Product Snapshots: Cool Controls, Hot Features

September 28, 2004
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A bumper crop of new thermostats has hit the market this year. Manufacturers who are striving to make their devices easier to use, or with closer control of a building's environment, have introduced their latest technologies to a responsive market, both end users and contractors. In addition, new controls and building automation products are taking the HVACR industry by storm. Controls contractors in particular should be interested in new features and offerings from manufacturers. Some of the latest t-stats and controls are described in the Product Snapshots section in this issue. Please contact the manufacturers for more information.

Thermostats

Aprilaire

(www.aprilaire.com)
introduced its residential and light commercial thermostat, the Model 8570. This thermostat is designed for all types of HVAC equipment, from single-stage heating and cooling equipment to multistage heat pumps with dual fuel. "The Model 8570 is designed around the contractor," said Joe Hlavacek, product manager for Aprilaire. "No longer will they need to stock multiple types of thermostats to account for every residential or light commercial job." The model features a large, easy-to-read backlit display and menu-driven programming, both of which allow easier setup. This thermostat can also be programmed to display the contractor's name and phone number. When combined with the Model 6504 "Intelligent Zoned Comfort Control Panel" in residential applications, the Model 8570 makes it possible to zone a home by allowing for control of one or more thermostats from any other thermostat in the system, the company says.

eProduct #200

Aube Technologies

(www.aubetech.com)
has several new thermostats. The nonprogrammable 2H1C heat pump controller consists of a separate control module and user console. This controller simplifies heat pump retrofit or add-on installations, the company says, because all equipment connections are handled by the control module. Because the control module is designed to be installed on an air handler/furnace, two wires connect the user console. This means an existing low-voltage thermostat can be replaced without additional wiring. The 2H1C heat pump controller features automatic changeover, a keypad lock, phone input for remote temperature control, selectable cycles to adapt to the size and type of heating-cooling system, and Aube's adaptive temperature control. A 10-foot sensor for outside temperature reading and balance point cutoffs is included.

eProduct #201

Aube Technologies

(www.aubetech.com)
also introduced two compact electronic thermostats for central electric A/C (excluding heat pumps); gas, oil, or electric furnaces; and hydronic heating (with or without pump). Available in nonprogrammable (TH147) and programmable (TH147-P) versions, these thermostats are among the market's slimmest central systems thermostats, the company says. Both models feature Aube's advanced temperature control to minimize temperature swings. The Energy Star®-qualified TH147-P features seven-day programming and comes preprogrammed with an energy-saving schedule suitable for most households, the company says.

eProduct #202

Aube Technologies

(www.aubetech.com)
has new TH148LE and TH148LE-P thermostats for central heating and cooling include interchangeable faceplates (in charcoal, taupe, and titanium) and are very compact, the company says. Available in nonprogrammable (TH148LE) and programmable (TH148LE-P) versions, these electronic thermostats feature advanced temperature control to minimize temperature swings. Both models come with a phone input to enable remote temperature control (Aube CT240-01 telephone controller required). Both thermostats handle central electric A/C; gas, oil, or electric furnaces; and hot water systems (with or without pump). All models are millivolt compatible.

eProduct #203

Climate Technology Corp. (CTC)

(www.supco.com)
has a new line of programmable thermostats that includes conventional multistage and heat pump models, which are all Energy Star®-compliant and preprogrammed to Energy Star standards. The CTC 43154 programmable model offers a combination of preset weekday and weekend programs with accurate temperature control. Model 43154's features include mechanical low-temperature protection and adjustable cycle rates. CTC's new programmable thermostats are compatible with single-stage systems and are equipped with a set temperature range of 45 degrees to 95 degrees F. CTC's new programmable thermostats also offer these features: Indiglo backlight display, latching relay (for system compatibility), temporary and vacation overrides, filter monitor, soft-touch key pad, and Home Today, which adjusts temperature up or down to hold until midnight of that day.

eProduct #204

Emerson Climate Technologies

(www.white-rodgers.com)
introduced the "Universal" thermostat from White-Rodgers. The new digital thermostat incorporates an exclusive design, which allows it to work as a universal model for virtually all HVAC systems. The universal thermostat (Model 1F85-275) maintains accuracy to ±1 degree F of the setpoint and works on single-stage, multistage, or heat pump systems without the need for additional wiring. The model also has a dual power source, offering a choice between hardwire and battery power, a patented feature on multistage and heat pump applications. The thermostat also features an auto-changeover system for use in applications with dramatic daily temperature swings, the company says, and an ideal residential setback programming with three setups (5-1-1 day programming). The universal thermostat incorporates a 40-percent larger backlit display, soft-touch buttons, and a permanent program memory that stores setback program changes. Keypad lockout is available for added security, as is the option to use an Energy Management Recovery feature. The thermostat meets Energy Star® guidelines.

