Tag Archives: Business

Incorporate lighting controls with BAS to save energy- Part 1

Incorporating daylighting and lighting controls with a building automation system can result in energy savings.

Learning objectives

  1. Understand the benefits of incorporating lighting, daylighting, and building automation systems.
  2. Know the codes and standards that govern lighting and daylighting.
  3. Learn to gather and analyze data from an automation system.

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7 Keys To Successful Building Automation

Automation Integrator Guide: Successful automation projects contain these seven elements. How many will your next project contain?

Congratulations on your decision to automate. You want to build it faster, build it better, and build it safer. But with so many potential automation solutions available, it can be overwhelming for an engineering team to decide where to start. Once you have justified the need for automation, feasibility, and payback to your business, you are faced with a difficult question: How do you ensure your road to automation is successful?

Seven keys to successful automation follow.

1. People communication

Communication among all stakeholders is paramount. When creating system requirements for the automation solution, the various teams involved must work hand-in-hand. Clear and open communication may seem like an obvious key to success, but too often teams are not brought together until late in the automation process.

Each stakeholder will have different goals in mind. The quality team wants zero defects, the production team wants output increased, IT wants a sustainable and maintainable solution. Before you know it, an operator at the end of the line has an error-proofing application, a shipping application, and an inventory application all running on the same computer, yet none of the systems communicate. The operator is left to manually transfer data between the three systems, and operations become less efficient than pre-automation.

By working with all the teams from the start, you will be in a better position to make sure the solution accounts for the perspectives of all parties involved, and also meets as many requirements as possible. A system integrator can often act as a mediator to help remove the politics from meeting all stakeholder goals and assist in solving what can sometimes seem to be contrasting goals to create a solution that works for all.

When trying to collaborate with teams, one of the largest communication issues we see as an integrator is scheduling. It is difficult to free up all of your team members to be in the same place at the same time. Consider meeting off-site with all of the stakeholders and away from the production facility at the start of the project. Simply removing people from their day-to-day chaos allows the team to focus on the problem at hand. Most likely no one will be able to be away for more than a day or two, but the tight timeline to develop requirements will keep everyone’s focus razor sharp.

2. System communication

You may already have some automated processes in place, but these processes are often developed independently from one another and may not communicate with each other. System segregation leads to data segregation. Data segregation leads to inefficiencies and manual reconciliation, which can cause data loss or, worse yet, data corruption. To avoid this, you want to store as much data as possible in a normalized manner and in a centralized location.

To accomplish this, integration and automation should go hand-in-hand. Getting two automated systems to communicate can be just as important, if not more important, than automating a single process. A system that is a “black box” provides little value if it cannot communicate with other systems.

3. Standardized processes

Before addressing the potential automation of the manufacturing process, you should first standardize the process. Standardization of the process allows for reduced variation and reduced operator training, and aids in root cause analysis.

Without standardized manufacturing processes it can be difficult to identify how automation should be implemented. If you have “loose” processes in place, an automation project is the perfect opportunity to address standardization. Usually this occurs a naturally as a side benefit associated with automation. Let standardizing the manufacturing process help drive the automation process and vice versa.

4. Standardized (yet flexible) framework

When you are developing standards for your framework, focus on the data that is most important. Force the team to keep the same important pieces of data as a baseline for your enterprise to build on. By developing standard interfaces for systems, you can create a model framework for other facilities. Avoid making the framework too rigid so that it can be flexible enough to apply across operations.

With a standardized framework, your team shouldn’t be as bogged down determining how to implement a solution. Instead, they will be focused on developing solutions that will promote production innovation. A standardized framework promotes collaboration so that groups work together, share information, and are positioned for success.

5. Standardized data

Data is king in today’s manufacturing environment. For that reason, you want to avoid proprietary and closed systems as much as possible. Focus on getting, keeping, and sharing your data. You likely already have proprietary systems in place to solve manufacturing problems, and minimizing manual transfers of information between these systems is crucial. Automating important transfers between systems allows employees to focus on their job instead of the white noise.

