‘Outside Temp‘ + ‘Dewpoint‘ – 4 * P + 108)
Wet Bulb‘ = ‘Outside Temp‘ – (0.034 * A0.006 * 2) * (0.6 * (‘Outside Temp‘ – ‘Dewpoint‘) – 4 * P + 108)
End If

This is just one example of what you can learn by attending our free Delta Controls training classes.  We’ll be adding new session soon, so stay tuned!

Delta Controls – ORCAview Tip – Auto-Logoff

The Auto-logoff period is the amount of time that ORCAview will sit idle before automatically logging off of the network. You can disable this feature by setting the period to 0 on the “Login” tab of your System User Access (SUA) Object.

Orca 2

  • To get there, go to the “Tools” menu, select “Setup”, and then “Current User…”
  • Click on the “Login” tab, and you’ll see something like the picture on the right.
  • The Auto-logoff period can be changed at the bottom.

Delta Controls – ORCAview Tip – Filter Box

The filter box at the top of the Navigator window can be used to quickly narrow down the list of displayed points to exactly what you’re looking for.

For example, typing bi ai>50 in the filter box will display all Binary Inputs and any Analog Inputs which have a value greater than 50.  Whatever filter you type here will remain in place as you move between controllers.  To clear the filter, highlight it, then press “delete” and “enter” on your keyboard.

A few spots available in Delta III class on 10/31

Our upcoming Delta III class just happens to start on Halloween.  That’s just a coincidence. …or is it?  There’s still room for a few more in the class so sign up and find out!Jack-o-lantern

Delta III is a fairly advanced class where you learn how to create an entire controller database from scratch.  The class also introduces concepts related to sharing information between controllers on a BACnet network.

Delta I and II are prerequisites for this class, so you must have attended those previously.  We’ll be announcing new sessions of those classes soon.  But if you’ve already attended and you’re ready for Delta III, just click here to sign up!  And since it’s Halloween you just might want to wear a costume to class…  And remember, our Delta Controls classes are FREE to our customers for the life of your system.

Delta Controls – ORCAview Tip – Set Controller Clocks (all)

Have you ever wanted to set the clocks in all your controllers at the same time?  There’s a quick and easy way to do that.

ORCAview 27

  • Simply click on the word “Network” in the top-left corner of a Navigator window.
  • Then click on the “Tools” menu and select “Set Controller Time”.

Denver Training Poll and Thank You

As you may know, Setpoint Systems has been offering free training for the life of your Delta Controls system for over 20 years and we’ve trained nearly 6,000 customers in that time.  We will keep offering free training and are always striving to improve and exceed your expectations.  One way we’d like to improve is by getting your feedback on which classes to schedule next.  If you have any particular class or classes you’d like to see scheduled soon, please use the following poll to indicate your preferences:  

We always like to thank our customers for their loyalty, and for allowing us to support and train them.  At this time, we’d like to thank our most recent training class–a Delta I class from this week in our California office:

Thank you for attending our September 2013 Delta I training class in California!

Thank you for attending our September 2013 Delta I training class in California!

We truly appreciate all of our customers, and are thrilled to read your comments regarding our company and the training and service we provide.  Here’s a quote from a customer who attended a class earlier this year:

“Outstanding program.  Setpoint Systems Corporation is head and shoulders above other companies I have dealt with…”  – Steven Walmsley

How can a building consume NO energy?

Office buildings are responsible for 19% of all commercial energy consumption in the United States, using almost one quadrillion (that’s a one followed by 15 zeros, folks) BTU per year.  I would convert that to dollars, but then this blog post would get entirely to big…  What if your building could consume ZERO BTU per year?  A Net Zero energy building consumes no net energy over the course of a year.  In other words, it sometimes consumes energy and sometimes generates energy, such that the net result balances out to zero.  Setpoint Systems was fortunate enough to be involved in constructing the largest Net Zero energy building in the world, which is the Research Support Facility (RSF) at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

Research Support Facility (RSF)

Research Support Facility (RSF)

When the building was being designed, NREL initially requested that it consume only 25,000 BTU/ft² annually (this was an aggressive target as the average commercial office building in the U.S. consumes 97,200 BTU/ft²).  The team instead delivered a building which can produce as much energy as it uses–a net zero design.  How is this possible?  There are far too many details to cover here, but these are some of the techniques used:

  • Architecure allows for passive heating and cooling
  • Integrated high-efficiency lighting system with daylight and occupancy controls
  • Radiant thermal slabs for heating and cooling
  • Free cooling and heat recovery used in the building’s data center
  • Automatic windows for natural ventilation and nighttime pre-cooling
  • Demand control ventilation in open offices and conference rooms
  • 1.67 MW of photo-voltaic panels on the roof and associated parking structures
  • Fully integrated monitoring and control of HVAC, electrical, and data center systems

You may or may not be able to make your building net zero, but Setpoint Systems can use some of the same innovative integration and programming techniques from this project to help you save energy and money.   We can also provide ongoing high-quality training for you and your staff to help you maintain and operate your systems more efficiently.  For example, the staff at NREL have attended 94 of our training sessions for a total of 1,320 hours of instruction.  The value of this training would be nearly $40,000, but Setpoint Systems provides these classes FREE for the life of the customers’ system.

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