Tag Archives: setpoint systems coporation

Twitter “Nest Thermostat” Contest Rules

At Setpoint Systems Corporation we believe in solutions. We’ve been a leader in the design, installation, commissioning and servicing of smart building control systems since 1983. So it’s safe to say we have solved a lot of challenges, and saved our customers literally truckloads of money.

We want the opportunity to put some green back into your pocket as well! Keep reading for details on qualifying!

 

How to qualify:

It’s quite simple, retweet the “Energy saving is beautiful! Retweet for a chance to win a @nest thermostat.” Tweet that got you to this page. Once you retweet you are automatically entered into the contest.

Want to double your chances to win?

Reply/comment on the tweet on how much you think you could save annually with a Nest Thermostat!

Not a follower on Twitter yet? Follow this link to qualify: Follow Us

Contest Rules and Regulations

  • Unless otherwise excluded by law or by the rules applicable to a particular contest, Setpoint Systems Corporation contests are open to all Setpoint Systems Corporation Customers, Followers, and Fans, who are residents of the United States and 18 years or older. Employees, agents and immediate family members, its advertising agencies, sponsors, affiliates and representatives are not eligible to participate. Immediate family members include spouses, siblings, parents, children, grandparents, and grandchildren whether by current marriage, past marriage, adoption or as in-laws. All contests are void where prohibited by law. No purchase is necessary.
  • All contest entries become the property of Setpoint Systems Corporation. Each entrant may enter a contest only once, unless otherwise specified. In the case of multiple entries by the same person, all entries may be withdrawn and the entrant disqualified.
  • Entrants are responsible for the payment of any and all taxes applicable to prizes and the award of prizes. Setpoint Systems Corporation is required to report winnings exceeding $600 per year (in the aggregate) to the Internal Revenue Service and will provide winners falling within this requirement with an IRS Form 1099 after the close of the calendar year in which the prize(s) were won. Winners agree to provide Setpoint Systems Corporation with their social security number and such other information as may be required by Setpoint Systems Corporation to comply with applicable laws.
  • Setpoint Systems Corporation reserves the right to substitute another prize of equal or greater value for the prize originally announced if the original contest prize is or becomes unavailable.
  • All contest entrants must retweet to be entered on or before April 31st 2014, to qualify.

Not a follower on Twitter yet? Follow this link to qualify: Follow Us

Want to learn more about the Setpoint approach? Contact an account manager today! info@setpointsystems.com

St. John’s Makes Energy Upgrades To 36 Buildings, Installs Building Automation System

St. John’s Hospital in Maplewood, MN, received a $300,000 grant for a $1 million building automation system upgrade and retro-commissioning project that covered all facility air handling units and heating and cooling systems.

St. John’s Hospital in Maplewood, MN, received a $300,000 grant for a $1 million building automation system upgrade and retro-commissioning project that covered all facility air handling units and heating and cooling systems.

State ARRA-funded C&I grant helps fund building retrofit: St. John’s Hospital in Maplewood, MN, is constantly seeking ways to improve its infrastructure in the most cost-effective ways. And when the stimulus-funded Commercial and Industrial Grant Program from the Minnesota Department of Commerce came along, it made energy efficiency easy.

St. John’s Hospital received a $300,000 grant for a $1 million building automation system upgrade and retro-commissioning project that covered all facility air handling units and heating and cooling systems. The grant, combined with other energy improvements financed by the St. Paul Port Authority and the Trillion Btu Program, will save St. John’s about $200,000 per year in energy costs. Simple payback for the $1 million project is about five years.

“We’re always looking for ways to improve our infrastructure—to improve clinical quality, increase efficiency, reduce risk, and improve safety,” said Jed Field, system director of engineering for HealthEast Care System. “The state grant allowed us to take the extra step or two from an energy-efficiency perspective to achieve the maximum energy savings for our buildings.”

Field said the grant was perfect timing for several large-scale improvements the hospital needed. The work, completed in 2011, included operational improvements and control of heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems to attain maximum energy performance. New NEMA premium efficiency motors were installed to replace all non-NEMA premium motors 10 HP or larger. The new building automation system was implemented so that equipment can be turned down or turned off when the spaces served are unoccupied. Equipment adjustments were made and special pump controls and valves were installed for precise control to meet heating and cooling needs.