6. Pick your integration strategy, not your solution, first

Identifying what data you expect your automation solution to provide before you select a solution will also help minimize inefficiencies. All too often clients decide on a solution before they have outlined what data they need. This can lead to two potential downfalls. Either the solution needs to be vastly modified to meet the requirements, or the solution cannot be changed and some of the requirements simply are not met.

The more industry knowledge you can obtain about what solutions are available, the better. This is where a true systems integrator should be able to help. A systems integrator should be able to match a solution to specific goals. Whether it is a custom software solution or an off-the-shelf software package, you want established business processes dictating software solutions used, not vice versa. Keep in mind that whatever solution is selected, it should be a solid and expandable one that the team in place can build upon.

7. Commitment to support

Consider who the end owner will be. Whoever will be supporting the automation solution, the infrastructure, and software should have buy-in from the start that the solution is both maintainable and supportable from a technological standpoint.

Over the past 10 years there has been a transition from the manufacturing team managing software solutions to IT managing the software solutions. While it may be the manufacturing team developing the automation systems, it is more frequently the IT team’s responsibility to maintain the system. With IT becoming such a key player in the process, it is important to get them involved early and often. By including IT at the beginning of the process, you can help ensure a smooth transition from conception to production.

An automation project can seem daunting, especially when you are faced with legacy systems, siloed teams, minimal framework, and varied processes. But if done correctly, automation can provide all the benefits to build it faster, better, and safer. With some planning, standardization, and communication, and maybe a little help from an integrator, the automation project should be headed for success.

Article By:

– Chris Mikola is a project manager at Leidos, formerly part of SAIC. He currently directs the software programming group within Leidos Engineering’s systems division. The programming group specializes in quality information systems, real time production information systems, and custom software development. Edited by Mark T. Hoske, content manager, CFE Media, Control Engineering, Plant Engineering, and Consulting-Specifying Engineer, mhoske(at)cfemedia.com.

Integration: Building automation and fire alarms

The building automation system can control all aspects of a building or campus, including its fire alarm system. This outlines best practices for integrating a fire alarm into a BAS.

Learning objectives

  1. Understand the efficiencies of integrating building automation with fire protection systems.
  2. Name various communication protocols, such as BACnet and LonTalk.
  3. Learn about inspection and testing of systems.

The responsibilities of a chief building engineer are becoming more challenging as technology advances. Bigger and taller buildings are being constructed with an increasing emphasis on energy efficiency and comfort, and the ever-increasing demand to keep construction costs and operating expenses down. In addition, building codes are changing the way these buildings are constructed in order to improve safety with an eye on new construction methods and materials.

There is also the somewhat traditional mind-set among those within the design and engineering community that building automation and fire alarm systems should maintain a significant level of separation with minimal connectivity or interaction. Most of this belief stems from the fear of the unknown and the desire to mitigate risk along with the old adage of “This is the way we’ve always done it.” In reality, the integration of building automation and fire alarm systems can result in overall reduction in equipment, installation, and maintenance costs while still maintaining the level of safety required for these systems to operate.

With the advent of smart building technology, heating, cooling, electrical, lighting, security, and other systems need monitoring and intercommunication for optimized efficiency and operation. With sophistication comes the need for a building automation system (BAS) to allow for nearly seamless operation of these various interrelated equipment.

Like BAS, fire protection and alarm systems have also evolved into sophisticated computer-based systems, which integrate fire detection and emergency communication systems as part of overall building operations during an emergency event.

Often fire protection and alarm systems must interact with other building systems to provide a proper level of protection. While the fire alarm system is fully capable of performing and initiating the necessary actions to accomplish the fire alarm and building systems’ responses, efficiencies can be obtained by integrating with the BAS. These efficiencies include minimizing additional equipment, expediting system acceptance testing, reducing installation costs, and sharing and consolidating information at a central location where all of the building systems can be precisely monitored during emergency incidents.

