One of the really cool things about covering shows like Realcomm|IBcon is that we quite often get first looks at new vendors and technologies. Although wireless sensors are not new to Smart Buildings, Monnit’s approach and product offering are. Check this video out to see why.
Thermokon’s David Alliband demonstrates one of Thermokon’s complete hotel suite solutions. The adoption of the EnOcean wireless, battery-less technology is inevitable, and now that the EnOcean points are easily integrated into to any existing or future building management system, the conclusion is obvious: Thermokon, with its complete portfolio of hard-wire and wireless products is making its way into your future!
After posting our recent article “Limits and Possibilities of Wireless Technologies,” our business partner over at WattStopper, Bryan Pike, got in touch with some concerns. They’ve been making wireless BULIT® (Basic Utility Light Intelligent Transceiver) controllers specifically for outside parking lot installations for a few years now, and we’ve been selling them with some success.
There’s obviously a transition happening in the industry, where these new technologies are cropping up and while we’re fans of innovation, we always want to be sure that we’re cautious of fads. But this BULIT® controller is no passing trend. It works to solve real problems in parking lot lighting management as well as provide true cost savings for end users.
“As with any wireless communication, including your cell phone,” Pike explained, “there are times where you have intermittent communication. The advantage of our products is that they contain the logic. This small device on top of a light pole is actually a self-contained, fully programmable controller and sub-meter capable of functioning with or without direct communication over the wireless network.”
Since reliability in parking lots is such a concern, this is of utmost importance.
In hard-wired systems, there is no way to provide energy management solutions unless you go in and break these circuits up. But with WattStopper’s wireless BULIT®, there is no need to install time clocks on every light, run cable or trench concrete. They just plug into a standard photocell receptacle and provide feedback, wirelessly, to the JACE. While the JACE is responsible for communicating to the device itself, the BULIT® contains all of the advanced scheduling and current-monitoring for themselves.
On a recent project in upstate New York, Pike and his team at WatStopper installed 187 of these BULIT® controllers on individual parking lot lights. By providing this level of advanced scheduling, the team was able to give the customer more energy management by allowing them to bring their lights on in stages, staggering the execution of lighting commands to save on energy use. Once a week, WattStopper publishes a new schedule for the BULIT® and then they’re done with communication to the JACE. The only time it needs to communicate with the front-end again is when it needs to report a status or if an issue comes along, like a bulb outage or security problem.
“This is the way any parking lot lighting controls should work,” Pike explained. “You’re not relying on a constant RF communication to turn these lights on and off. And it addresses any lighting safety issues.”
In a recent independent study by OnWorld, it was found that by 2017, 6.3 million outdoor wireless lighting controls like the BULIT® will be installed. So why the transition?
“There’s no other way to do it,” says Pike. “Your last major energy load that goes uncontrolled in any commercial space is lighting, especially outdoor lighting because there is just no way to intelligently control it. Right now, you have a circuit in a parking lot coming back to a local photocell or time clock that contains information and publishes it to all the lights at the same time.” And that’s not reliable or sustainable.
To further illustrate the importance of lighting controls, Pike and I walked through a current example of a project we’re bidding on to install the BULIT® solution. The customer has 320 lights for which they pay $0.14 per kilowatt hour. The bulb wattage is 1,000 and the average burn time per year per light is 4,380. That gives brings their total cost for lighting each year to $235,000.
Walking through the basic control algorithm for lighting controls, we found that there is a large opportunity for savings on just slight lighting adjustments made possible by the BULIT® controller. We estimated a cost per node at $220 for 320 lights. Add a database front-end cost of $22,000 and another $20,000 for labor. By just providing a 45-minute off-set for the light run time, the customer would have a 2.3 year payback. Then, let’s say we wanted to turn off half of the lights for 5 hours each night. When you do that, the return drops to 1.1 years with an annual savings of $97,227. So have slightly more than one year, there is more than $97,000 back in the operating budget. These are substantial opportunities.
So while we initially wanted to advocate for caution in this new wireless world order, we didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to explain that there are some real viable solutions available now. And we’re happy to talk with you about them if you have any questions. Contact us Controlco.
The Wi‐Fi capability provides homeowners with remote access to the control system from their Smartphone or tablet device using the IntelliComfort™ mobile app, allowing them to easily monitor the status of every enabled system device. Contractors, when given permission by homeowners, can access the automated system faults and notification alerts via email. Built‐in temperature and humidity notification alerts help to keep pipes from freezing and prevent mold. The Wi‐Fi capable Communicating Control will be available to ship the week of March 17th, 2014.
To learn more and to make sure our customers become familiar with this new product, we are encouraging you to attend one of the Sales & Technical Training webinars. We are also encouraging our distribution partners to offer similar training to their dealers and contractors. This strategy will benefit both our companies in making sure our customers are well equipped and trained to promote, sell, install, and troubleshoot this product. To accomplish this objective, we have scheduled Sales & Technical Training webinars for the dates listed below.
Please make sure you attend one of these sessions. These webinars will be recorded so you can also review the material after the webinar.