The energy upgrade work on St. John’s Hospital not only reduces energy costs, it improved the indoor air quality and comfort for patients and staff. It also generated work for at least two full-time equivalent jobs for one year, Field added.

Field said virtually any commercial or industrial facility that is 20 years or older figures to save 20 percent on their energy bill if they make significant energy upgrades. “There are great opportunities for retrofitting buildings,” Field added.

36 facilities realize energy efficiency, cost savings: St. John’s is just one of dozens of commercial, industrial and nonprofit facilities throughout Minnesota that are realizing handsome energy and cost savings, thanks in part to the $4.1 million energy upgrade grant program administered by the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources. The grants, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), supported cost-effective energy efficiency improvements at 36 facilities in Minnesota.

Those 36 facilities will realize more than $3 million in ongoing energy savings every year for the foreseeable future, said Mike Rothman, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Commerce. “This targeted investment of one-time funds will pay for itself over and over again,” said Rothman. “It has helped dozens of facilities dramatically reduce their energy consumption and realize millions of dollars in ongoing cost savings. That’s good for business, good for our environment, and good for our economy.

“Commercial buildings and industrial facilities like St. John’s Hospital consume about half of our state’s energy,” Rothman continued. “That’s why it makes sense to target large buildings like these. Targeted retrofits using one-time investments deliver the biggest bang for our buck.”

The program, which launched in December 2009, received 150 proposals out of which 39 were selected to receive grants. Most of the grants—36—were awarded for direct energy improvement projects, and three were given to nonprofit entities to operate revolving loan programs to help finance energy efficiency projects. For the direct improvement projects, the program required a financial match component. Projects were ranked according to projected energy savings, payback, leveraged additional spending per grant dollar, and job labor hours of work generated by the funding.

Average payback of four years: The grantees included a wide cross section of for-profit and nonprofit entities. Energy efficiency measures achieved included upgrades to lighting, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems and controls and improvements to industrial processes. Overall, the projects will save an estimated 440,000 MMBtu per year, or enough energy to heat 8,150 homes per year, and will have an average payback of four years. The projects helped create or sustain more than 25 full-time equivalent jobs.

The Chippewa Valley Ethanol Plant in Benson used its grant to improve the process to recover waste heat from a stream of hot exhaust gases discharged from a regenerative thermal oxidizer. The process captures heat that normally would be exhausted into the atmosphere, runs it through a heat exchanger, and then uses it to avoid burning natural gas to produce heat needed for other parts of the ethanol production process. Chippewa Valley received a $500,000 grant to help fund the $2 million project. With estimated savings of $700,000 in natural gas costs per year, the project will pay for itself in about three years.

Gerdau Ameristeel U.S. Inc. of Duluth replaced two 30-year-old 900 kW power supplies with two new energy efficient 1,125 kW power supplies. The power is used to heat steel bar stock which is cut and forged into steel balls varying in size from 1 inch to 6 inches in diameter. The steel balls produced from the operation are used extensively in the taconite mining industry of Minnesota as well as other ore processing operations globally. The $1.5 million project, which received a $95,000 grant, is projected to reduce Gerdau’s energy consumption by 7 percent and save about $50,000 per year.

Other companies to benefit from the state energy grant program included 3M Company, Aeon, Aitkin Iron Works, Arrowhead Promotion and Fulfillment Company Inc., Caledonia Care and Rehab, Cambria Company LLC, Center for Energy and Environment, City Center Retail/AG 800 Washington LLC, City of Minneapolis CPED, Coastal Seafoods, Community Reinvestment Fund, Davisco Foods International Inc., Douglas Machine Inc., Earl Brown Tower LLP, Fairview Health Services (Maple Grove), FourCrown Inc. (Wendy’s), Habitat for Humanity of South Central Minnesota, Honeywell, J&B Group Inc., Le Sueur Inc., LifeCare Medical Center, Mall of America, National Sports Center Foundation, North Memorial Health Care (Maple Grove), Northern Plains Dairy, Pequot Tool & Mfg. Inc., Prospect Foundry LLC, Resource Inc., Rolco Inc., Seagate Technology LLC, Spruce Tree Center LLP, SuperValu Inc., Walker Art Center, Wausau Paper Mills LLC, YMCA of Greater St. Paul, and YWCA of Minneapolis.