Smoke control systems are a good example of the marriage of building mechanical systems with fire protection/fire alarm systems. Fans are starting or stopping, dampers are opening or closing, and doors may be closing or unlocking while elevators being recalled. Although both the BAS and fire alarm systems have specific tasks to perform, there is a certain level of priority and sequences that must be followed. Failure to follow the proper priority or sequence may not only be non-code compliant, it may also lead to equipment damage or risk to human life. For example, if a smoke control fan operates before dampers open, ductwork may be damaged or door opening forces may be increased beyond acceptable levels for egress.

Communication

When the fire alarm system takes control of equipment that is not a listed component of the fire alarm control unit, the fire alarm system must either override the natural operating mode of the building equipment or pass off that command via a simple switch or data communications to the building mechanical systems. Likewise, each manufacturer’s BAS has its own protocol for monitoring conditions and communicating operational commands to maintain the proper building environment and efficiency. There are also standard open communication protocols such as LonTalk and BACnet that can be used to communicate with a multitude of equipment from various manufacturers in order to achieve an integrated building system.

The communication protocol for a fire alarm control unit to communicate to and from its indicating (input), initiating (output), and sometimes notification appliances is typically an analog or digital communications signal carried over what is referred to as a signaling line circuit (SLC). Because communications signals are typically proprietary protocol, each SLC is dedicated to a specific manufacturer’s equipment and cannot include connection of incompatible devices that use a different signal protocol.

Therefore, in order to integrate system alarm and control functions with the BAS in a manner other than relay logic, fire alarm system manufacturers had to also design and support the open communication protocols used for building automation, in a manner that would not compromise the integrity or the operation of the fire alarm system. This process of sharing information between both fire alarm and BAS came to be known as bridging, or open gateway processing. Because of the strict code and listing requirements of fire alarm systems, much of this communication has been primarily limited to one-way communication. However, some manufacturers of both fire alarm and BAS do produce equipment such as gateways that are listed for bi-directional communication with their equipment.

The use of these open gateway processors has the potential to eliminate the need for costly interface equipment and enclosures. A single gateway can replace hundreds of conventional or electronic relays and input sensors for control and monitoring while also eliminating the need for multiple wire terminations that can decrease the potential for system failure points.

Article By: Jon Kapis; Rick Lewis; Craig Studer, PE; The RJA Group Inc.

Why the time is right for integration

By becoming a building systems integrator, engineers can ensure successful buildings—and a successful future.

Technology to monitor electrical systems from a computer-based graphical user interface, or front end, has existed for decades. But the cost to monitor these systems used to be high—often prohibitively so—while the features and benefits provided by the solution were often slim. Purchasing a single-vendor packaged solution was often required, creating lifecycle cost problems and owner frustrations. During the past decade, however, a number of factors have converged to remove the traditional barriers to integration.

Changes made by electrical product manufacturers include:

  • Lower cost of embedding microprocessors with communication ports into equipment
  • Lower cost and complexity of application development
  • Continual increase in microprocessor power
  • Open, standards-based communication protocols that reduce development costs and increase immediate market demand for individual products.

The combined result is that virtually any manufactured electrical product with a microprocessor can now be purchased with a standards-based open protocol network connection for a small additional cost and quite often includes a standard network connection. Furthermore, to differentiate their products, manufacturers are enhancing the application layer features provided by the software in their microprocessors. For example, it is nearly impossible to purchase a 3-phase power meter without a Modbus connection, and advanced features such as web-based user interfaces, onboard trend collection, alarm e-mails, and alternate protocols are available for small additional costs.

BAS system changes include:

  • The demand for standards-based open communication protocols has pushed all vendors to readily support them.
  • Modern BAS system architecture relies heavily on standard Ethernet networks and many BAS systems are implemented on owner Ethernet networks.
  • BAS software configuration/development environments now commonly provide tools to speed integration of third-party open protocols and non-HVAC equipment, such as meters and lighting controls.
  • Third-party enterprise applications that operate on top of a modern BAS are now more prevalent and can offer powerful specialty enhancements to a standard BAS.
  • As single-vendor proprietary BAS implementations become obsolete, BAS integration personnel have become better trained and have developed deep experience in integrating electrical systems.