eProduct #205

Honeywell

(www.honeywell.com/yourhome)
recently introduced FocusPro 5000, a nonprogrammable digital thermostat designed to provide ultimate ease-of-use for contractors and homeowners, the company says. FocusPro is easy to install in a wide range of heating and cooling applications including forced air, heat pumps, hot water, 750-millivolt, steam, and gravity systems, the company says. It can be configured for one-heat/one-cool, heat-only, and cool-only applications. It also is compatible with normally closed, normally open, and Series 20 hot water zone valves. The thermostat features a large, backlit digital display and provides comfort control to within ±1 degree F. Its display shows room temperature and set temperature, and soft-key controls make adjustments easy, the company says. The batteries are contained in a flip-out door on the side of the thermostat, eliminating the need to remove the thermostat from the wall when replacing batteries. It is also dual-powered, eliminating equipment compatibility issues.

eProduct #206

Honeywell

(www.honeywell.com/yourhome)
also introduced the VisionPRO touch-screen programmable thermostat, which guides homeowners through the programming process with a user-friendly, on-screen menu and flashing touch screen, reducing the need for an owner's manual, the company says. VisionPRO features a 10-square-inch touch screen display showing current temperature, set temperature, and current time. Backlighting makes the display more readable in any lighting condition, the company says. A real-time clock keeps time during power failures and will automatically update for daylight savings. The unit can be detached from the wall during programming for increased ease of use. Various hold options allow users to modify their programmed climate schedules as needed. Homeowners can set the thermostat from nonprogrammable up to a separate program for each day or any combination of day with the VisionPRO 8000. The line also features a change/check reminder function for servicing or replacing thermostat batteries, air filter, humidifier pad, and/or UV bulb.

eProduct #207

ICM Controls

(www.icmcontrols.com)
SC2010 and SC2210 thermostats are configurable, backlit, nonprogrammable thermostats that allow the contractor flexibility during installation, the company says. The configuration mode allows the contractor to adjust the calibration, set the temperature differential for each stage, adjust min-max temperature settings, select time between check filter indications, set cycles per hour, and enable the output indicator LED. All field configurations are stored in nonvolatile memory. The thermostats may be set to read in Fahrenheit or Celsius. Both models operate with or without batteries. The SC2010 is a single-stage heat-cool thermostat and the SC2210 is a two-stage heat pump thermostat.

eProduct #208

ICM Controls

(www.icmcontrols.com)
SC2811 nonprogrammable thermostat is a three-heat, two-cool, multistage, field-configurable, backlit model with auto-change-over. Its configuration mode allows the contractor to select between heat pump and conventional heat-cool to adjust the calibration, set the temperature differential for each stage, set min-max temperature settings, select time between check filter annunciation, set cycles per hour, and enables the output indicator LED. All field configurations are stored in nonvolatile memory. The SC2811 may be set to read in Fahrenheit or Celsius.

eProduct #209

Invensys Climate Controls Americas

(www.about-i-series.com)
has a new series of Robertshaw® programmable thermostats that combine humidification and dehumidification control into one unit that is easy to program and install, the company says. The three new models in the 9850i Series have all the award-winning features of the original i-Series plus the convenience of integrated humidification and dehumidification control, the company says. These thermostats adjust indoor humidity levels automatically when coupled to an optional outdoor sensor. New features on the 9850i Series include a calibration feature to allow homeowners to fine-tune the temperature in their environment as well as provide greater overall temperature accuracy.

eProduct #210

Invensys Climate Controls Americas

(www.about-i-series.com)
also introduced a new series of Robertshaw programmable thermostats designed to meet the needs of light commercial building operators and the contractors who serve the light commercial market. The new 9900i Series features an integrated fresh air control that enables building operators to meet ASHRAE indoor air quality standards for commercial buildings. The fresh air control feature can operate during an occupancy cycle, the company says. The three new thermostats also include many of the award-winning features of the original i-Series thermostats designed for residential applications, including bilingual display options; simple, menu-driven programming; and the Energy Star® designation.

eProduct #211

Invensys Climate Controls Americas

(www.icca.invensys.com/ pressrelease/pr84008600.htm)
launched a new concept in thermostats: interchangeable faceplates. The Robertshaw Designer Series features easy-to-use programmable and digital models with optional faceplates that can be matched to any home décor, the company says. The "Stat-Snap" faceplate fits on the outside of the thermostat, around the display and controls, to easily change the look of the cover to blend with all decorating styles, the company explains. The plates are available in three finishes - gloss black, antique bronze, and brushed stainless - as well as clear, which can be painted or wallpapered by the homeowner. They are sold separately. This new series is the result of extensive market research by Invensys, the company says, with installers and end users; contractors who tested the product said they liked the large screen and ease of programming.

