A growing interest in building energy usage and management is pushing advancements in commercial controls for HVAC and multiple other systems found in commercial structures. For the gold winner in the 2014 Dealer Design Awards Commercial Controls category, multiple system control integration helped push Jackson Systems LLC’s Web Comfort Energy Management System to the top. The system integrates HVAC, lighting, fans, metering, and plug loads to provide an integrated energy management solution. The HVAC, lighting, thermostat, fan control, and metering software operate as an integrated application, sharing the Web Comfort Energy Manager. The compact device receives input from environmental sensors, local controls, and metering devices throughout a facility. Based upon sensor input, scheduling, local input, curtailment, event information, lighting adjustments, HVAC, fans, networked computers, and plug devices are implemented in real time in an effort to minimize energy waste.

According to the company, the system is a cost-effective alternative to other solutions. Primarily used for light commercial applications, the system can be controlled anywhere in the world through the no-cost Internet portal. Detailed reporting, system alerts, and user security levels are available through the portal. Other popular applications include churches and large residential homes.

“The Web Comfort Energy Management System has a growing market in municipal government buildings,” said Kristie Burch, director of marketing, Jackson Systems LLC. “Recently, several applications have also been installed in theme parks across the U.S.”

The product was researched for five years through focus groups, as well as one-on-one and group meetings with contractors and facility managers. It was tested in a multitude of applications prior to launch.

The system is easy to install and configure, said the manufacturer. The Internet portal removes the need for programming. The system is also scalable. It can be used for a single building or an entire campus.

“With the Web Comfort Energy Management System, there is no programming, opening up a new market for contractors to offer energy management solutions,” said Burch. “In the future, we hope to continue to expand the line of accessories for this product as well as expand its energy management capabilities.”

Silver Winner

The Copeland Scroll Digital™ Retrofit Kit from Emerson Climate Technologies won silver. The unit is an accessory compressor kit that includes all the components necessary to successfully retrofit an HVAC system in the field.

The kit features the new Emerson™ Commercial Comfort Controller and the required valve, coil, thermistor, and tubing needed for a complete compressor replacement. The wall-mounted, BACnet programmable thermostat, Emerson Commercial Comfort Controller, enables variable capacity and dehumidification.

According to the company, this retrofit kit is best applied to job sites with frequent problems or nuisance issues in which retrofitting a Copeland Scroll Digital compressor is the ideal solution. The Copeland Scroll Digital retrofit kit is compatible with 3-15-ton compressors, or multiples up to 30 ton. It is also compatible to applications, including rooftop or split commercial and residential unitary applications, heat pumps, chillers, or commercial refrigeration applications.

The company spent more than two years researching the product. Methods used include voice-of-customer interviews with contractors, OEM surveys, competitive assessments, and focus group discussions with controls manufacturers. Emerson intends to continue to support the Copeland Scroll Digital retrofit kit and potentially add features or protocols as demand grows.

Bronze Winner

Lennox Industries Inc. received the bronze award for its SmartAirflow® System. Available on 3-5-ton high-efficiency Energence® rooftop units, the SmartAirflow system is a factory-installed option that, according to the company, can save an average of 35 percent on annual ventilation energy consumption. Its key function is to prevent over-ventilation. The SmartAirflow system monitors outside airflow and adjusts the economizer damper to prevent over- and under-ventilation and provides five independently adjustable supply airflow settings for additional fan power savings. It works with Lennox’s Prodigy® Control System to set supply and outside air settings through the display, calibrate the unit through a button on the user interface, deliver detailed airflow information in the USB service reports, provide customizable alerts that can detect system airflow problems, and ensure the unit is calibrated within 24 hours. The SmartAirflow system is compatible with optional LonTalk® and BACnet® modules, as well as the L Connection® Network. Additionally, it may qualify for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) code IEQ C1-Outdoor Air Delivery Monitoring.

Energence rooftop units can be installed in most light commercial buildings under four stories tall, including schools, retail stores, office buildings, restaurants, warehouses, and more. It is suitable for both new construction and replacement applications.

Publication date: 7/21/2014 

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