The result of these changes means that any modern BAS can easily be expanded to integrate with electrical and mechanical systems. Vendors and integrators are integrating these systems regularly. The applications that are available can deliver powerful new value from additional data.

Owners and engineers may have been burned in the past by the cost, complexity, and disappointing results of electrical system integration attempts, and may now be reluctant to repeat a lesson learned the hard way. But progress by both electrical equipment and BAS systems has now passed the point where the cost/benefit is more strongly in favor of integration.

To learn more about integrating your building or facility contact an account manager at Setpoint Systems Corproation

Article By:

Anil Ahuja has 30 years of experience in building systems design, design management, construction management, commissioning, and operations and maintenance. He has project experience including commercial, institutional, educational, residential, industrial, and airports. He is a member of the Consulting-Specifying Engineer editorial advisory board.

Energy Savings: the Data Are in the Details

Energy managers know that every commercial building is complex. The upside to that complexity is that many of these buildings offer large energy efficiency potential. Through identifying efficiency opportunities in thousands of commercial buildings to-date, we have confirmed a simple premise. A commercial building’s energy use data set is like a fingerprint: no two are exactly alike.

With that in mind, energy managers need a smart strategy for understanding and capturing efficiency opportunities. Here are a few tips:

1)     Don’t just look across the road – A recent slew of energy management tools suggest that energy managers can design energy efficiency strategies based on comparisons to buildings with a similar size and use-profile. Don’t be tempted to compare your efficiency achievements with building operators overseeing other properties.

Our research has shown that ‘like-building’ hypothesis may prove true for the residential sector or the smallest commercial buildings such as pizza shops. But for most of the commercial sector, even very similar buildings can have vastly different energy-use profiles, and it’s important to tailor your strategy accordingly.  Take for example the two buildings highlighted in the infographic below, both of which operate near Chicago with similar sizes, sources of heating/power, assets, and Energy Use Intensity. Their strong resemblance on the surface disappears with a deeper dive into the building’s true energy usage patterns.

While a “like-building” analysis using benchmarks or past databases might suggest that these buildings have similar opportunities, in fact, Building #1 has nearly twice the annual savings potential as Building #2.  It also has more operationally-focused energy conservation opportunities coming from lighting controls, HVAC/plug controls and cooling set points. In contrast, Building #2 would benefit most from a lighting retrofit, making its energy reduction opportunity more about asset improvements than about operational changes.

Looking even deeper, an even larger difference is noticed in how energy is used throughout the building. Cooling usage dominates Building #2 (48% vs. 18%), while Building #1 has more usage going to lighting and plug loads. These breakdowns are part of what drives the differences in recommendations.  It’s worth noting that these unique building results came from advanced analytics applied to their meter data, leading us to the next tip…

Every Building Has Its Own Story To Tell

If all buildings have their own story to tell, how can you effectively approach each and every one?

2)     Real data doesn’t lie – Greater availability of high frequency consumption data coming from commercial building utility meters, coupled with recent advancements in data analytics provides a completely new way to understand energy performance. This data is just as available as square footage and EUI, but much, much richer.  Using consumption data as a starting point for understanding your usage gets you to the source of energy (in)efficiencies. It is not uncommon for data analytics to uncover, for example, a simultaneous heating and cooling issue that a building operator is adamant doesn’t exist. That is, until he goes and double checks the air conditioning systems.  You can’t hide from what the data reveals.  Although it may be uncomfortable to see the truth,data and advanced analytics provide great insights into ways to save energy and money in your building.

3)     Go deep and be objective – not wide and subjective. Many energy efficiency initiatives start with an audit, so the quality of information gained from that step is critical. Sending in a team of people with hard hats and clipboards to record the minutiae of energy use, from how often the mechanical equipment is shut down to how many times the building automation system is manually overridden, may be the first choice. However, in some situations, it may not be the best. Besides being an expensive and time-consuming endeavor, those kinds of audits may be led by individuals with differing experience, motivation, and techniques.  Numerous studies have shown that onsite audits yield highly inconsistent results, mostly because it’s hard to make consistent auditors.