eProduct #212

York

(www.york.com)
has a programmable Talking Thermostat designed to make control of home comfort easier for homeowners. The thermostat's EZ Talk feature guides homeowners audibly through every step of programming their heating-cooling system. If service is required, the thermostat tells homeowners the name and contact information of the York dealer-contractor who installed the equipment. This provides homeowners with a one-touch "dealer locator" that takes the guesswork out of who to call, the company says. The Talking Thermostat offers a number of additional features, including an easy-to-read, lighted LCD display that shows current temperature, setpoints, and heating or cooling mode. Separate weekday and weekend programs allow homeowners to set four time/temperature settings each day; a manual override feature makes it possible to override and change these settings instantly.

eProduct #213

Controls

Automated Logic

(www.automatedlogic.com)
has embraced a broad range of IT and ASHRAE standards in its Web-based building control system, WebCTRL. With its native BACnet architecture and support for Modbus and LonWorks, WebCTRL is the perfect platform for the integration of building subsystem information, the company says. In addition, WebCTRL's standard Web Services interface uses SOAP/XML technology for cross-platform data sharing with other computer systems. This feature allows maintenance management systems, accounting systems, wide-area utility management programs, and other high-level computer applications to use the latest IT tools to retrieve information from WebCTRL, the company says. It also means these tools can write data to WebCTRL, so building control applications can utilize weather forecasts, real-time energy pricing, and other external factors as an integral part of building control applications, the company says. The latest release of WebCTRL also adds many features to the "any computer, anywhere" user interface. Rnet communications allow users to plug a laptop into the communication port on a zone sensor and communicate with the entire system. Users can set up custom alarms, and new design and maintenance tools allow for one-step copying of multiple configuration parameters to selected equipment or the entire system, the company says.

eProduct #214

Ember Corp.

(www.ember.com)
released the EM2420, a wireless solution that combines a chip with an embedded networking software stack, making it the foundation of a new generation of wireless applications. This 2.4-GHz/250-Kbps RF solution complies with the new IEEE 802.15.4 standard, which makes wireless communication possible in demanding environments such as building and industrial automation, asset management, and national defense, the company says. Developed jointly with Oslo, Norway-based semiconductor design and manufacturing company Chipcon, the EM2420 gives companies the essential elements for developing 802.15.4-compliant wireless applications in an integrated package. The 802.15.4 radio standard is designed to support low-cost, low-power, interoperable wireless networking applications for remotely monitoring and controlling just about anything, the company says. In addition to enabling lighting, temperature, and security applications, the EM2420 can also support applications for remotely controlling industrial devices in facilities such as factories and wastewater treatment plants; monitoring physical infrastructure such as roads and bridges; and mobile applications such as temperature and humidity monitoring to prevent fresh-food spoilage.

eProduct #215

Novar Controls

(www.novarcontrols.com)
released its VAV-4040 variable air volume (VAV)/variable volume and (VVT) temperature controller. The module, which features an integrated Belimo damper actuator, provides cost-effective control for a wide variety of VAV and VVT applications, the company says. It can be used on single- or dual-duct VAV boxes, boxes that have a reheat fan, or boxes that have built-in staged or modulating heat. The VVT mode allows the damper output to reverse its action in response to the air temperature being supplied to it by an HVAC unit. The module also features an on-board differential pressure airflow sensor, an air quality compensation/ventilation override using an analog or digital CO2 input or indoor air quality input (which it can accept directly or via a network), pressure-independent or pressure-dependent control, staged reheat control, tri-state or 2- to 10-VDC modulating reheat control, and series or parallel reheat fan control.

eProduct #216

Reliable Controls

(www.reliablecontrols.com)
MACH-Vision LCD User Interface Controller is a fully programmable DDC controller designed to meet the needs of unitary equipment and zone control applications. It is ideally suited for single- and multiple-zone applications where information must be easily viewed and changed. Three models have a selection of output types and universal inputs. The MACH-Vision has flash memory (EEPROM), SMART-Sensor support, and real-time clock (optional). The MACH-Vision can be networked on the main network or subnetwork, rendering easy communication with the full line of Reliable Controls products, the company says. The MACH-Vision LCD User Interface Controller is an intelligent, networkable, commercial, and fully programmable thermostat-like device, the company says.

