The Intelligent Equipment® cloud-hosted technology platform from Daikin Applied received the gold award in the 2016 Dealer Design Awards’ Commercial Controls category. Intelligent Equipment is specifically designed for the small- to mid-sized building enterprise and operates independently or in parallel to a building automation system (BAS). The solution enables the delivery of HVAC equipment and building information to a customer via the web on Daikin’s Internet of Things (IoT) machine-to-machine connected gateway. Intelligent Equipment provides equipment management, energy measurement, monitoring, control, analysis, and decision-making capabilities for the end user.
Intelligent Equipment features 24/7 control and monitoring. End users can tap into real-time and historic data from their HVAC systems, plan preventive maintenance, and monitor fault detection before the unknown happens. Tools like remote access, trend information, energy monitoring and management, diagnostics, and alarm management help maximize uptime, reduce operating costs, and improve system reliability.
“Intelligent Equipment was a forward-thinking decision based on the way technology was evolving and taking a look at the opportunity of this small- to mid-sized market that did not have a good solution,” said Paul Rauker, vice president and general manager, systems and controls, Daikin Applied. “The user interface is key, as it is set up to be utilized by engineers, contractors, facility managers, owners, etc. Another important area for us is it allows control of the HVAC unit itself at a much higher degree. Individuals can do more remotely through a computer or mobile device — essentially, you could do an inspection on the equipment itself. Intelligent Equipment allows you to recognize the issue before a service person physically steps onsite. A typical BAS would let the user know something is wrong. With Intelligent Equipment, we’re saying, ‘We can help tell you what is wrong.’”
Jason Hibbits, engineering consultant with Thermal Mechanics Inc. in St. Louis, recently offered Intelligent Equipment up to a customer as a value-added option on a design-build project.
“This was a remote location that was probably two hours away from the contractor and our shop, so I thought it would be a good feature to add onto the equipment. This allows us to have eyes on the equipment remotely in case of any trouble,” Hibbits said. “It was mostly about the ability to have remote access from 200 miles away. I don’t know of anybody else doing anything quite like this. I went in this direction because we didn’t need any sort of BAS. It’s all onboard controls and remote accessibility without having some sort of BAS system to connect through.”
Hibbits said this was the first job he had used Intelligent Equipment on, and besides the product’s remote monitoring capability, the thing he liked most was the user interface.
“There are separate screens for technicians and separate screens for owners,” he said. “Essentially, the owner gets to choose what they see, so he or she can have one or both. It’s a nice feature because it doesn’t overwhelm the owner with all the detailed information that maybe a technician would want to see. It’s a nice option to have.”
Initially, in January 2015, Intelligent Equipment was focused on Daikin Applied’s packaged rooftop units; today, it's available on Daikin's Trailblazer AGZ air cooled scroll chillers, and soon it will be released for the Pathfinder AWV air cooled screw chiller line. Additionally, in late 2015, Daikin Applied announced it acquired a minority ownership stake in Riptide IO, a California-based software company that has been a strategic partner in the development of Daikin Intelligent Equipment. Riptide’s technology will bring further analytics capabilities to Daikin’s solutions.
A contractor judge called the product “the clear category winner, in my opinion.”
Designed to create a complete line of internet protocol (IP)-based building management products and solutions to leverage and converge with a building’s information technology (IT) infrastructure, the ECLYPSE™ Connected VAV Controller from Distech Controls Inc. took home the Silver award.
The product series is designed to control any variable air volume (VAV) box application ‘out of the box’ with preloaded, configurable applications and an embedded ENVYSION (web-based graphic design and visualization interface) Viewer for local hosting of application graphics. These productivity-enhancing tools, which are embedded directly into the controllers, ease and improve the installation and configuration process, thereby enabling significant time and cost savings.
The ECLYPSE Connected VAV Controller features four universal inputs with a high-precision 16-bit analog to digital converter, four digital outputs, two universal outputs, a built-in differential pressure transducer featuring a polarity-insensitive/polarity-free connection, and an integrated damper actuator with brushless dc (BLDC) motor.
“As VAV controllers are a typical application in building management systems, we designed the ECLYPSE Connected VAV Controller series as part of a flat, IP-based architecture that distributes IP connectivity throughout buildings to the terminal equipment level,” said Trevor Palmer, vice president, products and marketing, Distech Controls. “The series allows for the choice between wired IP and Wi-Fi, or a combination of both, on a same controller so as to easily tailor implementation throughout the building to suit the available IT infrastructure, architecture, and layouts. Also, the controller series features an integrated fail-safe for IP-wired daisy chaining, so in case of power interruption to one of the controllers, communication data is still relayed to the following controller on the daisy chain. It also features an embedded graphical user interface and web server that facilitates installation and ongoing maintenance.”
Palmer also noted the ECLYPSE Connected VAV Controller series will continue to evolve as the demands of the market, and of Distech Controls’ clients, change. “We will also continue to expand the ECLYPSE Connected BACnet/IP and Wi-Fi product series with new options and solutions for longstanding performance and value of a building’s system, improved BMS performance, and reduced costs,” he added.
Zonex Systems won the Bronze award for its GEN III-VVT system. The GEN III-VVT is a 2- to 20-zone variable volume and temperature (VVT)-type system that utilizes wireless thermostats to communicate with communicating damper control boards to initialize calls for heating, cooling, ventilation, and to modulate dampers for comfort.
The GEN III-VVT reduces costs associated with installation by removing the requirement of pulling wires down to thermostats and reduces the need to troubleshoot wires when wiring errors occur during installation. As a result, contractors experience quicker installation and commissioning times, which allows for greater profits to be realized. System Diagnostic provide contractors and technicians with a streamlined approach to confirm system operations and to quickly make system adjustments, which reduces service call hours and can assist in building confidence and long-term relationships with customers.
The system includes the GEN III controller, WSTAT wireless thermostats, WST or WCD supply dampers with communicating damper boards, a bypass damper, and one 24-V, 40 volt ampere (VA) transformer to power the system.
“The ease of installation is a definite advantage,” said Joe Siegmund, vice president, Zonex Systems. “So is the need for only one transformer in the system. When we talk about controls and multi-damper systems and so forth, most systems require multiple transformers to power independent dampers and thermostats. This system only requires one transformer to power the GEN III controller as well as up to 20 zone dampers. And that is only a 40 VA transformer, which additionally sets us apart because it’s a very common, very low-powered transformer. When you look at how other similar control systems would be installed and operated, it’s another cost reduction because you’re not having to hire electricians to run conduit in order to bring your 24 V from your control center out to your communicating dampers.
“Additionally, it’s a low-cost, simple solution,” he continued. “And it meets 90 percent of the market’s needs.”
Distech Controls Inc.
ECLYPSE Connected VAV Controller
GEN III – VVT
Publication date: 7/18/2016