Think about audit partners that can strive for objective consistency each and every time they analyze a building. There are firms that can provide that level of deep and specific building detail without requiring all those boots on the ground. An even better approach may be to perform the analytics first and then provide those results to the energy audit team, therefore enhancing the overall process.

4)     Put your utilities on speed dial – It is becoming common knowledge that many utility companies have significant monetary incentives for increasing building energy efficiency. So, it’s time to take full advantage. Every commercial energy manager should know who runs the efficiency programs within their utility providers, and should be in regular touch to better understand their buildings’ energy use profiles and savings opportunities, and available incentives.

Like all relationships, however, the energy manager-utility relationship is a two-way street. The better data and insight that utilities have on your energy usage, the better job they can do to help you realize savings. As the infographic above contends, every commercial building in a utility’s portfolio is different, and you should look to partner with your utility to identify the right kinds of operational and asset-based cost savings opportunities.

5)     Go public. Making your buildings’ energy performance part of everyone’s business is, well, good business. Providing energy audit results to your constituents – from tenants’ facility personnel to your preferred energy contractors to your own CFO – is crucial in ensuring that efficiency projects don’t fall by the wayside.

Why is transparency so important? Because it enables you to demonstrate not just the hows of energy efficiency (e.g., turning off the lights at 6:00 p.m. will save 10,000 kWh of energy) but also thewhys (e.g., turning off the lights at 6:00 p.m. saved the company $1,500 in energy costs last month, enabling us to purchase better equipment for our staff or our tenants). Most important, making energy use and savings data available helps make a stronger business case for energy efficiency projects.

Every building has its own story to tell, and the plotline is in the detail revealed through analytics. Data that lives deep within the lighting, power, HVAC and water systems in every building should be mined, analyzed and presented in a way that shows the value that energy efficiency projects can unlock. By looking at each building’s unique energy fingerprint, you can find hidden opportunities for efficiency and cost savings without always having to putting on a hardhat.

Article By: Swapnil Shah is CEO of FirstFuel.

Intelligent Building Management Emerges As Big Opportunity

IT partners have identified IBMS as a big opportunity because of a strong trend to integrate once-separate systems like access control, fire safety, video surveillance, rodent control and incident response.

According to MarketsandMarkets, the Indian intelligent building management system (IBMS) market is expected to reach $1,891 million by 2016 at a CAGR of 25 percent from $621 million in 2011.

Many IT partners have identified IBMS solutions as a big opportunity because of a strong trend to integrate once-separate systems such as access control, fire safety, video surveillance, rodent control and incident response.

Says Manoj Bisht, CEO of the Delhi-based MK Infosystems, “Many corporate hubs in metro cities are going in for IBMS solutions. We are also seeing demand from segments like PSUs, hospitality and real-estate.” 

Partners who have ventured into IBMS says it’s a natural progression and is very profitable compared to the IT business. “While the IT systems integration business offers about 15 percent margins, IBMS solutions provide 25 percent margins or more,” reveals Moin Shaikh, Director of the Surat-based Innovative Telecom & Softwares.

He says that partners can leverage their systems integration skills to target existing large customers demanding centralized control to enter the IBMS space. “Partners need to gain skills to develop software interfaces to integrate various components of IBMS. It’s essential to add skills around electrical systems, instrumentation and process control. Also, it’s better to target customers before they execute their building plans.”

During the last fiscal, Innovative implemented eight IBMS projects which contributed about 20 percent to its Rs 115 crore revenue in FY2012-13. While most customers were from the gems & jewelry vertical, some were from manufacturing and infrastructure companies. “In the last two years large gems & jewelry exporters have been compelled to deploy IBMS solutions for Kimberley Process compliance,” explains Shaikh.

For MK Infosystems, the IBMS business is expected to grow manifold. “Our IBMS business has grown 100 percent YoY in the last fiscal. This fiscal too we expect 100 percent growth,” says Bisht.