March 14th, 2014 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM https://www2.gotomeeting.com/pjoin/388707034/105605877
April 4th, 2014 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM https://www2.gotomeeting.com/pjoin/137939954/105949884
April 11th, 2014 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM https://www2.gotomeeting.com/pjoin/169758730/105633064
Included with this launch package, please find a Direct Mail postcard that you can send out to your dealers encouraging them to participate in one of these webinars. We are very excited about the opportunities the new Affinity Wi‐Fi Communicating Control will bring to you and your customers. This product gives the homeowner optimum comfort while saving energy, and provides our distributors and their dealers another opportunity to increase profits. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Exploring this trend with a critical eye
Wireless Technologies: Limits
In this new digital age, wireless technologies can’t help but sound sexy. Where would you be now if you had to plug your computer into an Ethernet cord every time you wanted to watch a movie on Netflix? But while there are extremely useful consumer applications for wireless technologies, building automation systems are not always one of them.
Before even touching a wireless controller, a designer/installer should understand the benefits and still consider the negative possibilities of using the technology in any application, but particularly a lighting application. Working with wireless technologies requires a very specific working knowledge and understanding of the limits of such technologies like distance, obstructions, and installation. With these limitations come increased costs as work-arounds frequently become necessary and project timelines get extended.
Lighting can be very tricky, because there are certain places where you just can’t risk a lighting application not working properly, like in a parking lot – the liability is too great. A less prickly place to start might be with HVAC units for wireless technologies (but you still have to consider the aspects of the building structure that might interfere with, and thereby limit, the signal strength).
Despite these limitations, we do see more and more clients asking about wireless solutions. This is good because as the user becomes more aware of the technology, the manufacturer will continue improving the product. And we’ll keep gathering experiences with all the new technologies to provide real hands-on expertise to clients [Read more…]
Energy Harvesting meets Display – No Batteries, No Wires!
The redesigned room operating units are in line with the “thanos” design characteristics. A variety of options are available:
SR06: Combined room temperature and humidity sensor with display.
SR07: Available with set point adjustment, day/night time mode and multi-function push button.
The SR06LCD is the highlight of this new and innovative series. With its maximum power energy management the unit operates without external supply voltage. The custom solar cell self-sufficiently powers the device and the energy is harvested by artificial or natural light sources in a room.
A continual indication temperature and humidity, set point, fan stages, presence and window status without user wake up is displayed and the ability to control room comfort levels with set point and fan stages buttons. External reset option and the integration of external values such as occupancy or window status via the EnOcean bi-directional “Smart Acknowledgement” technology.
Thermokon Americas LP will be exhibiting at the AHR show in New York from the 21-23 January, 2014.
WattStopper’s Pete Horton delivered this exciting announcement on the November 24th ControlTalk NOW. The combination of AIC Wireless and Bryan Pike’s expertise of the Tridium Niagara architecture with WattStopper’s extensive application understanding of the lighting and electrical infrastructures offers the high performance building industry new and exciting opportunities. Using mesh network technology, or Lon, BACnet, or Ethernet trunking, WattStopper can deliver incomparable lighting synergy and sets a new standard of simple, flexible, scalable, and secure lighting system deployment within the high performance building industry.
CTA Awards Steering Committee is the sponsor for this week’s ControlTalk NOW. The extraordinary BB King Blues Club will be the site of the 2013 ControlTrends Awards. Located in NYC’s Time Square, this famous venue promises to enhance the excitement and entertainment of the CTA’s.
The ControlTrends Community will soon be voting for the 2013 Thermostat of the Year. The Honeywell Prestige IAQ, Viconics, EnTouch, as well as the three other thermostats mentioned in the following article, Nest, Ecobee, and EcoFactor are all well recognized thermostats with an abundance of features and benefits.
I found this article written by Mary Catherine O’Connor posted in the Smart Planet Daily, which is a great source for Smart News and Ideas. Ms. O’Connor delivers a fresh, insightful, and big picture perspective, quite different from the traditional HVAC view, to the discussion of thermostats and the integral role the household thermostat will play in America’s, possibly, the world’s energy future.
By Mary Catherine O’Connor, April 11, 2013, 3:00 AM PDT
Americans are using less energy but are still failing to conserve energy.
That sounds like a contradiction, but it’s not. Because new homes are better insulated and heating and cooling system are more efficient, Americans burned around 10 percent fewer British thermal units to heat and cool their homes in 2009 than they did in 1993, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. But during that same period, the amount of energy consumed for appliances, electronics and lighting grew by around 10 percent. [Read more…]
The new Honeywell Prestige IAQ is a thermostat with Brains and Beauty, and with a host of wireless accessories, the Prestige offers one sleek solution to solve comfort problems and drive revenue! Will Nest, can Nest, answer the competitive bell and rise to the challenge? The Prestige is a tour de force featuring elegant engineering and Nouveau Décor. Without a response from Nest, it appears Honeywell will take command of one of the largest and most lucrative markets in the HVAC industry.
Even the high-end DIY’s will reconsider once they give the Prestige IAQ a good once over. With fan control and the [Read more…]