Energy Department Announces $15 Million to Integrate Affordable Solar Energy into Nation’s Electrical Grid

DOE1 The Department of Energy keeps the green pedal to the metal.

Supporting the goals of the Obama Administration’s Climate Action Plan, the Energy Department today announced $15 million in available funding to help integrate distributed, on-site solar energy systems into the nation’s electrical grid. With more solar power installed in the United States in the last 18 months than in 30 years prior, solar is shattering records. Since President Obama took office, the amount of solar power installed in the U.S. has increased more than thirteen fold – from 1.2 gigawatts (GW) in 2008 to an estimated 15.9 GW today – enough to power the equivalent of 3.2 million average American homes. As more solar comes online, the Energy Department is working to address the challenges of solar power, such as the variability of available sunshine during the day, and developing solutions to better integrate solar photovoltaics (PV) with electric power systems throughout the grid.

To further spur widespread deployment of safe, reliable, and cost-effective solar energy for all Americans, this funding is specifically aimed at supporting projects that enable low-cost, flexible and reliable solutions that successfully integrate solar PV power plants and energy storage. The funding opportunity will tackle the challenge of creating cost-effective and reliable distributed PV and energy storage solutions to help overcome the challenges associated with increased amounts of renewables. Eligible projects include solutions that will help revolutionize distributed PV and energy storage through:

Advanced operation in conjunction with smart loads and demand response,
Incorporation of solar and load forecasting,
Innovative uses of smart components and functionalities, and
Easily interoperable hardware, software and firmware technologies.

Full Story!

Live Stream Rewind: KMC Simply VAV Training

This is a replay of a Live Steam training class held at Stromquist & Company. Thanks to Doug Miller and Erich Kreuter, from KMC Controls, for this great training session on the KMC Simply VAV controller. Simple to set up, with no software needed, this controller is powerful and functions equally as well as a stand-alone solution or the VAV controller of choice on a BACnet full-blown control system.

Better Valve Design Equals Better Coil Performance

Are you better off with a flow dependent or pressure dependent control valve? Watch this video, from the  team at Belimo, and you will know how selecting the right type of control valve can improve coil performance, tenant comfort, and save energy all at the same time.

The Belimo Energy valve is on the nomiantion ballot for the 2014 ControlTrends Awards. Click here to nominate Belimo or your favorite HVAC products, people,and companies.

Click here for more training videos from Belimo.

ControlTrends People: KMC Controls’ Erich Kreuter

I had a chance to sit down and talk to Erich Keuter, from KMC Controls. Eric is the grandson of Ken Kreuter,  the founder of Kreuter Controls which is now KMC Controls. Hear what Erich had to say about the company philosophy that makes KMC Controls different from most controls companies, as well as, what makes Simply VAV such a special VAV controls solution. Click here for a specification sheet on this easy to use VAV controller.

Rob Allen’s 7 Minutes in Control: Neptronic’s EVC Controller — Low Cost, High Performance VAV

This ultra-informative episode of Rob Allen’s 7 Minute in Control reviews the Neptronic EVC Conroller. Neptronic offers an exceptional low cost, high performance stand-alone or BACnet MS/TP, VAV solution — that works! The EVC products are geared for the Light Commercial Contractor, DDC Controls Contractors, and the savvy end-user customer. NO sign-up fees, NO sales minimums, and NO training requirements, Neptronic’s VAV low cost solution features easy to configure, drop-down menu programming.

GC Valves — Solenoid Valve TechTip: Sensible Precautions (Part 1)

CS_GCVMECHANICAL & MATERIALS CONSIDERATIONS: Solenoid valves are your fastest acting option when controlling flow, they can be repaired in-line (without breaking plumbing connections in most designs), and they can be less costly than other electrically operated valves.

But there are a few measures that can increase your satisfaction with solenoid valves:

1 — install strainers or filters to prevent foreign materials from entering the valve and interfering with operation
2 — avoid teflon tape: those stringy leftover pieces can travel downstream and hang up in the valve
3 — use pipe dope sparingly: globs of it in the line can affect solenoid valves and other control elements
4 — add check valves to your design if it is important to prevent back flow through the solenoid valve
5 — consider plumbing solenoid valves in series (double-block) where any leakage is unacceptable
6 — ask for a plated operator to protect special grades of stainless steel from corrosion.