To learn more: For more information from the Division of Energy Resources, visit the efficiency section of our website. Incentives for businesses and residences to perform energy efficiency upgrades are listed in the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency.

This case study was created by the Minnesota Division of Energy Resources, Department of Commerce. Click here to see other success storie
Read more at http://cleantechnica.com/2013/05/25/st-johns-makes-energy-upgrades-to-36-buildings-installs-building-automation-system/#3bHxrAkedzI3Xij6.99

St. John’s Hospital in Maplewood, MN, received a $300,000 grant for a $1 million building automation system upgrade and retro-commissioning project that covered all facility air handling units and heating and cooling systems.

St. John’s Hospital in Maplewood, MN, received a $300,000 grant for a $1 million building automation system upgrade and retro-commissioning project that covered all facility air handling units and heating and cooling systems.

Can Building Automation Really Save Money?

Question: Can my building automation system help cut down my utility bill?
Answer: Building automation is a control method for the mechanical systems within your building. You may not have new equipment or VFDs (Variable Frequency Drives) on every motor, but there are likely still savings that you could drive with a new automation system.

Take for example a small office building with constant volume package units. What could you possibly get for energy savings in this environment? Fan energy, or the energy used to blow air out of the grill in your office, comprises almost 70% of the energy consumption in a building. By controlling the fans more tightly with a schedule you can save up to 15% on your bill every year. To take it one step further, by increasing cooling and decreasing heating setpoints during peak usage hours you can alleviate 5-10% consumption; all with minimal impact to your workforce. That’s up to 20-25% reduction without any mechanical upgrades.

Question: What if I’m tired of my current controls vendor? How hard is it to switch vendors?

Answer: Although any vendor exchange within a site will come at an expense, you can minimize it with the right strategy. Historically, building automation systems have been proprietary to single or sometimes multiple vendors in a given territory. If you didn’t like your vendor, you’d have to strip out all the equipment at your site and start over (an expense typically in the six-figure range for most facilities.)

Now, control systems like Tridium can integrate your old equipment and prevent proprietizing your site to a single contractor. Integrations like this not only open the market to competitive bidding, but can cut integration costs as much as 40-50% versus the traditional strip-and-replace mentality.

Remember, switching vendors in most cases doesn’t simply mean bringing in any contractor and having them work on your current system. Controls vendors may be able to work on a few different systems, but accessing the software necessary to program your facilities’ system may be impossible due to its proprietary nature.

Question: My controls vendor said I need to upgrade my system to make it faster. Is that necessary?

Answer: The unfortunate part about technological advancements in everyday use, through handhelds and cellphones, is they’ve taught us that speed is everything. Faster computers mean increased productivity. Faster Internet means quicker loading times while surfing. But is speed a necessity of building automation? After all, it is part of the technology boom.

Speed in automation is only critical when considering industrial applications. Industrial PLC (Programmable Logic Controllers) need to compute information twice as fast to make sure control of variables like temperature and pressure fall within industry standards. These controllers are extremely costly in comparison to a commercial application that is only concerned with occupant comfort.

If you’ve ever watched a temperature increase in an occupied space you could easily compare it to grass growing. Unless a space is overwhelmed with occupants, the fluctuation of temperature is extremely gradual; thereby decreasing the necessity of faster control capability. Basically, speed is not conducive to a properly controlled commercial application and is not a valid reason to spend tens of thousands of dollars for an upgrade.

Question:  How long can I expect my control system to last?

Answer:  Control systems have historically lasted for 10-15 years on average when considering mid to late 90’s installations. Unfortunately, with the pace of technology, your physical controls equipment is likely to outlast the associated software support for the installed product line. Now you are dependent upon the manufacturer to support the product line for up to fifteen years which is highly unlikely.