MK Infosystems executed four large IBMS projects in the last fiscal including one for C-DOT and another for ONGC. “We have partnered with a large SI to do the installation and integration work for their IBMS projects,” informs Bisht. “We are also doing projects for our own customers. In the current fiscal we are working with the SI partner on a large IBMS and data center project for UIDAI in Bengaluru where the installation services revenue is Rs 2.5 crore. We are also implementing IBMS for Duet Hotels and a large real-estate player.”

 By: Amit Singh

 

VFD bypasses and backups: Which should you use?

VFD bypasses and backups: Which should you use?

Advanced motor protection and consistent energy savings are possible, with true redundancy.

By: Tommy Trullinger, Franklin Control Systems

Learning objectives

1. Learn the differences between traditional solutions to VFD failure and newer methodologies, and the pros and cons of each.

2. Describe a simple selection process to ensure the application is properly protected and backed up in the most economical way.


Originally introduced as an efficient and effective way to reduce energy consumption by allowing motors to be run at different speeds, variable frequency drives (VFDs) have become commonplace in the HVAC industry. While there is no question that VFD technology helps save energy, unfortunately it was somewhat unreliable in the early years. The VFD bypass was introduced to ease concerns around reliability, and it played a significant role in the rise of VFD usage.

A traditional mechanical bypass acts as a backup system to ensure equipment stays operational when or if a VFD fails. A bypass is essentially a motor starter that is built into (around) the VFD to maintain full voltage (across the line) control of the application. The backup allows the application to run at full speed until the problem with the VFD can be addressed.

The bypass, along with the VFD, have become staples of the typical HVAC configuration, and over the years have made their way into almost all consulting engineers’ specifications. The problem is that the majority of specifications today still hang on to the idea that bypasses are always needed. VFDs, like most electronics, have improved dramatically since they were first invented. They’re more reliable now and have extremely low failure rates. They’re also much more compact and economical than in years past.

Recently, VFD manufacturers have developed new and improved bypasses, as well as motor drive packages with full redundant capabilities. Opinions abound about which backup or bypass should be used for various HVAC applications, but there are few guides that provide a definitive answer. To better understand the selection process, it’s important to first look at the pros and cons of the various bypasses and backups available.

Traditional bypass

A traditional bypass consists of a separate motor starter, mechanically interlocked with its

3 Phase Power

3 Phase Power

companion VFD output contactor in a way that allows only the VFD or the bypass to operate the motor at any given time. Most traditional bypasses default to “manual” operation to engage the bypass. In other words, someone must manually turn on the bypass in the event that the VFD fails. A VFD fault relay can be used to start the bypass automatically based on a VFD fault, but only if the VFD is not damaged. Traditional bypasses are also available in 2- or 3-contactor variations. A 3-contactor bypass (Figure 1) introduces an additional contactor or a VFD isolation switch that disconnects the VFD from power supply. This enables an electrician to completely remove the VFD while the application is running in bypass mode. However, this is not recommended as it sets up the electrician to work in close proximity to high-voltage wiring. A 2-contactor bypass is sufficient for most applications requiring a bypass and does not provide a complete VFD isolation. Also keep in mind that local codes may restrict the actual configuration. Common features of a traditional bypass include:

  • Available in 2- or 3-contactor variations
  • Disconnect is typically integral
  • Hand, Off, Auto switch for VFD and bypass
  • VFD/Off/Bypass switch
  • Manual bypass standard (auto relay available)
  • Thermal overload protection.

