Cleaver-Brooks Premieres Prometha
IoT-powered ‘connected boiler solution’ enhances monitoring while preserving security
ORLANDO, Fla. — Cleaver-Brooks concluded Monday at the Expo by holding a press conference, followed by a cocktail reception, to officially launch its Internet-of-Things (IoT) powered Prometha™ Connected Boiler Solutions.
The manufacturer hosted the dual event at 3NINE, in the Rosen Plaza Hotel neighboring the Orange County Convention Center. Trading in the show booth for slightly more modern setting, Cleaver-Brooks president and CEO Bart Aiken joined Rakesh Zala, vice president of product engineering for packaged boiler systems, walking the audience of customers, media, and guests through Prometha’s attributes.
Prometha serves to collect data on each point of a boiler system’s health, officials explained, transmitting the information wirelessly to “a single, easy-to-read dashboard” that authorized users can access on a phone, a tablet, or computer. It can also display 10 to 15 key performance indicators for multiple boilers across multiple locations, using colored gauges for quick assessments.
One feature that may surprise some: it not only works in conjunction with the company’s Hawk PLC control system to pull and send data, but Zala mentioned that Prometha can also integrate with boilers from other manufacturers.
That represents convenience and ease of use for a wide range of facility managers and authorized users to keep an eye on their systems. Owners, however, have yet another concern increasingly on their minds: cybersecurity.
Security is part of the reason that Prometha’s mission focuses specifically on delivering system health data. It is for monitoring and performance insights, not controlling. The one-way communication means that even in a hypothetical worst case of improperly accessing Prometha, that person would not be able to change any of the actual boiler settings for any equipment at any location.
Another design feature likely to help IT departments rest a little easier: Prometha uses a cellular connection, allowing it to perform without requiring any access to the customer’s computer network.
The Cleaver-Brooks executives shared the podium with Patrick Jaeger, central plant manager at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The Broadmoor, a resort complex and part of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, participated in beta testing for the product.
“Prometha is super quick and user friendly,” Jaeger said. “I can look at it for 10 seconds and know what is going on with our boilers.”
He lauded the performance advantages of the Prometha as part of a proprietary approach from equipment through to monitoring platform.
The manufacturer arrived armed with input from other beta testers who could not attend, including Jeff Muscato.
“The two most important parameters for me are steam pressure and stack temp,” he said. Muscato is lead technician for Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
“By looking at the trends, I can see if there are any major changes in my steam production or if I need to put an additional boiler online based on load,” he said. “Monitoring the trends of stack temp can help me identify if I'm potentially having a problem with my boiler sooting up and decreasing the efficiency.”
According to the evening’s speakers, beta users encountered other concrete benefits. Prometha alerted one user to high O2 levels that were chipping 3-4 percent off efficiencies. In another case, steam pressure experienced rapid drops of 10 to 15 pounds, but it was nothing that would have been initially obvious to the customer. Prometha’s monitoring allowed the user to discover and address the core issue before it could advance to a greater problem requiring a shutdown.
Inlet to Outlet to Tablet
CEO Aiken described this latest solution as an extension of a point of company pride, providing an entirely in-house system source “from the fuel inlet to the stack outlet” and now to customers’ portable devices.
Max King, vice president of aftermarket sales, told The ACHR NEWS that the Prometha project moved swiftly, originating in December 2018 and progressing swiftly to begin beta testing in April 2019.
Aiken observed a longer arc, noting that 90 years of boiler expertise has led to this new offering. He welcomed Prometha as enhancing a sequence that runs from data collection to subsequently increased knowledge to adjusted operations decisions to improved results.