Take for example the cases of Apple and Microsoft. Windows XP was released in 2001 and remained the staple of Windows operating systems for around 11 years. Many companies are being forced to upgrade now to the new Windows 8 plaftform with the lack of support from Microsoft. The new Windows doesn’t support older hardware and, therefore, companies all over the world are having to upgrade their machines to match the new software.

When considering Apple, think back to the days of the iPhone 3G and when it was released in 2008. By 2011, the last version of Apple Updates was released for the 3G iPhone essentially guaranteeing its hardware obsolescence by 2012 – only 4 years later.

No technology, including building automation, can ever expect to embody the longevity assumed in the 90’s. With the quickened pace of high-tech advancement all owners can hope for is hardware manufacturers that can manage revisioning for at least 5-7 years.

Question:  My vendor said they needed to replace all the wiring in my building because it was old. Do new systems need new wire?

Answer:  Wire install costs within a facility, especially one that’s occupied, embody at least 25-30% of the total project costs. Rewiring occupied spaces comes at a heavy expense in either occupancy comfort or total project cost. If you decide to rewire your building after hours to alleviate tenant dissatisfaction, the overall cost can be expected to increase as much as 30%.

Most controls contractors can utilize either the BACNet or LON protocol to recycle your existing wiring and cut down on expense. In order to reuse existing controls wiring, contractors need to have in-depth knowledge on how to tune or reduce traffic on the system to ensure proper operation.

About the Author – I currently maintain an engineering sales position at Western Allied Mechanical. Our business is consulting customers on energy consumption and reducing costs through a joint mechanical and automation venture. I’m an avid follower of the industry and am always open to new opportunities and approaches. You can reach me at zdenning@westernallied.com or my cell at 650-798-4154.

Financial innovation is the next big thing in clean energy and efficiency

Financial innovation is the next big thing in clean energy and efficiency By: Chris Nelder- Smart Planet

Old Windmill

A new wave of innovation is sweeping the energy transition sector, promising to accelerate deployment and cut the costs of energy-efficiency measures, as well as wind and solar generation.

It isn’t a technological improvement, like cutting hardware and labor costs. It isn’t a policy mechanism like feed-in tariffs. It isn’t even a new business model, like selling storage services.

It’s financial innovation.

If the very words make you clutch your wallet and roll your eyes, I understand. After all, it was the innovation of mortgage-backed securities, credit default swaps and collateralized debt obligations that opened the door to an unprecedented level of financial recklessness and nearly brought down the global economy five years ago.

However, at the risk of incurring the wrath of the market gods: This time it’s different.

The problem: The capital gap

Financial innovation in the cleantech sector is needed for a simple reason: Wind and solar systems (even large, utility-scale ones) and energy-efficiency upgrades are hard to finance. They typically require a homeowner or business owner or renewable project developer to come up with a significant chunk of capital up front, then receive the benefits of the investment over a long time horizon — typically, 20 years or more. They’re all a little different, making it hard to evaluate risk. Even if an investment offers an excellent return over time, coming up with the initial capital can be too high a hurdle. And when a developer manages to raise the money to build a project, it usually needs to sell the project to a long-term investor so it can free up its capital to build the next solar park or wind farm.

The natural long-term holders of assets like these are pension funds, infrastructure funds, sovereign wealth funds, insurance funds, and the like. They are accustomed to investing tens or hundreds of millions of dollars at once and then receiving modest, single-digit returns over a period of decades. This is the so-called fixed-income market, where the investments are usually come in the form of very low-risk assets like Treasury bills, equity positions in historically stable sectors like utilities, or long-term, high-grade corporate debt.

The problem in the cleantech sector has been matching assets to their natural investors.

Over the past year, I’ve heard the same story over and over again. Globally, fixed-income investment entities have trillions of dollars of available capital that they would love to put into renewable energy and efficiency projects. Enough to build a huge chunk of the new infrastructure needed to transition the world from fossil fuels to renewable energy. But the available projects are too small. Whether the investment is $50,000 or $500 million, it still requires about the same level of due diligence effort to evaluate: many billable hours paid to high-priced lawyers, accountants, researchers, and fund managers. That cost can be a killer if the investment is less than (roughly) $5 million dollars; there just isn’t enough margin to justify it.