The traditional bypass is readily available. Other advantages are that it is inexpensive in comparison to other backups, allows for building automation system (BAS) control, and is extremely reliable. On the downside, a traditional bypass offers no advanced motor protection, needs relays for automatic control, and has no soft start capability. Communication to BAS is limited, communicating status/fault only. All energy savings is lost and consumption is not monitored in bypass mode. Finally, the traditional bypass offers 60Hz operation only…

Electronic bypass (smart bypass)

3 Phase Power

3 Phase Power

The electronic bypass was recently introduced to address a number of concerns with built-in logic and advanced motor protection. This microprocessor-based bypass (Figure 2) offers advanced features such as protection from phase loss, ground fault, over/undervoltage, and over/under power. These protection features go far beyond what a traditional thermal overload provides. Electronic bypasses also typically include a provision for BAS to communicate directly to the bypass in the event of VFD failure. This should be coordinated with BAS software manufacturer. The electronic bypass allows users to select certain conditions in which they want the bypass to start automatically, and incorporates other features that traditionally would only be supported by the VFD (fault logging, delays, etc.). There are also electronic bypasses on the market that integrate full ANSI grade power metering, and BACnet or other communications interfaces to allow for seamless control and communications whether in VFD or bypass mode. Common features of an electronic bypass include:

  • Keypad with LED indication
  • Communication card
  • Advanced motor protection
  • Common start/stop terminals
  • Fireman’s override
  • Bypass fault logging
  • Selectable auto bypass
  • Power failure modes.

On the positive side, electronic bypasses offer features such as advanced motor protection, BAS communications, logic to assist with troubleshooting, flexible control features, and compact physical size. But these bypasses come at a higher cost. They also lack soft start capabilities and motor speed control in bypass (60Hz only).

Redundant drives

3 Phase Power

3 Phase Power

Redundant VFDs are the logical next step in control for critical applications (Figure 3). They work on the principle that if one VFD fails, full control and protection are maintained by a second VFD that automatically takes over. Redundant VFDs are not a new concept; the idea has been around for years, but only recently has this concept become cost-effective. With the VFD market becoming more and more competitive, it’s only a matter of time before bypasses fade away as a viable choice, and dual VFD systems become the standard for critical applications. Most VFD manufacturers offer some type of packaged redundant drive systems as part of their custom offering. This means they must be approached on a “job-by-job” basis.

It’s important to understand that these packages require a level of customization because they consist of more than just two VFDs. To maintain true redundancy, extra power and control circuitry must be added. The standby VFD must be isolated from power while the primary VFD is running to ensure both primary and backup VFDs aren’t damaged in the event of a power surge or spike. To isolate the VFDs, mechanically interlocked input contactors should be added. Provisions must also be made to ensure that the backup VFD doesn’t sit for extended periods without being periodically powered up. VFD DC bus capacitors have a shelf life and can degrade without periodic charge cycles. The control system should provide scheduled alternation or charge cycles for standby VFD. The downside of the added power and control components is unfortunately an additional cost.

Pros of redundant VFDs include full redundancy, full control with backup VFD, and advanced motor protection all the time. They provide consistent energy savings. (VFD operation is maintained even when one fails.) However, they are more expensive than traditional and electronic bypasses and have a larger footprint.

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Introducing The P-Series Line of Variable Frequency Drives

The P-Series line of variable frequency drives by Cerus now comes with a redundant drive!

The P-Seriespanel. Cerus’ P-Series line of variable frequency drives (VFDs) now comes with a redundant VFD unit, the Cerus redundant drive panel (RDP). It is designed to provide an economical HVAC motor control solution that maintains full control of an application if the primary drive fails. In the event of a failure, the backup VFD continues to run, using the same control signal as the primary drive. Every precaution has been taken to isolate each drive, thus isolating any problems that could occur andprotecting the functionality of the working VFD. For broad applicability, the drives have been designed to support frequencies from 10 to 120 Hz, making the RDP a great solution for systems running over 60 Hz. Cerus P-Series VFDs are available in a range of versions from 1 to 125 hp.

Learn more at: Franklin or Contact An Account Manager at Setpoint Systems Corporation for implementing drives in your system.

