Multifunctional, Customizable KE2 Controller Earns DDA Gold
KE2 Therm Solutions takes first place for its KE2 Low Temp + Defrost
The KE2 Low Temp + Defrost controller by KE2 Therm Solutions Inc. received the gold award for the Commercial Controls category in the 2015 Dealer Design Awards. The Low Temp + Defrost controller simplifies refrigeration control and is ideal for truck stock, as it eliminates the need for multiple mechanical controls, including a defrost time clock, thermostat, fan delay, and defrost termination device.
“The product has excellent features and alarms for on-site personnel, as well as technicians,” said one of the Dealer Design Awards’ contractor judges regarding the controller.
The Low Temp + Defrost is actually an extension of another controller KE2 had already introduced, said Jeff Kavanagh, vice president of marketing, KE2 Therm Solutions. After gathering feedback from customers for more than two-and-a-half years, the product only took about six months to develop.
“The product takes a variety of mechanical controls and puts them into one simple-to-use package,” said Kavanagh. “Typically, in the industry, contractors have to buy a thermostat and a defrost timer, and have a mechanical way to terminate defrost. With this controller, it puts all the functionality into one package. Plus, it reduces a lot of field wiring of different components.”
Kavanagh said the company aims to develop products that help end users run their refrigeration equipment better, with an added emphasis on simplicity.
“Contractor demand drove the creation of this controller,” Kavanagh said. “They told us they wanted something that’s simple to navigate and we delivered.”
Kavanagh said contractors have raved about the ability to conveniently get everything into one spot.
Additional features include two temperature sensors, two configurable inputs, compressor protection granting maximum starts per hour, visible and audible alarming, an optional door switch with all necessary time delays, defrost heat regulation, a manual defrost option, a customizable defrost schedule, a drain time function, a fan delay function, a keypad lockout option, and customizable evaporator fan management.
To eliminate unnecessary service calls, the KE2 Low Temp + Defrost also alerts the user when it’s coming out of a defrost cycle using the onboard display. The display alternates between dEF and the actual temperature measured by the air sensor. This continues until the temperature has reached set point, or for the amount of time set by the defrost time, whichever is shorter.
Tyler Madigan, co-owner, Madigan Refrigeration, Lodi, Wisconsin, likes the functionality of the controller so much that he has standardized it for all new refrigeration equipment installations.
“It’s very simple to understand,” Madigan said. “It has a lot of options and is well worth the cost. Typically, you would have to buy three items — a thermostat, a time clock, and a relay — or you can just buy one controller. The time clock and time controller come all-in-one — it’s really handy and offers contractors a great value.”
Kavanagh said KE2 has plans to further innovate the controller by adding its adaptive algorithm. “Right now, the functionality is similar to the controls we’re replacing. We’re going to be adding some intelligence to help run the refrigeration system more efficiently in the future.”
Mitsubishi Electric US Cooling & Heating Division’s Diamond Controls Solution is a compact, single-source controller and server platform that offers a more efficient way to achieve total building automation. Diamond Controls can integrate systems within a building and/or multiple buildings, making the technology ideal for both new construction and retrofit single applications and larger commercial projects. It aggregates and displays building trends, reports, and analyses (real-time data, schedules, and alerts) conveniently on a standard Web browser. Floor plans and building equipment, regardless of manufacturer, are displayed in 3-D. The graphics can be animated, while the color scheme, fonts, and icons are customizable. Displayable trends include building and space occupancy, CO2 levels, energy generation (solar), energy usage, humidity levels, and more.
Mitsubishi began talking about the solution about five years ago, when variable refrigerant flow (VRF) began to pick up speed in the U.S. marketplace, said Kevin Miskewicz, senior manager, commercial marketing, Mitsubishi Electric US Cooling and Heating.
“The idea was really born out of the question: ‘How do we take advantage and capitalize on the great features of our VRF product line while making it easier for a building owner or facility manager to integrate VRF with the rest of their mechanical equipment on one control system?’” Miskewicz said. “Diamond Controls really can adapt to any application in the commercial building market, from a small installation up to large, multi-site installations that may be located in different parts of the country. It can connect to most any mechanical system within a building. That was important — not only to integrate VRF, but to also integrate other mechanical systems on the market to really eliminate and minimize the headaches for that building owner or facility manager.”
Additionally, along with the hardware and software packages, Mitsubishi’s suite of services provides the Diamond Controls Solution with design, pre-installation, conditioning, and integration services, which make the product stand out.
The ECLYPSE™ Connected System Controller by Distech Controls Inc. took home the bronze award. The ECLYPSE is a modular, scalable platform providing powerful connectivity, advanced control, and monitoring and analysis for the Internet of Things (IoT) building.
The controller allows contractors to select the type and number of modules to meet their exacting requirements and easily add-on for future upgrades. The unique design delivers a small footprint and facilitates installation and servicing.
Research on the technology began four years ago, but the product’s been under development for the past two years, said Lauren Scott, communications and public relations manager, Distech Controls Inc.
“The initial catalyst behind the ECLYPSE Connected System Controller was very much the company’s dedication to innovation, with Distech Controls identifying the demand for Internet protocol [IP]-based solutions as a general consumer trend,” Scott said. “In designing the ECLYPSE Connected System Controller, Distech Controls employed a number of research methods and feedback mechanisms including customer surveys as well as its ‘Voice of Customer’ program, which promotes ongoing conversations between Distech Controls, its network of partners, and end-user customers. Beta testing was also done in collaboration with select Distech Controls partners.”
The controller features two Ethernet ports for wired IP connection and two USB ports for the ECLYPSE Wi-Fi Adapter. The availability of both allow for simultaneous wired IP and Wi-Fi connection on one controller, allowing users to choose and even combine both to best suit installation, architectural, and building layouts. Additionally, all modules are plug-and-play devices, equipped with DB-15 connectors transmitting power and communications for fast and easy assembly. It also features a hot-swappable tool-less design and unique latching mechanism for easy replacement without interrupting power and communications to other modules. ENVYSION, the Web-based design and visualization interface, enhances monitoring and control capabilities by simplifying complex information into graphical elements that allow for the quick detection of issues, assessment of cost-effectiveness, and proper actions to optimize resource efficiencies.
Distech Controls is planning to add the ECLYPSE Connected VAV Controller to the ECLYPSE Connected System Controller Series. Additional models of the control automation and connectivity server, power supplies, and I/O modules are also on the immediate horizon.
A QUICK LOOK AT THE WINNERS
KE2 Therm Solutions Inc.
KE2 Low Temp + Defrost
Mitsubishi Electric US Cooling & Heating Division
Diamond Controls Solutions
Distech Controls Inc.
ECLYPSE Connected System Controller
Publication date: 7/20/2015