So the trick has been to find a way to “de-risk” (do the due diligence) and bundle cleantech and energy-efficiency investments, in order to be able to offer a suitably large investment to the fixed income market at an acceptably low transaction cost.

Enter financial innovation.

Solution 1: Standardization

Several recent initiatives are tackling the first part of the problem by finding ways to standardize investments.

The U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) just this week released a set of standardized contracts for solar projects. The contracts, which include lease agreements for residential solar systems offered by third-party solar leasing companies and commercial power purchase agreements (PPAs) for larger systems, were developed by a working group NREL convened in the spring called Solar Access to Public Capital (SAPC).

Comprising some 20 to 25 companies in the sector — including project developers, law firms, and analytical entities — SAPC analyzed many existing contracts for solar projects and figured out which parts could be standardized and which parts needed to be customizable.

I asked NREL Energy Analyst Paul Schwabe, who headed the contract standardization project, why new contracts are needed. “We see a number of benefits for those leases and PPAs,” he says. “One, lowering transaction costs for entities who don’t already have those documents available; they don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Two, improving customer transparency, particularly on the residential side. By using a standard contract, the consumer can more easily compare multiple projects and know that the contract has been analyzed by a number of industry stakeholders. And three, we think it can help facilitate the pooling of cash flows into a common investment that can access capital markets.”

The working group hopes standardized contracts will reduce the cost of capital for project developers, and make it easier for customers and investors to evaluate investments. So far, the prospects are good.

“We’ve gotten buy-in from a large majority of the residential installer community, and we’ve made good inroads in the commercial industry as well,” Schwabe says. “We’ve confirmed that a large percentage of the market will use them.” The working group now has more than 125 members, he estimates, and that number is growing rapidly.

Ultimately, the standardization of contracts will make it easier to assess the expected cash flows from solar projects, and thus make it easier for investors to feel assured that projects will perform as advertised.

Solution 2: Data and metrics

The contract standardization effort is part of a broader NREL initiative to organize the industry and establish collaboration between stakeholders. NREL is also collecting data for solar performance, which will help standardize an understanding of how well various pieces of solar gear perform.

Another industry working group called TruSolar is working on a complementary set of metrics and tools to standardize solar project financing, including rating photovoltaic (PV) projects for performance and establishing credit screening criteria. TruSolar is part of SAPC. It has partnered with NREL to publicize their respective efforts and highlight the synergy between them, Schwabe says.

By collecting historical data on actual system performance and establishing standard credit criteria, the two groups will solve another part of the problem: the lack of a trusted track record.

Whereas the performance of mortgages has a well-analyzed record that stretches back over more than a century, the data trail for solar projects is only a few decades long, and only the last decade of that trail is really representative of how well modern equipment performs.

These investments in collecting data and establishing metrics will make it easier to de-risk solar projects and assign them a credit rating major investors can accept without having to do so much of their own due diligence. This will ultimately reduce the cost of capital and increase the velocity of deal-making.

Schwabe was not at liberty to say whether or not any of the major credit rating agencies are involved in SAPC, but did say that a key conclusion from an earlier NREL paper that led to its formation was that “standardization was needed for securitization and those stakeholders felt it was necessary.”

Solution 3: Securitization

Securitization is the process by which a pool of assets is bundled, graded, sliced and diced, and sold into capital markets. It’s the same process that brought the world the dreaded mortgage-backed securities. But the underlying assets in cleantech are quite different, and far less risky.

Securities in the cleantech sector rely on cash flows generated by stable things: solar equipment sits in the sun, insulation sits in buildings, and wind turbines stand and spin. As long as the gear has been properly evaluated and graded — which is part of what SAPC and TruSolar are doing — and properly maintained, then the only real risk to continued production of cash flow is weather. Fortunately, on an annual basis, insolation (the amount of light falling on a given location), wind, and temperature are quite predictable and have very long historical data records. Averaged over a period of decades, they will not deviate enough from historical averages to constitute a significant financial risk. So the actual risk of non-performance in solar- or wind- or efficiency-backed securities is far lower than the risk of a homeowner who got a “liar’s loan,” lost his job, and then couldn’t pay his mortgage.

Several new approaches to securitization in cleantech are now coming into existence.

