Can’t Get Enough of this COMFY Stuff: Where Social Media meets Building Automation Controls

comfy1As a member of the System Intelligence Redefined panel, Lindsay Baker, VP, Research & Marketing, at Building Robotics, addresses the attendees of the 2014 IBcon Smart HVAC Track with High Tech, High Touch technology from Building Robotics that drives participatory comfort attainment and energy savings. The ultimate compliment to any existing BMS BAcnet system, COMFY takes VAV Zone Control to the next level. Take a good look at COMFY!

Energy Department Invests $14 Million in Innovative Building Efficiency Technologies

DOE1The Energy Department today announced up to $14 million in funding for 15 research and development projects to support technologies that will contribute to advancing early- stage, breakthrough energy-efficient solutions for buildings and homes. These projects will help building managers and homeowners reduce energy demand, save money and accelerate the deployment of clean energy technologies.

Seven incubator projects will be funded with nearly $6 million to improve heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), water heating, sensors and controls, and building energy modeling. Additionally, eight frontier projects will receive $8 million to address energy efficiency in advanced clothes dryers, windows, and building thermal insulation. Frontier projects seek to improve the efficiency of existing technologies by incorporating new, innovative materials or components.

Cost-shared with a $3 million investment from industry, the projects are intended to dramatically reduce energy consumption in commercial and residential buildings. In 2013, this accounted for nearly 40 percent of all energy use in the U.S., an estimated cost of $413 billion.

“Investments in advanced energy-efficient technologies will help families and businesses reduce energy costs, while reducing carbon emissions,” said Kathleen Hogan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency. “These innovative approaches will improve smart-building technologies, including lighting, lighting controls, highly insulated walls and windows, as well as increase efficiency measures that complement a building’s entire energy management system.”

The incubator projects selected for funding are:

University of Florida (Gainesville, Florida), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) (Oak Ridge, Tennessee) and Stony Brook University (Stony Brook, New York) – A gas-fired combined water heater, dehumidifier, and cooler that uses membrane-based absorption to cool and dehumidify an interior space, and uses water condensed during dehumidification to heat domestic hot water.

ORNL (Oak Ridge, Tennessee) with Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) (Livermore, California) and University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland) – A high-performance refrigerator that uses a novel rotating heat exchanger that allows for evaporation without the need for a defrost cycle.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) (Berkeley, California) with California Energy Commission (Sacramento, California) – A hybrid energy modeling method that combines physics-based simulations with in-situ measured temperature data to create a more robust model for retrofit analysis.

SNL (Livermore, California) with Creative Thermal Solutions (Urbana, Illinois) – An ultra-efficient air conditioning and heating system based on an air-bearing rotary heat exchanger for building-scale HVAC systems.

QM Power Inc. (Lee’s Summit, Missouri) with United Technologies Research Center (East Hartford, Connecticut) – A higher efficiency HVAC electric motor with a novel parallel magnetic circuit path that will lower the cost of the motor by reducing the size of the conductor loop and using less powerful magnets.

Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, Ohio) with Intwine Connect LLC (Chagrin Falls, Ohio) – Transforming ordinary buildings into smart buildings by developing low-cost, user-installable building sensors that are powered without wires or batteries and instead harvest power from vibrational energy in the environment.

ORNL (Oak Ridge, Tennessee) with Richman Surrey LLC (Scottsdale, Arizona) and University of Tennessee (Knoxville, Tennessee) – Improving energy efficiency in small and medium commercial buildings by non-intrusively monitoring load and equipment health of HVAC systems.

July 2014 Issue of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Building America Update

DOE Building AmericaDear Building America colleague: The July 2014 issue of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Building America Update newsletter is now available! This month’s issue highlights examples of zero energy ready homes across the country that are delivering outstanding levels of energy savings, comfort, health, and durability.

Read this issue to learn about:
* A 2013 Top Innovation Spotlight on Zero Energy Ready Single Family Homes
* July 11 deadline for feedback on effective power words
* A Building America webinar on boosting space conditioning in multifamily buildings
* The country’s first affordable zero energy ready home—benefitting a U.S. veteran
* Residential building success stories: Proud Green Homes and a multifamily retrofit
* Building America Solution Center’s new Zero Energy Ready checklist
* The latest publications from Building America: measure guidelines, case studies for new and existing homes and technologies, and more!

