HVACP

SUM 2018

HVAC/P - HVAC and Plumbing Product News magazine - is the go-to resource for the latest products in the industry.

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B Y C H A R L E S A B B I N A N T I T he terms "smart" and "connected" are frequently used to describe the next generation of buildings and the equipment or technology that makes those buildings operate better than ever before. Connected equipment is maximizing building outcomes by leverag - ing improvements in connec- tivity, energy efficiency, reliability and flexibility. This connection links core systems such as lighting, power, water, heating, chillers, ventilation — the list goes on — to help better see how a building is functioning. HVAC systems are key to this connection as new advanced equipment uses controllers that are applica - tion specific and field pro- grammable, helping reduce project costs for customers and increasing their ability to execute on a connected build - ing. The advancements these systems enable in connected buildings are crucial for build - ing performance, ultimately saving energy and money, keep - ing people comfortable and increasing uptime. Connected buildings and equipment are beneficial and will continue to increase in popularity because of their ben - efits. As more customers look to improve building performance with the use of connected equipment, three consider - ations are vital for their success. Understanding these consid - erations and helping building owners realize them early in the process of implementing a connected building can help turn equipment providers into trusted partners. CONSIDERATION #1: INTELLIGENT CONTROLS Through controls that adapt to fit a specific set of parameters for a building, equipment like an HVAC unit can perform more consistently during rap - idly changing conditions. Units with intelligent controls can be simple to install and easy to tie into other pieces of equip - ment outside the unit thanks to advanced connections that no longer require secondary controllers or wiring. These advanced controllers simply require an expansion module. Beyond installation, having a controller with connected equipment can provide three main advantages: > More precise control: Advanced controllers include standard features and options to increase control precision. For example, standard refrigerant pressure monitoring and equip - ment power meters increase the ability to enhance control sequences. This also provides analytics that can be run in centralized tools to identify op - portunities to further enhance performance of the building system, while coordinating operation of other HVAC equip - ment and building systems. > Limited disruptions: Remote access to equipment operation allows real-time monitoring and the ability to rapidly diagnose equipment operation issues. By remotely adjusting equipment settings or dispatching service person - nel when the issue is identified, downtime is minimized and service costs reduced. > Superior system feed - back: Normal wear combined with intended and unintended changes in equipment opera - tion, like equipment overrides, causes slow changes in building performance and energy costs. If not monitored, the change is slow and unnoticed. Perfor - mance and energy monitoring exposes these changes and identifies corrective actions to maintain or improve the expected building performance and energy costs. Overall, the connection between the separate pieces of equipment allows a better view of the whole building for moni - toring and for how adjustments can be made for improved building performance. CONSIDERATION #2: VALIDATION Once installed and operating, connected equipment must be validated through testing. It is important to understand whether or not the unit is per - forming to the design specifica- tion to ensure the equipment is efficient in meeting the building goals, and making adjustments if it isn't. With - out planning for and execut- ing on validation, connected equipment can be wasted. Factory-installed electrical power meters can help with the execution of this validation. By providing information, validation also can ensure building owners that equip - ment is operating as desired and assist in future decision- making when looking at adding more connected equipment. When building owners can see the data on how equipment has been operating and where it is contributing to efficiency results, it's easier to sell the idea of additional connected equipment. CONSIDERATION #3: DIAGNOSTICS AND SERVICE To increase uptime, con- nected equipment improves the diagnostics and service process. It does this through remote access to equipment via multiple devices, like laptops or mobile phones, with the ability to rapidly diagnose equipment operation issues. By allowing diagnostics to be easily ac - cessed and viewed on multiple interfaces, it minimizes the time required to diagnose an issue and call for required ser - vice. Once an issue is identified, dispatching service personnel is quick and simple with inter - faces that are easy to use. In addition, connected capability of a controller enables improved service monitoring, because a technician can review unit performance without hav - ing to visit the equipment. The advanced diagnostics enabled by connected equipment deliver real-time building information to keep performance optimal. As connected buildings and equipment become more popular, understanding the key features for success will be in - creasingly important. With this understanding, building own - ers and facility managers can make more informed decisions when it comes to connected equipment and use that equip - ment to better their building outcomes. But without it, they can go through the process of incorporating connected equipment and waste its poten - tial. Incorporating intelligent controls, validation, diagnostics and service to connected equip - ment conversations can make all the difference in maximiz - ing the outcome of a connected building. Charles Abbinanti is product manager for Trane large commercial rooftop equipment. 3 essentials for successfully tying HVAC systems into connected buildings BETTER HVAC PERFORMANCE VCHALUP/DREAMSTIME HVACPproducts.com HVAC & Plumbing Product News \ Summer 2018 18

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