NREL, as part of its suite of initiatives, is developing a “mock portfolio” comprising a pool of solar park assets, both commercial and residential, and testing how it might perform as a securitized investment.

SolarCity, one of the largest third-party solar leasing companies, announced this week that it will begin offering $54 million worth of “Solar Asset Backed Notes” to qualified investors. The securities, which will be secured by a pool of the company’s solar systems, leases and PPAs, will pay investors out of the cash flow those assets generate, and free up the company’s capital to invest in new projects.

Jigar Shah, the founder of SunEdison, pioneered the third-party solar leasing model companies like SolarCity and Sunrun have followed. I asked him for his take on securitization.

“The financial innovation that we’re doing now is just an extension of what we started in 2003,” he says. “We popularized it at SunEdison. Securitization is the next step. The first step was to make solar an asset class acceptable to insurance and pension funds. We got Wells Fargo, MetLife, and a few others to give SunEdison $2.3 billion in commercial paper, and something on the order of $1 billion in residential paper. Now we have the right to pursue securitization. But it only happens because the banks believe there’s a multi-billion-dollar market. Until then, the ratings agencies like S&P are not able to participate.”

Although SolarCity’s $54 million offering is tiny in the world of commercial securities, Shah sees it as significant because the company has obtained, for the first time, an investment-grade rating for commercial solar securities. Within five years, he expects the sector to be well into the billions of dollars.

In a detailed Oct. 21 essay about solar securitization for Power Intelligence, energy finance attorneys Elias Hinckley and David John Frenkil wrote that solar asset-backed securities “will enable the solar industry to access a much larger and more diverse investor base, which will eventually help to reduce the long-term cost of capital to a likely range of 3 percent to 7 percent, compared with the 8 percent to 20 percent rate required by some project finance equity and tax equity investors in the current market.”

Securitization is also coming to the building efficiency sector. Massachusetts-based insurance company Energi Insurance Services has extended its risk evaluation services for renewables to the energy-efficiency sector, including energy-savings warranties, electricity-generation performance warranties and equipment warranties. It also backstops performance guarantees offered by energy-efficiency contractors through product underwritten by the International Insurance Company of Hannover. Last month, Energi started working with NREL to analyze and quantify risk for small building energy-efficiency retrofits, giving lenders a tool they can use to rate energy-efficiency loans. Ultimately, the methodology could give rise to efficiency-backed securities, which will deliver cash flows to investors much as securitized solar projects do.

Solution 4: Crowdfunding

Oakland, Calif.-based Mosaic also offers solar asset-backed securities. Instead of being based on a pool of assets, they are issued for specific solar projects. Each note issued by the company corresponds to a certain solar installation, and the payment on those notes derives directly from the cash flow generated by the loan obligation attached to that installation.

After less than a year in business, Mosaic has more than 2,500 investors from nearly every state, who have invested as little as $25 for shares in 19 solar projects with a combined $5.7 million in asset value. Investors typically receive 4 percent to 7 percent returns annually, depending on the project. The company boasts 100 percent on-time payments with zero defaults thus far.

Speaking at the VERGE San Francisco conference last month, Mosaic CEO Billy Parish said interest is brisk in his company’s offerings. Investors are disillusioned with conventional financial markets, he says, and increasingly feel that the stock market is rigged against them. With tens of millions of dollars worth of new solar projects in the Mosaic pipeline, he is confident investors will continue to find the low risk and modest return of the notes attractive. “The transition from fossil fuels to renewables is the biggest opportunity for wealth generation this century,” he declares.

Another Mosaic innovation could open up a torrent of new capital: a security that will be eligible for purchase through IRA accounts. There is $17 trillion sitting in IRAs in the United States alone, according to Parish.

A related recent development in financial innovation will give more investors access to the cleantech sector. The JOBS Act, which President Obama signed into law in April, created a new playing field for crowdfunding that makes it easier for individuals who don’t qualify as high net worth “accredited investors” to invest small amounts in small businesses and startups which, in turn, weren’t qualified to offer public securities.