Read the full July issue for the latest news and information from Building America.

Learn more about the Building America program. And, please forward this notice to interested colleagues.

Honeywell JadeTM Economizer Firmware Update

jade_economizer Honeywell is continuously working to improve the Jade economizer controller. We update the firmware when we make significant changes to the product that will enhance the user’s experience. The last version of the Jade firmware was 1.07 released in 2011.

We are pleased to announce the release of new firmware on new products assembled after April 1, 2014. Listed below are the changes from W7220 (Jade) firmware version 1.07 to version 1.11.

New Features

Added stall actuator alarm suppression to avoid nuisance alarms on dampers that do not go open the full 90 degrees. Operator can suppress the stall alarm in a range of damper motion using the PC tool.
For example, if the damper only opens 50% then the damper alarm stall would initiate. On the 1.11 version the operator through the PC MOD tool can suppress the alarm in a specified range (ex: 35% to 50% open) and the alarm will still initiate out of the selected range (ex: below 35%).

Added Discharge Air (DA) temperature alarms for lower out of range (discharge air temperature too cold) and high out of range (discharge air temperature too high) Ex: if the discharge low end of range is set for 45F and the DA goes below 45F then an alarm will initiate. If the upper end of the range is set for 80F then when the DA goes above 80F an alarm will initiate. The operator can set the range using the input buttons on the Jade or using the PC tool. Default is 45F for the low range and 80F for the high range.

Hid “Factory defaults” so operators in the field cannot go back to factory defaults unless they use the PC tool to turn on the factory default setting.

Increased Fan cfm for DCV auto calibration from 15000 cfm to 50000 cfm.

Added table to instructions for minimum position settings and checkout menu. See table.

There are 4 minimum position settings on the 2-speed fan and CO2 options and only 2 minimum positions checked out in the CHECKOUT menu. Therefore the lowest setting (VENT MIN High Speed fan) and highest (VENT MAX Low speed fan) settings are on the CHECKOUT menu. The table assists the operators in determining what will show on the CHECKOUT menu based on the speed of the fan and DCV settings chosen.

PC Mod tool software has been updated to allow the existing PC tools to communicate with the new 1.11 Jade firmware. You will need to go online to customer.honeywell.com/economizertools and download the new software for the PC tool on your computer. Follow the instructions on the PC ModTool instruction sheet. The latest software is compatible with all firmware versions of Jade.

More Great Energy Savings Products from WattStopper — New Optional Neutral Wall Switch Sensors

WattStopper_logoMarketing message from WattStopper’s Director of Product Marketing, Carlos Villalobos:

I am pleased to announce a new family of Optional Neutral Wall Switch Occupancy Sensors, featuring WattStopper’s patent pending Neutral Sense Technology. This latest innovation from the brand you can trust for rock-solid reliability allows contractors to use any of these devices for two-wire OR three-wire applications, without any special configuration. Optional neutral sensors are available in affordable PIR and fully featured PIR and dual technology models. They simplify ordering, installation and reduce returns.

Catalog # Description
WS-301 Passive Infrared Wall Switch Occupancy Sensor
PW-301 Passive Infrared Wall Switch Occupancy Sensor
PW-302 Passive Infrared Dual Relay Wall Switch Occupancy Sensor
DSW-301 Dual Technology Wall Switch Occupancy Sensor
DSW-302 Dual Technology Dual Relay Wall Switch Occupancy Sensor

Product features include:
• Compliant with 2011 NEC requirements, or compatible with existing wiring
• Single and dual relay sensors in 6 colors
• Fully featured to complement previously released WattStopper sensors

Dual voltage 120/277V optional neutral sensors in white and ivory will be available on April 1, 2014. The complete product line will be available May 7, 2014.

