Category Archives: BAS Education

The Mechanical Contractors Guide to Starting A Controls Division: Webinar

Adding HVAC controls to the repertoire seems like a natural evolution for many mechanical contractors but in reality, most are not well-prepared for the additional challenges that come along with supporting this new line of business. To successfully add controls to your offering, you have to be willing to push your service team beyond what they are currently doing, add at least one employee that is solely dedicated to controls, and push your salespeople to sell a new product that they are unfamiliar with. Join us on Thursday, November 7 at 12pm CT as we share a blueprint on how mechanical contractors can address these challenges and more to successfully start a controls division.

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TCO Checklist for Building Automation Systems

As property management professionals start looking at not only the first cost but also the total cost of owning and operating their assets, the question lies, “how does one assess the total cost of selecting a particular product or service partner?” Depending on the piece of equipment or particular service, calculating the total cost of ownership (TCO) may be simple, but with technology as complex as building automation systems (BAS), there is an abundance of factors to consider. Below, we have put together a comprehensive checklist of potential expenses associated with the operation of a BAS over 5 to 10 years. For more information on this topic, you can also download our Ebook or view our webinar on Understanding the Life Cycle Cost of a Building Automation System.

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Enthalpy as it relates to free cooling in HVAC

Enthalpy is defined as the amount of internal energy within a system combined with the product of its pressure and volume. When dealing with the term in the HVAC industry, we usually assume that the process is at a constant pressure and, as such, the change in enthalpy is equal to the heat absorbed or released. At its core, the main function of an HVAC system is to transfer heat, which is a form of energy. The first law of thermodynamics, the Law of Conservation of Energy, tells us that energy can neither be created nor destroyed; energy can only be transferred or changed from one form to another. From that, we can infer that the only way to cool a space down is to remove the heat energy and transfer it somewhere else, typically outdoors. This is generally accomplished by absorbing heat from an airstream and then distributing this cool air to the area we wish to control; it helps to think of conditioned air like a sponge with the capacity to ‘soak up’ heat. The air, now laden with unwanted heat, is routed back via a Return Air pathway to start the process over again. The newly absorbed heat is ‘wrung out’ and expelled, and the cool air is distributed again in a constant cycle. This ‘wringing out’ process is mainly accomplished by mechanical cooling, such as a compressor, or free cooling provided by an air-side economizer.

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5 Energy Conservation Measures with Quick Returns

The Energy Cost Index (ECI) is the measurement of cost per square foot per year of conditioned space in a facility ($/ft²/year). The average ECI of electricity for an office building in the U.S. is about $1.73/ft²/yr according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. What are you doing to reduce your ECI?

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The Ups and Downs of Destination Dispatch

Rather early in my career, I began working with destination dispatch elevator systems and have since had the opportunity to be engaged with a handful of these projects. Although I am far from an elevator expert, a fair number of my days as a technician were spent working on access control systems which were frequently correlated with destination dispatch.

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Load Shedding and One Approach in CBAS

 

What is Load Shedding?As I’m sure you know, power companies charge a premium when a certain demand threshold is reached. Load shedding during high electrical demand periods is a good way to lower electrical consumption and avoid paying premium prices for exceeding peak demand limits. Metering or monitoring the load for the building will tell you when that threshold is nearing.

Load shedding will probably not work if the demand follows a bell curve during the day, where the threshold is exceeded for a good portion of the day. In this case, the building needs to find ways of increasing energy efficiency, either by purchasing more efficient equipment, eliminating waste, etc. However, if there is a peak in the demand curve that is exceeded around the same time everyday, load shedding could help. The question is, what can you afford to shut down without making people uncomfortable and angry? Continue reading Load Shedding and One Approach in CBAS

 

Optimal Virtual Metering In Building Automation

 
On March 21, 2018, Computrols Director of Research and Development, Mike Donlon, presented on the topic of “Optimal Virtual Metering In Building Automation” at the Globalcon Conference in Boston, MA. The below information is a transcribed excerpt from his session.


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George’s CBAS Tips, August 2018

George Hingle

How to Set Up Tenants to Schedule Overtime Air and Lights

The CBAS Web product was originally introduced so that tenants could schedule their own overtime air and lights while making it easy for building management to bill them these services. This is still true and it’s really easy to set up. This feature saves money because you don’t have to pay someone to take calls and enter the tenant’s overtime requests into CBAS. Management can now also setup tenants to handle their own access control cards, but let’s talk about overtime tenant billing for now. Continue reading George’s CBAS Tips, August 2018