The Gold award in the Commercial Controls category goes to Specified Controls’ SC-BAL electronic balancing damper.
The SC-BAL is a remote powered balancing damper designed to balance airflow in an HVAC ducted system. It is available in both round and rectangular damper configurations and is used with a handheld remote control positioner equipped with a 9 V power supply that operates a factory-mounted, gear-driven, fail-in-place damper actuator with dual RJ11 connectors. The positioner comes with a 7-foot RJ11 cable that can be plugged into an optional wall box, round ceiling plate, or diffuser connector.
“The proportional control is really what’s important about it,” said Mike Lee, general manager, Specified Controls. “We’re able to set the exact damper position that is desired, push the button, and it goes to that position. So it simplifies damper position, and it simplifies balancing for the contractor.
“The biggest thing, I think, was about the design of the actual motor itself: making sure that we utilized proper space, designing a motor that let us properly set the position and allowed us to have the right torque,” he continued. “Most of the time, this is done with just a simple switch. What we did was make it a dial that lets you actually dial it.”
The SC-BAL is ideally suited for applications where balancing dampers are in finished ceilings or ducts that have limited access for manual adjustment. Field power is not required for the damper actuators, which reduces installation and labor costs. Built-in dual RJ11 connectors on the actuators enable multiple dampers in branch runs serving a specific zone to be adjusted in synchronization. Its handheld remote-control positioner has an accurate calibration dial and an activation button that automatically disrupts power when not in use to save battery life. Remote control positioning eliminates the need to manually access balancing dampers above the ceiling.
“Whenever there is an area where dampers are not accessible, we go in and use these dampers and it helps balance the system,” said Joshua Little, manager at Southvac Systems in Baton Rouge. “We had a connecting corridor in a building in downtown Baton Rouge where the ceilings were extremely high, and we ended up going in and retrofitting these dampers all along the corridor with some slot diffusers. It helped balance the system and make everything work.
“The manufacturer has great customer service, which goes a long way with a great product,” he added. “And they have extremely fast turnaround. It’s just all-around a good experience using their products and dealing with those guys.”
The SC-BAL is also available under private label to other HVAC manufacturers. Looking forward, the company will continue to engineer enhanced product improvements along with cost-saving production techniques that can be passed on to the customer base.
The Silver award in the Commercial Controls category goes to Danfoss’ Optyma™ Control electronic temperature control solution for walk-in coolers and freezers.
Intended for both existing and new units, its primary function is to serve as one SKU solution that can fully control five relays. This fully-enclosed solution is compact, cleanable, and weatherproof. Its large, dual-color, easy-to-read display is sturdy and features an intuitive electronic user interface. The design of the control can reduce installation time by up to 60%, while its autodetecting (100–240VAC, 50/60 Hz) power input feature makes it simple to wire to save time on the job. It mounts with three screws, includes a setup wizard and two NTC sensors (5 feet, 10 feet), and offers compatibility with commonly available standard ¾-inch fittings. Inside the controller’s hinged door is an internal wiring terminal diagram.
The Optyma Control can improve the efficiency of walk-in coolers and freezers, industrywide, by up to 30%. It eliminates the need for mechanical thermostats in cooling applications and defrost timers in freezer applications. In the future, Danfoss plans to add remote connectivity and monitoring features.
The Bronze award in the Commercial Controls category goes to Emerson’s Lumity™ E3 supervisory control.
The control is designed to provide comprehensive control of critical systems for food retail and foodservice facilities. Smart software serves as its foundation, delivering a web-accessible experience in addition to 10-inch color touchscreen. It is fully backward compatible with all I/O Net and MultiFlex devices and has the form and fit as the E2, which means a more seamless transition to the new E3 controller. It is flexible enough to be used as a stand-alone refrigeration controller in a retail or foodservice facility, a building management system (BMS), or a site aggregator across multiple system controls.
Smart Alarms help detect, troubleshoot, and resolve issues. The Performance Meter allows users to quickly determine if the site’s refrigeration fixtures and equipment are performing as expected, via a red/yellow/green indicator that allows the user to view more information graphically or download a detailed report. The site aggregator model allows all the controllers on the network to be grouped into a single point of view within a store so a service technician can see and troubleshoot all the systems from a single location.