Best regards and good selling,

Carlos Villalobos
Director Product Marketing
WattStopper
408.806.1621
Carlos.Villalobos@WattStopper.com
www.wattstopper.com

“Just Because” — Improved Energy Efficiency Insights from Marc Petock

“Just Because” — Improved Energy Efficiency Insights by Marc Petock, Vice President, Marketing at Lynxspring. Lynxspring is changing the way devices and systems communicate and collaborate across enterprises. Lynxspring

Energy efficiency continues to be the largest contributing factor to flat-lining electricity use.

Nice article appearing in Greentech Efficiency by Katherine Tweed on how the growth of electricity use has been falling for decades, but it will likely flatten out in coming years to an annual growth rate of less than 2 percent. The decline is due to many factors, from changing weather and economic recessions to the wider adoption of energy efficiency measures. But it is the latter that might explain the trend in recent years, according to a new study from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.

Link to Greentech article: Efficiency, Not Just the Recession, Drove US Energy Savings Since 2007

Link to full ACEEE study: Why Is Electricity Use No Longer Growing?

ControlTalk NOW for Week Ending March 23, 2014

This week’s ControlTalk NOW features Tech Tips, Red Carpet Interviews, Meeting Announcements, Product and Solution Infomercials, and HVAC News and Updates. As always, welcome to ControlTalk NOW.

RRHW1 On The ControlTrends Awards Red Carpet with Honeywell: Check out some of the stars from Honeywell: Roger Rebennack, Laura Kevitt, Patty Hall, and Tom Rosback, as they walk the Red Carpet and get interviewed at the 2013 ControlTrends Awards. The Honeywell team took trophies home in four ControlTrends Awards categories: Thermostat of the Year: Honeywell Prestige RedLINK, Marketing Tools and Support of the Year, Building Automation System of the Year: Honeywell WEBS, and Executive of the Year: Tom Rosback.

BillJones_2Mr. Jones’ ControlTech Tips: How to Size A Gas Pressure Regulator: Thanks to Stromquist & Company’s Bill Jones for this great Control Tech Tip. In this episode, Mr. Jones shows you the four things you need to know size a gas pressure regulator. Stromquist & Company has one of the largest gas pressure regulator inventories in the country and can meet your all of your gas pressure regulators needs.

Brian-Turner-Thumb.More on Wireless Lighting Controls — Viable Options from WattStopper, by Brian Turner. 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.

MarkP“Just Because.” In the Field with Marc Petock: The very versatile Marc Petock does it again — in his latest post to ControlTrends that puts us on the other side of the business table. As Lynxspring’s veteran VP of Marketing, Marc shares some of his vast knowledge of the Building Automation industry and marketing expertise. The ControlTrends community can look forward to much more of Marc’s profound industry insight in Marc’s new column, “Just Because.” Thanks Marc!

2014EnergySummitDon’t Miss! Global Visionaries Featured at Town Hall Meeting, April 1, 2014. *NEW* CLOSING TOWN HALL MEETING April 1, 4:30-5:30 p.m. The Closing Town Hall Meeting of the 2014 Building Energy Summit will feature an open mic discussion with The Energy Gang and international visionaries Jigar Shah, Stephen Lacey, Katherine Hamilton, John Picard, and Roger Frechette. What will the coming decades bring for energy efficient buildings? In this town hall discussion, we’ll take a deep look at cutting edge design, technology integration, environmental impact, and the global financial benefits of energy efficiency in buildings.

NewRIBIntroducing New RIB Product! PSH500A-LVC: * High/Low Voltage Separation * Five isolated 100 VA Class 2 outputs * 480/277/240/120 Vac to 24 Vac * 500 VA transformer * Perfect for VAV applications * Also available in PSH200A-LVC and PSH300A-LVC * Low Voltage wiring made easy with our power supply with low voltage wiring made easy with our plugable terminal blocks for easy access.

D.SmithMicrosoft’s Darrell Smith Predicts Seahawks Super Bowl Win and Saves Energy. In addition to optimizing energy savings, Darrell collects 500,000,000 data transactions every 24 hours from 125 buildings that occupy 15 million square feet and house 57,000 people. Darrell was kind enough to share how he uses data to make the Microsoft campus one of the most energy efficient complexes on the planet.