And be sure to let your distributor or region manager know about everything in the line fluid: additives in air, water or other fluids can change the soft-seal requirements.

Thanks to Jesse Smyers of Sunbury Controls for offering technical input on this topic. For those efforts he receives a GC Valves coffee mug filled with a variety of “old fashioned” candies.

Chuck Stevens – GC Valves Solenoid Valves
PO Box 2057 – Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania 16066
724-772-8900 – fax 412-202-9616
chuck.stevens@gcvalves.com

Gotta TechTIP? If we choose your tip or question for this email program, you’ll win a GC Valves coffee mug filled with our candy of the month. Hershey’s Kisses? Atomic Fireballs? Jelly Beans? Who knows? Of course, we’ll also give a tip of the hat to recognize your technical savvy.

Simply email your idea to the Region Manager: chuck.stevens@gcvalves.com.

Sorry, we can only acknowledge winners. GC Valves employees not eligible. Open to those of you located in the Northeast US and Eastern Canada.

See How Honeywell Integrates Access and Security

We caught up with the very knowledgable and passionate Roger Rebennack at the 2014 ASIS Show in Atlanta. See what makes the Honeywell Webs-AX Access and Security so special. From modular control to seamless integration, WEBs-AX Security offers a range of options for meeting the needs of nearly any size or type of building or network of facilities. WEBS-AX Security is open and scalable, offers complete, seamless integration, and it can provide you energy savings — that’s why you should want WEBS-AX Security in your building!

Product Review: Mike Welch and The Niagara Dali Lighting Solution


CNSMike Welch of Control Network Solutions is excited about DALI’s future, literally, and not just about DALI’s integration of low-hanging light-fruit, but the future-proof solutions DALI offers building owners. Mike’s article “How to Avoid Stranded Investments in Intelligent Buildings” explains in great detail, that DALI is a converged solution and as changes are made within the building space, control over the DALI lighting remains absolute.

Also, many of the market headwinds and barriers are diminishing as the pricing of DALI components are normalizing in the North American markets. There are fewer risks and more instances of successful large-scale deployments. Control Network Solutions offers Niagara AX integrators a certified partner program and the additional expertise to navigate past the lighting market’s history and the lighting specification split between the mechanical and electrical sections. Incorporating EnOcean technology into the existing DALI product platform and tools will only enhance and accelerate deployments.

ControlTalk Now: The Smart Building Podcast September 28, 2014

Johnson-ControlsControlTalk Now: The Smart Building Podcast September 28, 2014 is sponsored by Johnson Controls, nominated for 16 ControlTrends Awards, and world class manufacturer of one of the best end-to-end DDC solutions in the HVAC Industry — that keeps getting better! Check out the Johnson Controls FX Appliance that sits on top of the Niagara Framework and enables automatic graphic creation, new station (batch import) wizards, simple integration of N2 and BACnet points, support for mobile devices and mobile device graphics, schedule/link/point group/point summary managers, and launching PCT from the FX Workbench interface.

SMG2Honeywell’s Automated Demand Response Platform Lowers Peak Demands and Saves Money: September 22, 2014: Honeywell’s Smart Grid Investment Grant (SGIG) project demonstrates utility-scale performance of a hardware/software platform for automated demand response (ADR). This project stands apart from the other SGIG projects in that it focused both on the development of an ADR hardware/software platform to facilitate demand response and on recruiting and educating ADR customers to participate in energy saving programs sponsored by utilities.

coretech923_2014CoRE Tech 2014 @ Sprint Campus & OPCC, Overland Park, KS — November 10-11: CoRE Tech 2014 is a unique gathering of the world’s most proactive, visionary corporate real estate executives who’ve elected to come together to focus on innovative automation and technology strategies. Day 1 of the 2-day event will be held on the Sprint Corporate HQ Campus. Day 2 will be held at the nearby Overland Park Convention Center.

