BAS was the size of Texas at this year's Expo

April 3, 2000
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DALLAS, TX — If anything in the hvac industry is truly Texas-sized, it would have to be the building automation market.

Manufacturers new and old were scattered across the Dallas Convention Center’s main floor at this year’s IAHR Expo, and the emphasis was clearly on the new building automation promised land: the World Wide Web.

While its booth was in town, Coactive Networks (Sausalito, CA) announced the availability of its Coactive Router-LL 4.0, its fourth-generation multi-protocol tunneling router. It’s designed to provide instant configuration options and easy changes across an entire network for large and small facility control systems. It also features a complete password-protected Web-based user interface.

Coactive showed up again when Circon Systems (Richmond, BC, Canada) announced Circon WebControl™. The technology builds on the Coactive Connector® 1000 to provide Internet access to LonWorks® networks. It is meant to add to existing systems with minimal impact to those networks.

Plenty of offerings

The Teletrol (Manchester, NH) booth featured its brand-new eBuilding technology, called the next generation in open systems. Running on Microsoft’s CE operating system and presenting full BACnet compliance, eBuilding controllers are meant to present system information, alarms, and schedules using a standard Web page format, allowing building managers to view and interact with their system using Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.

Alerton (Redmond, WA) introduced WEBtalk™, its new web-based suite of software packages for building systems, exhibiting BACnet integration with a number of vendors. It also displayed its own BACnet product line, BACtalk®, which offers animated and imported color graphics, and a full range of detailed control and resource displays for the facility operator. Other new BACnet products included Viewport™, Microset II™, and VisualLogic® controllers.

One of Novar’s (Copley, OH) newer offerings included Hawki(tm), a distributed direct digital control (ddc) system. The company says it is capable of incorporating comfort cooling, static and volume control, scheduling, dehumidification, humidification, economizer control, and a variety of morning startup routines. It’s meant to handle various configurations such as variable air volume (vav) and fan tracking systems.

Its new Savvy™ single-building controls processor is designed to provide an intelligent network of standalone modules; it should then monitor, communicate, and regulate this network of modules for a completely integrated building control system.

Intellinet Controls (Naples, FL) unveiled its “Facility Manager,” which it describes as a “plug-and-play” energy management and control system. The company says it can control multiple zones of single- and multi-stage hvac, while also providing light-sensing energy reduction during peak sunshine hours as well as security integration.

Under the relatively new Invensys (Richmond, VA) umbrella, Unity Systems™ (Sunnyvale, CA) introduced an Internet-based, remote building monitoring system at the show. The system is specifically designed for commercial buildings under 50,000 sq ft. Priced to compete with traditional programmable thermostats, the Universal Controller that collects the data provides temperature control plus data on energy usage, equipment run-time, outside air temperature, and energy rates.

And still more

Meanwhile, Delta Controls (Surrey, BC, Canada) was also showcasing its latest BACnet™ offerings, most prominently its Native BACnet™ ORCA (Open Real-Time Control Architecture) System. Its Delta BACbus™ Showcase presented live demonstrations of interoperability that can work with various hvac units, chillers, fire systems, fume hoods, and lighting systems.

Elsewhere in the BACnet universe, Automated Logic (Kennesaw, GA) was one of 30 companies taking part in the “BACnet in Action” live demonstration (see related story). It also debuted its browser-based, remote access building control technology, WebCTRL. It’s described as a Java-based web-enabled technology providing full access to all bas functions from any Internet browser using a pure browser interface.

Richards-Zeta Building Intelligence, Inc. (Santa Barbara, CA) seized the moment to release its RZCD1, touted as a complete package of the company’s automation and integration software. With the freely distributed CD, users can now access the company’s full line of programs, product documentation, technical bulletins, and manuals with online help. The disc contains limited-release software, which can be upgraded to full monitoring and expansion capabilities by contacting the manufacturer for its tiered fee structure.

Texas Instruments’ (Versailles, KY) new offerings included the 8GS-BB infrared single-point, self-calibrating, multigas sensor that continuously monitors for refrigerant leaks. The manufacturer’s TI-10GS Virtual Reference™ carbon dioxide sensor is suited for chiller room and other hvac applications, offering a number of features including alarm and spill relay outputs.

Also making the trip from Kentucky was Louisville’s Electronic Systems USA, Inc. It introduced NexSys Workstation 2.0 at the show; the software has now been integrated with Echelon’s LonWorks® Network Services (LNS) network operating system. Electronic Systems USA, which was acquired by Johnson Controls (Milwaukee) earlier this year, also rolled out Unity 2000™. This multivendor system is meant to functionally replace building automation front-ends and host computer systems manufactured by Honeywell, Johnson Controls, Siemens, CSI, EST, and The Trane Company.

Maxitrol (Southfield, MI) introduced its new M-Series programmable temperature controller at the Expo. Designed for use with Selectra® gas modulation systems, the controller has microprocessor logic the manufacturer calls the next-generation digital addition to the company’s popular series of analog controls.

TSI (Shoreview, MN) displayed two models in its new line of Accubalance Plus air capture hoods to measure and data log the air volume flowing through registers, diffusers, and grilles.

The unit is meant to be held up to a diffuser or grille, measuring direct airflow of a supply or exhaust and displaying data on its large digital display. It offers data logging of 1,000 data points with a date and time stamp and allows for flexible configuration of data to match building hvac systems.

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