Lynxspring-RobLynxspring Training Streamed Live at Stromquist & Company Part 1: Stromquist & Company had a Lynxspring day at their Atlanta location. We streamed the event live. The following is part one of that Live Steam. In this episode Marc Petock and Clayton Plymil walk us through the Lynxspring portfoilo of building automation products including the JENEsys and Lynxspring CyberPro.

EliteDali1Controlco Partners with Control Network Solutions to Bring Innovation to Lighting Controls: Industry leaders add Big Data capabilities to NiagaraAX® platform. OAKLAND, March, 2014 – Lighting controls demand increasingly more attention from building managers across the globe. In California alone at the end of 2013, the state’s Department of Energy updated its Building Energy Efficiency Program with a lighting requirement that demands multi-level lighting controls (at least three to four levels), putting strain on existing systems that aren’t able to integrate at this volume.

ControlTalk NOW will continue to provide a weekly episode featuring the people, products, and the News of the Week shaping our world of controls, building automation, and the HVAC industry.

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Controlco Partners with Control Network Solutions to Bring Innovation to Lighting Controls

dali_cloudIndustry leaders add Big Data capabilities to NiagaraAX® platform. OAKLAND, March, 2014 – Lighting controls demand increasingly more attention from building managers across the globe. In California alone at the end of 2013, the state’s Department of Energy updated its Building Energy Efficiency Program with a lighting requirement that demands multi-level lighting controls (at least three to four levels), putting strain on existing systems that aren’t able to integrate at this volume.

To address the difficulties that building managers face in the wake of changes to the lighting industry, Controlco, an Oakland-based distribution and systems integrator, has partnered with the UK’s Control Network Solutions to offer their revolutionary elitedali™ software to customers in the United States and beyond.

Elitedali™, a driver for NiagaraAX® that has been disrupting the market since it arrived four years ago, integrates light fixture data directly into the Niagara framework for Big-Data-style analysis. Since each lighting fixture in a building may have within it at least 40 data and command points, there are many opportunities for data mining that have traditionally been outside the reach of Niagara. The elitedali™ driver enables NiagaraAX® to control, maintain, manage and visualize massive numbers of DALI® (Digital Addressable Lighting Interface, a global IEC standard for intelligent light fixture communication) light fixtures and reduce the time required to replace light systems and monitor energy usage.

global_dali“DALI is the only global standard enabling the control of lighting according to occupancy and daylight while managing maintenance requirements,” Mike Welch, managing director for Control Network Solutions, says. “The contrast with the combination of elitedali™ and the NiagaraAX® framework is that it provides the most vendor-independent solution available today. It also simplifies the infrastructure for accessing lighting data and control.”

“Integrating elitedali™ into our customer offerings was a natural step for us,” Brian Turner, president of Controlco, says. “We’ve long been known for developing problem-solving drivers on the NiagaraAX® platform. As we’ve been watching the lighting industry become more complicated, it made sense to combine our engineering and implementation expertise with CNS’s innovative and truly market-disrupting driver.”

By harnessing the power of data visualization, the ubiquity of cloud computing and opening up what was once limited and proprietary, elitedali™ gives building managers access to detailed information on their lighting usage. With the combination of hands-on expertise from Controlco engineers, integration into existing systems is seamless.

About Controlco: Controlco delivers leading-edge automation and control solutions, products and services that improve business performance and peace-of-mind for commercial and industrial building operators. With state-of-the-art software and industry leading products as well as a full suite of value-added services, Controlco offers total solutions all energy management needs.

About Control Network Solutions: Based just 45 minutes from London, UK, CNS is a Niagara AX® Developer, Tridium and Honeywell Partner. It has a successful track record of creating both client specific and off the shelf web based solutions to the SMART buildings control environment world. They are based upon open standards network communication protocols and compatible with the “Internet of Things” (IoT) and demands for “big data” cloud based analytics. Control Network Solutions has developed a suite of products for the Framework including elitedali™ for lighting, and cns-enocean™ for wireless/battery-less switches, sensors and actuators.

