Archive for the ‘controls’ Category

Monitor-IT/Find-It/Fix-It: Isolating and Correcting Underperforming devices & controllers

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

Monitoring & tuning can be difficult. Any control system that is not tuned for maximum performance can be costly.

By using intelligent led solutions you can monitor the system performance by accessing real-time and/or historical process data for analysis and tuning.

The use and supports the automation functions alarming, scheduling, and trending (AST™). This includes a local scheduling service as well as the possibility to configure several local and remote 24 hour schedulers through the Web interface.

Alarming includes functionality to generate, deliver, acknowledge, and display alarm conditions, regardless of whether alarms occur in the device or arouse the control network. The trending capability includes a periodical or event-driven logging of values with time stamps. Logged events and trend data are stored by the controllere and can be exported with CSV files from the device via an FTP connection.

Controllers that include event-driven e-mail notification as a result of a predefined action triggered by a specific status or an exceeded high limit.

E-mail notification can also be set-up as well be used to forwarded event and trend data as e-mail attachments (CSV files) for long term storage to a central SQL database.

Lighting and HVAC in one controller = One system integrator!

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

The convergence of IP and building automation networks is undeniable and enables the integration of diverse applications and systems. Just to name a few, IP can connect energy metering & management, building automation, video surveillance, access control, and even fire & alarm systems. Managing several, or all of the above, from a single interface can offer unprecedented levels of reactivity and cohesion between systems.  It can also reduce overlapping software, labour and training costs. This is why IP enabled controllers and building management systems will win.

For system integrators, to manage HVAC and lighting simultaneously with a single controller means reduced hardware, installation and logistics costs. For end-users, it means better return on investments and shorter payback periods.

So, if someone is proposing to use a specialist BMS control contractor and a lighting control system integrator contractor on the same project – STOP and ask why?

The same specialist system integrator could undertake both roles!

Automation Speak: What Does Two-Way Mean?

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

You’ve probably stumbled across the term “two-way communications” when researching universal remote controls, home automation systems, even light dimmers.

What does that mean, and how does it compare to “one-way?”

In home-control speak, two-way refers to feedback.

A two-way remote control, for example, may not only operate the thermostats remotely it would also be able to display (in real time) the thermostat’s settings.

A one-way remote, on the other hand, could control the thermostats, but if you adjust the thermostat from the unit itself, it won’t be reflected on the remote’s display.

Two-way communications becomes especially important in a whole-house control system. You might want to know what the lights are doing in every room of the house. You might want to know what tunes are playing in each zone.

With one-way, you could do ALL OFF or ALL ON or dim the rooms to preset levels. But did the lights really respond to the commands? You may never know.

The biggie with two-way is metadata, most commonly associated with music playlists, artists, cover art, etc.

With one-way solutions, you may very well be able to view and browse through these attributes, but you won’t get the real-time “what’s playing” info delivered to your touchscreen, keypad or handheld remote.”

What it Takes to be Two-Way
For two-way communications to happen, obviously the controlling device (say, a keypad) must have the functionality.

But the device being controlled (say, a dimmer), also must have two-way capabilities.

If you press the OUTDOOR LIGHTS scene on your keypad, and you want to know for sure that the lights were turned on, those lights need to be able to send that information back to the keypad.

One-way isn’t bad, of course. Solutions are often less expensive, and they do just fine with virtually any control or entertainment function.

For richer applications and feedback, though, ask about two-way communications.