eProduct #217

Siemens Building Technologies

(www.sbt.siemens.com)
has introduced Q-Series relative humidity duct sensors, which can be used in all standard HVAC building control applications, the company says. The capacitive sensing element changes capacity as a function of the relative humidity between 0 percent and 100 percent. The embedded microprocessors convert the varying capacitance to a linear output signal. The output is a function of the signal selected and can be either a voltage or current output. Features built into the sensors include digital sensing technology that requires no calibration or adjustment; removable filter caps that can be replaced if the filter element gets dirty or damaged; replaceable sensing tips that allow removal of the sensing element tip without disrupting the installation or wiring; a mounting flange that secures the sensor to the ductwork, allows the installer to vary the probe insertion length into the duct space; and a number of accessories, including filters, jumpers, and termination blocks. Siemens offers sensors that measure relative humidity only or humidity and temperature combined, with several control signals. Three different jumper-selectable temperature ranges allow for sensing in a variety of environments, the company says.

eProduct #218

TAC

(www.tac-global.com)
which specializes in open systems for building IT, security systems, and energy solutions, announced the availability of "TAC Xenta 913," a LonWorks-based gateway that provides a cost-effective solution for integrating TAC Vista with other commonly used protocols such as BACnet or Modbus. In addition, TAC said it can develop manufacturer-specific protocols on request. TAC Vista, LonWorks-based building management software, offers an open architecture. TAC Xenta 913 allows users to integrate TAC Vista with other open protocol systems typically found in today's commercial buildings, the company says. Key features of TAC Xenta 913 include Internet browser support to provide an alternative interface to monitor and control values, the company says. TAC Xenta provides a secure Web interface for configuration with user name and password logon, and to configure the network, timeservers, and ports. In BACnet applications, TAC Xenta 913 acts as a gateway from LonWorks to any Type 1 BACnet controller with RS232 interface, the company says, and supports point-to-point BACnet read-write property messages. With Modbus, Xenta 913 uses poll-on-demand to extract data, RTY, or ASCII formats, and supports a variety of Modbus functions.

eProduct #219

Texas Instruments

(www.ti.com/snc)
introduced DiagnosTECH, a gas furnace integrated ignition control platform that delivers advanced ignition control features with fault code retention. The control's enhanced functions and communications interface with a PDA to simplify maintenance and repair calls, lowering service and warranty costs, the company says. The fault code retention offers push-button retrieval of the system's last five error codes even after power loss, the company says. The ignition control offers defined on-board test pads for flame current monitoring and automatic flame current sensing with an early warning code prior to lockout. Control options include single- or two-stage heating with hot-surface or direct-spark ignition; two cooling speeds for multistage compressors; field-selectable continuous fan speed; and hot-surface igniter warm-up times for 271N or miniature silicon carbide heaters. Other options include various terminal connections for the induced draft motor, igniter and thermostat signals, and an ECM interface for energy-efficient operation, the company says. DiagnosTECH's platform also includes communications options. While on site, service personnel can read system performance data via a PDA or laptop computer, retrieve time-stamped fault codes, control heat and fan operations, and clear soft lockouts without adjusting the thermostat or powering down the system. Diagnostic and service information can be programmed into the computer or PDA, saving time and avoiding return trips, ultimately keeping warranty and service costs down.

eProduct #220

Tridium Inc.

(www.tridium.com)
a provider of software that enables integration of automation and control devices, recently announced that it is playing a key role in the oBIX technical committee recently organized under the auspices of OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards). The oBIX group consists of industry professionals working to develop a standard, Web-services protocol for connecting facility systems to the enterprise; oBIX said its goal is to help improve operational efficiencies for end users by bridging the gap between facility systems and enterprise applications. Facility operators, building owners, and tenants will be able to make decisions based on information including life-cycle costs, environmental considerations, operations, and other performance factors. OASIS, an international standards development consortium, will help advance the protocol, which will reach across all verticals in the facility management space, Tridium says. With the company's guidance and support, industry stakeholders in HVACR, lighting, security, and others, will define and promote the standard, the company says.

eProduct #221

York

(www.york.com)
introduced its Integrated Systems Network (ISN) ConneXsys controls, becoming the first HVAC manufacturer to offer a control system that provides complete BACnet connectivity from the smallest terminal unit to the largest chiller, the company says. The ISN ConneXsys line delivers the savings inherent with digital controls and avoids the high costs associated with purchasing translators to convert proprietary languages to BACnet, the company says. ISN ConneXsys control communication is based on BACnet. An auto-discovery feature automatically inputs point data for each device in the control system. The ConneXsys Operator Workstation can also discover other BACnet-compatible devices on the network, eliminating the entry of device addresses into routing tables, the company says. Connection of system components is simple using RS485 communication, the company says; the virtually unlimited network capacity makes it possible to create a bridged network for most any campus. The high-speed system offers excellent response time between controllers, the company says. Distributed program architecture makes it possible to program from any controller, the company says, and development tools allow users to create custom applications.

eProduct #222

Publication date: 10/04/2004

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