More on Wireless Lighting Controls — Viable Options from WattStopper, By Brian Turner

Brian-Turner-Thumb. 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.BulitApp

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.

Bulit!“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.

ControlTalk NOW for Week Ending February 16, 2014

This week’s ControlTalk NOW lead post was HACKED: Not So Good News: Smart Building Industry Experiences Major Technology Challenge! Richard K. Warner, OM|E Facility Solutions, expounds on “the rest of the Target story.” ControlTalk also welcomes Ken Sinclair, editor of AutomatedBuilding.com, our industry’s Library of Alexandria, and one of the most useful websites available to anybody in the building automation business. Ken talks about the mission of AutomatedBuidings.com and how it has evolved over the years to accommodate the significant changes within our industry. And, make sure to watch the Therese Sullivan interview, now posted in its entirety.

zipecon1Belimo Zip Economizer, The Good, The Great, and The Incredible: The Good: We are watching the introduction of new and innovative products being released at an incredible rate! The Belimo Zip Economizer promises to deliver economizer savings and application performance on a new level! The Great: The impact of disruptive technology continues to alter the of course of business as usual. There’s going to be more ORANGE than ever — inside the building envelope, and for good reason, because the need for energy savings has never been more important.

HackedHACKED: Not So Good News: Smart Building Industry Experiences Major Technology Challenge! Richard K. Warner, OM|E Facility Solutions, expounds on “the rest of the Target story,” and brings the reality of our present state of affairs into a very sobering and focused perspective. The HVAC industry’s over-used security through obscurity has ended abruptly.

Basic RGBDOE Municipal Solid-State Street Lighting Consortium, Must-Watch LA Lights Video: The DOE Municipal Solid-State Street Lighting Consortium shares technical information and experiences related to LED street and area lighting demonstrations and serves as an objective resource for evaluating new products on the market intended for those applications. Cities, power providers, and others who invest in street and area lighting are invited to join the Consortium and share their experiences.

easyio-fg-20EasyIO FG-32 Beast From the East Update: New BACnet IP Client Feature Released: Mike Marston, EasyIO’s VP Worldwide Sales, enthusiastically announced the 2013 ControlTrends Building Automation Controller of the Year, FG-32 is now available with BACnet IP Client! Users will now be able to use a 4GB card for Graphics and Histories, and a 4GB card is plenty! One Graphic is about 200K bytes and a 1 GB will give 10 some million history records.

BitpoolThe Worlds of Big Data, Cloud Services, and Infographics According to Bitpool: A Cloud Data Collection Platform for All: ControlTrends serves as a valuable pivot site for our industry’s trends, whether they’re leading products, solutions, software and products updates and releases, web-meetings, seminars, as well as industry insights — many of them global in origin. This industry insight is from Rav Panchalingam, a self-declared software geek from Australia. Rav uses an interesting hamburger analogy to comment on some of the biggest trends unfolding in 2014: The worlds of big data, cloud services, and infographics, as viewed from the land down under. Rav and Bitpool seem to know where the beef is and how to get it… (and the disruption continues).

Therese.001 Therese Sullivan Talks Smart Buildings, Google, and System Integration: Why did Google really buy Nest? What skills does the controls system integrator of the future look like? Who will win the race to the large space? To answer some of these questions Ken and I tracked down Therese Sullivan, who explores these types of topics on her blog BuildingContext.me.

EasyIO2 Mike Marston and the EasyIO Beast – HTTP Data Histories and CSV files. Some More Show and Tell! Mike Marston, EasyIO’s VP of Worldwide Sales is passionate about his products and offering great solutions for Energy Services and overall Building Management. All done simply, via EasyIO Sedona Objects, and Open Source Tools — it’s truly amazing!

t775 copy Honeywell T775 Quality Alert Bulletin: T775 Quality Alert In this Bulletin: * A limited number of T775s were incorrectly calibrated. The result was incorrect temperature readings on the Sensor A input. * The affected T775 units start with date code 1314.

ControlTalk NOW will continue to provide a weekly episode featuring the people, products, and the News of the Week shaping our world of controls, building automation, and the HVAC industry.

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