Earlier this week, the Securities and Exchange Commission finally proposed rules defining the new terms. Investors with less than $100,000 in annual income and net worth will be able to invest up to $2,000 a year, or 5 percent of annual income or net worth, whichever is greater. Those criteria are considerably looser than the ones Mosaic has operated under thus far, so it will open a much larger pool of potential investors in renewable-energy- and efficiency-backed securities.

“We’re glad to see financial innovation occurring in the renewable energy sector, including through use of securitized investments,” Parish told me.

And that’s not all. A multi-billion-dollar market in global finance for renewable energy and efficiency is now giving very large investors, like sovereign wealth funds and pension funds, easy access to these new securities. Stay tuned to this space for more on that exciting new sector.

Photo: William Kamkwamba’s old windmill, Malawi (whiteafrican/Flickr)

Case Study: Buckley Air Force Base

Unique prolems to solve: An old World War II base, Buckley had 100-plus buildings in various

Rod White, Chief Mechanical

Rod White, Chief Mechanical

stages of disrepair. Often buildings had stand- alone systems; many had no building controls whatsoever.

There were at least eight different control systems in place, none of which could “talk” to one another. The Air Force’s goal was to tie everything to a single central control station to monitor the entire base.

System solution: After researching control systems at bases throughout the country, Buckley chose Delta Controls. Deciding factors included 3-D animated graphics, system reliability and ease of use. In Phase One of the base’s upgrade, Setpoint Systems installed Delta Controls in 14 buildings, including office spaces, hangars, HQ buildings, shops, work areas, fitness areas and the cafeteria.

ResultsAccording to Rod White, utilizing Delta Controls’ BACnet® system has balanced base performance for the first time. The Delta Controls’ system is much easier to understand, maintain and control. This means much less repair work for the staff. With HVAC working so well, the next step is to incorporate Access, Lighting and Irrigation. Rod calls the experience “one of the best projects I’ve ever been associated with.”

The former home of the Colorado Air National Guard, Buckley has been transformed into a fully operational Air Force base, home of the 460th Air Base Wing, as well as the 140th wing of the Colorado Air National Guard and 42 other units.

Case Study: University of Colorado

Backgrounduccs-200w

Located at the base of Pikes Peak along the southern Rocky Mountains, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (UCCS) is host to 12,000 students. Founded in 1965, UCCS has a campus covering over 500 acres, with buildings as diverse as Main Hall, which dates back to 1914, to the 87,000 square foot Beth-El College of Nursing.

Unique problem to solve

UCCS had several goals for the project, each requiring a special set of circumstances. One building called for the replacement of an old DDC system, another needed a partial replacement of an old data management system. Modems needed to be replaced with a campus wide network; software was upgraded. At the same time a new Web server and historian was installed. In addition, the school added electrical meter tracking for all the buildings in order to monitor when peak usage was occurring. Equally important was to be able to complete the project with available funding.

System solution

Setpoint provided UCCS with several package options so the school could choose which solution worked best for its needs and budget. A BACnet system integrated different existing systems as well as the new network, HVAC and electrical meter reading and trending. The University Center went from a pneumatic system to DDC. Setpoint worked with the UCCS IT department to program the system to fit the school’s specific requirements.

Results

Says Ralph Henline, HVAC Technician, “Setpoint was great in causing as little disruption as possible while the system was being installed. The Delta system has helped make it easier to improve occupant comfort. For instance, in the Engineering Building, we have better temperature control. And no longer have to run chillers and boilers at the same time!” Mr. Henline was also quite impressed with Setpoint’s after service, pointing out that when a glitch arose with the firmware, Setpoint replaced the affected controllers at no charge.

What they’re saying at UCCS

On service and support

Setpoint provided us with several option packages so we could build what was most relevant for us. It was important for the school to have that flexibility. Our IT Department uses a little different setup than most other schools, but Setpoint worked with us to get everything talking.”

Ralph Henline, HVAC Technician

University of Colorado, Colorado Springs

 

 

About Delta Controls:

Since its inception, Delta Controls has taken a single approach to business: do what it takes to do the job right, all the time, every time. That’s why we offer the most interoperable BACnet platform in the industry. And designed our own HVAC, lighting and access systems to be fully integrated and operated from a single workstation. We pride ourselves on our easy-to-use graphic interface and customizable software. Simply put, we do it right.