Automated systems continue to evolve and develop new alternatives. This is the case of a new technology designed to control multiple functions in the halls of commercial buildings.
by Distech Controls *
The main objectives of design automation systems and energy management is to optimize operational and energy savings, while ensuring the highest levels of comfort for the occupants.
Facilities managers and building owners recognize the benefits of automated HVAC control system and lighting to achieve these goals. However, independent control of HVAC and lighting system can pose several challenges, from design and installation of the system, to achieve the desired energy savings and costs. Additionally, facility managers often face the dilemma of achieving energy savings or comfort of the occupants.
Management of HVAC equipment, lighting and blinds in commercial buildings: anyone think of an office where we could find the following:
- Terminal units of HVAC equipment like VAV box (variable air volume), radiator fan, chilled beams, etc.
- Accent lighting accessories, workstation and general lighting.
- Sources of natural light as windows, atriums, etc.
- Venetian, interior or exterior shutters.
- Room devices such as discrete sensors for temperature monitoring.
- Other devices room for monitoring CO2 and humidity.
- Light switches, Graders light or occupancy sensors.
- Control Switches blinds.
In an office as well, all aspects of the room functions are controlled separately: the HVAC system, lighting and blinds. The occupants have to employ at least three devices to adjust the settings to your comfort. In addition, by treating as a separate system each function, space is not optimized either for energy and cost savings, or to take advantage of potential synergies between the control systems of HVAC, lighting and blinds equipment.
The systems operate separately, thus achieving perhaps energy savings as a subsystem, not as the sum of all systems. For example, lighting fixtures could all be turned on, although there was enough natural light in space.
Driving control of HVAC equipment, lighting and blinds as systems or functions of independent living, often results in problems such as the following:
Duplication of control and room devices: in the example above the office, the occupant must employ at least three devices for adjusting room temperature, lights and blinds. It is possible that in the room also has two occupancy sensors, one for the HVAC and one for lighting control, etc.
Intertwining of control strategies: is possible that a separate control sequence is believed, according to previous programming for HVAC system, lighting and possibly for the blind, and it is possible that each of these sequences are different.
Energy waste and missed opportunities for saving energy: the use of artificial lighting when there is enough natural light or when rooms are unoccupied, or increased air conditioning when the shutters could be closed to increase the thermal insulation windows and minimize absorption of solar heat. For example, meeting with an occupancy sensor for lighting and sensor CO2 for control of HVAC equipment, when combining data from both sensors allow ventilation on demand by occupation and number of people in the room .
Problems related to occupant comfort: once again, in the example of the office, the occupant must employ at least three devices for adjusting room temperature, lights and blinds. Usually, the occupant makes adjustments to solve only that which causes irritation to a specific day. This could, in fact, go counter to the control sequences associated with other systems or functions of the room. For example, increasing levels of artificial lighting when there is enough natural light if the blinds are raised.
integrated room control solution
An integrated room control, such as Distech Controls solution is designed to address these common problems, simplifying the design, installation and reliability of components and control sequences, and to exploit the synergies that result from treat all room functions as one.
An integrated control room solution is a modular system based on a controller HVAC expanded applications terminal equipment functions and computer built to control lighting and blinds, which combined with modules and lighting control blinds and sensors to monitor light levels, occupancy, temperature, humidity and CO2 within the space.
In addition, different devices room occupants are designed, from a remote control to a mobile application, to provide a unique and easy to use interface to adjust the settings to personal comfort.
This solution provides the highest level of comfort to the occupants, while increasing savings in operating costs in local room applications or commercial buildings. Energy savings are such that a study of the Hannover University of Applied Sciences and Arts (Germany) showed savings over 30% in the HVAC system and lighting up 60%.
Regarding the problem of duplication of control and room devices, the use of an integrated strategy allows sharing information on occupancy, brightness and from other sensors among the three functions, promoting optimal performance with the installation and single sensor configuration.
The intertwining of control strategies, because separate systems and functions, often makes opportunities to save energy are wasted. An integrated solution control room is designed to achieve savings optimal energy, which are only possible with a synergistic approach as control strategies based on occupation, use of day light by sensor light level, and optimization of natural light. As seen in the above example, if the natural light coming through the window of an office reaches a predetermined level, the lighting devices will balance the light level graduate or even turning off the light in the room.
Finally, an integrated room control solution solves the common problem of convenience and personal control by allowing occupants to adjust the temperature settings, lighting and blinds in the room to achieve a level of personal comfort.
Since the control of these functions is now integrated, the occupant usually have to use only one device room to control their environment, and shared sensors, along with sequences synergetic monitoring data will provide a dynamic behavioral treatment occupant.
For example, if an occupant has a glow on its screen and low blinds, the sensor automatically detects the light level and decrease increase the illumination from the devices. In fact, Distech Controls devices proposed room and comfort of a mobile application that addresses the requirements of LEED® credit 6.2: Capacity control of the heat-Comfort systems.
"The integrated control room solution is the best and most economical way to implement energy efficiency, while ensuring the comfort of the occupants of the rooms," said Etienne Veilleux, President and CEO. "Distech Controls is proud to offer customers this unique solution adding control lighting and blinds to our already strong offering of HVAC. Additionally, we are proud to offer the highest return on energy efficiency systems to our customers and end users around the world. "
* To learn more about this solution, please visit www.distech-controls.com/IRC