Coppertree Analytics- Facility Manager

facility

Manage Alarms

Coppertree Insights

The word ‘insight’ carries the idea of a clear and deep perception of a situation. Coppertree Analytics’ Insights are designed to give you a different pair of eyes to look at your facility. Insights give you an awareness and understanding to:

  • The past: see what changed in your facility yesterday
  • The present: see how your facility is performing today
  • The future: see what changes are needed in your facility tomorrow

Mobile Insights

Insights can be accessed via tablets, desktops and any device with a web browser. Or better yet, Coppertree can deliver them to your personnel on duty directly to their mobile devices.

Fault Detection

Our insights are the basis for a more pro-active approach to facility management. Coppertree Analytics’ sophisticated engines are continually examining data from building automation systems, executing fault detection and diagnostic rules and engaging algorithms to perform statistical and pattern analyses. Whether you choose to use our growing library of analytical rules or to create your own rules, setting them up to run on your site is straight forward. once they are set up, they run automatically whether you are looking or not.

Planned Maintenance

Prioritize Time

Traditional scheduled preventative maintenance programs rely on an exhaustive re-commissioning process requiring many man-hours with the final outcome being a deficiency report detailing problems and required fixes. Further man-hours are then required to perform the corrective measures. Coppertree Analytics’ intent is to raise this process to a new level by generating performance reports or score cards from the data collected. This information will help you pinpoint specific problem areas and prioritize the work required to take care of them, effectively automating the report creation process.

Efficient Manpower

Shifting to a planned maintenance approach, the re-commissioning man-hours required in traditional programs can be re-allocated to the man-hours required to take action, hence maximizing your resources, increasing your efficiency and gaining control of what goes on in your facility.

Maintain Performance

Besides performance reports, Coppertree Analytics’ integrity portfolio of services continually probes your building automation system with an array of fault-detection-and-diagnostic rules to give you insights into your building operations. The key in maintaining performance is continuous auditing. It is as if you had a commissioning agent perpetually examining your building and advising on any areas of concern.

Reporting

Golden Standard

As a facility manager, generating reports is not the end in itself; it is the change from the ideal condition that is important. For instance, would you benefit from a detailed report that tells you how your building automation system has changed since the last time a ‘snapshot’ was taken during the initial commissioning? It might be tedious to generate what we call a golden standard report manually, but Coppertree can deliver it to your inbox daily, weekly or monthly through constant comparison between the current state and a Golden Standard you define.

KPI

Coppertree Analytics’ goal is to provide reports that are easy to understand, appropriate for the audience reviewing them and readily available when needed… all this to help you achieve your goals. Key performance indicator reports are excellent auditing tools to measure the overall success or failure of your facility to achieve a specific target. Is like getting a score card for your building and showing you where you need to direct your resources.

Live Trends

Coppertree report libraries range from detailed reports of specific systems or points to summary reports and executive reports available for viewing via web portals on desktops, tablets and mobile devices. The challenge is always to keep your reports up-to-date. Coppertree Analytics’ integration with the building automation system, and it’s abilty to overlay live trend logs on historical data all reporting can be accomplished seamlessly.

If you would like to learn more please visit: Coppertree here or contact a Setpoint Systems Corporation Account manager here for a live Demo!

Delta Controls- The products that drive our business

Products are our passion

Delta Controls researches, develops, manufactures and supports all of our products from our Canadian headquarters. We invest an above average percentage of our revenue back into research and development because we are driven to make buildings easier to manage and more energy efficient.
Delta Controls actively participated in the creation of the BACnet Protocol and is a major contributor to the ongoing furtherance and enhancement of this ISO Standard for building automation. Our products are of course easy to integrate into any BACnet system, and with our gateways we are able to work with other protocols too. We believe in your right to choose the right system for your specific needs which is why the following pages detail our fully programmable controllers, open protocols and our intuitive ‘one seat’ building operations software.
If we don’t have what you are looking for for your building automations project please get in touch – we live to develop new ideas and bring building automation technology forward.

“On a daily basis we see technology changing at an accelerated rate. Delta Controls’ open and flexible product platform keeps us current and protects our building automation and integration platform investments.”

Mario Boileua, Assistant Director, Technical Services
University of Ottawa

Stay tuned for details on the entire Delta Controls product line!