PLUGIT1Plug-IT — Real Savings & Control from Energy Systems Technologies! NS 2014 New Product Award Winner. Plug-IT delivers a remarkable solution to maximize your energy savings and is an award-winning product that leverages existing Niagara installations! Easily meets the latest ASHRAE 90.1 standards for controlling 50% of wall receptacle plug loads.

DeltaDelta Controls — 18 Nominations for the 2014 ControlTrends Awards: The Delta Force is Heard! Delta Controls’ huge HVAC presence speaks volumes! With nominations in 18 categories from the world-wide ControlTrends community, Delta products and people are a force to be reckoned with at the 2014 ControlTrends Awards. This video introduces the Delta visionaries Brian Goodwell, President, Raymond Rae, VP, and Eric Shimmin, Director of Operations, ESC and tells about the world’s first truly BACnet HVAC, card access, and lighting solution. Welcome to the incredible Delta story.

cyber-pro-200Seven Things Every Director Should Know About IT Security: Lynxspring’s Connect & Protect: Author: Bob Mealey, Chief Business Development Officer, Lynxspring, Inc. Given the fallout from recent high profile cyber security incidents, which have resulted in losses of billions of dollars, countless numbers of lawsuits, brand erosion and loyalty, the loss of customer trust, the resignation of key executives and even the call for the ouster of most of the company’s board members, it should come as no surprise that cyber security is now top of mind for most corporate executives. Cyber security is now the number one concern in the corporate boardroom.

ED Kane2014 ControlTrends Awards Nominee — Vykon’s Ed Merwin, at IBCON 2014: This ControlTrends interview with Ed Merwin, Director, Vykon Automation Energy Security, keeps the IBCON 2014 feature reel running. Ed Merwin, nominated for Executive of the Year and the PID Award, is one of the most recognized experts in the Building Automation and Integration industry, having introduced the Niagara Platform and the concept of system integration to many of North America’s earliest integration adopters. Ed was co-winner of the prestigious 2013 ControlTrends’ PID Award.

BuildIQDown Under Case Study: BuildingIQ — at the Australian Technology Park: At BuildingIQ we always like a good challenge. That’s why we did not hesitate when the opportunity arose to deploy our Predictive Energy Optimization™ solution at one of ATP’s buildings. The implementation was done in the building occupied by NICTA (National Information and Technology Communications Center of Australia), which is highly energy efficient and has an impressive NABERS score of 5.5. Learn more about this implementation by reading the complete Case Study.

Johnson-ControlsJohnson Controls Sees Smart Buildings as the Future for Smart Cities in India: JCI Media Center: Building Technology & Services expert shares insights on smart buildings at the 12th India Green Building Congress. INDIA – September 05, 2014 – Johnson Controls, a global multi-industrial company, will present the importance of smart buildings in helping India achieve its goal of creating smart cities – cities that are highly advanced in terms of overall infrastructure, sustainable real estate, integrated communications and technology, energy management and governance – at the 12th India Green Building Congress 2014 (IGBC).

AD&AAutomated Diagnostics & Analytics for Buildings by Barney L. Capehart and Michael R. Brambley: Authors Barney L. Capehart, PhD, CEM Professor Emeritus University of Florida and Michael R. Brambley, Staff Scientist in Energy Technology Development at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have produced an HVAC Opus Magnus that will serve the entire spectrum of building and automation experts well — now, and for many years to come. Whether you’re a systems integrator, BAS or BMS Consultant, manufacturer or vendor, engineer, Director of Facilities or maintenance manager, this smart building tome (textbook) provides not only vital insight, methodologies, and options, but the compelling documentation that warrants immediate action.

ASIS_CAN_3Tonight is Canada Night at the ASIS 2014, Atlanta’s Georgia World Congress Center:A s a precursor to the show, iViewSYSTEMS invites you to drop by the ASIS CANADA NIGHT on Sunday, September 28th to kick off the show, or visit us at booth #2023 to see how we can help you better protect your people, business and assets with embedded technologies security management solutions for: Incident Reporting & Risk management, Visitor management, Identification Solutions and Compliance & Reporting. Join ASIS in Atlanta, Georgia, September 29–October 2, 2014 for our ASIS International 60th Annual Seminar and Exhibits– the world’s most influential security event