HVAC Controls Building Automation – Modern buildings use DDC controls for building automation systems. Building automation systems offer energy savings because they are energy management systems. These systems allow management to automatically control many processes involved with HVAC systems, lighting, and emergency systems. The systems are generally hooked up to the internet so monitoring and control can be done worldwide.
Rooftop Economizer CO2 | HVAC Control
This damper is part of a free cooling system for a rooftop economizer. It is part of an economizer damper system which allows free outside air cooling when the outside air temperature and humidity are ideal. This economizer also works on CO2 control so that if the CO2 levels inside the space rise above a set point the economizer damper opens allowing fresh outside air into the space while venting the air laden with CO2 to the outside.
Building Automation Systems | HVAC Control
What you will learn from this article:
1) the efficiency and conveniences Building Automation Systems add to a building
2) how Building Automation enhances energy savings and troubleshooting problems
3) how allowing controllers to communicate with each other enhances HVAC and electrical systems
4) many of the benefits of building automation systems
5) Resource and Related Links to help you learn more
Many people wonder what Building Automation Systems (BAS) do. BAS is mainly used in commercial HVAC control systems and energy management system applications. Building Automation itself is an energy management system which saves management companies and building owners by efficiently controlling air conditioning and heating comfort and process systems. BAS is where mechanical and electrical systems and equipment are joined with microprocessors that communicate with each other and possibly to a computer. This computer and controllers in the building automation system can be networked to the internet or serve as a stand alone system for the local peer to peer controller network only. Additionally, the BAS controllers themselves do not need a computer to process the control functions as the controllers have their own internal processors.
Related Link: Learn more about DDC control loops (opens in a new window)
All About Hot Water Heaters | Water Heaters with Tanks and Tankless Water Heaters
I have been transformed into a believer of tankless water heater systems. Anyone who has read the About Us page at High Performance HVAC along with my friends and family and some fans of the site know that I moved to Ukraine about a year ago for professional reasons. When I first arrived in Ukraine it took a while for me to adapt to the culture, language, services, and way they do things here. Power failures, water outages, and occasionally the natural gas outages are quite frequent here although it is tolerable and a minor inconvenience. Many of the outages occur at night when many people are sleeping but occasionally during the day when you need it. I must include that this has been a big adventure and I have learned much and to tell you if you are living in the States or Western Europe you have it good but that doesn’t mean Ukraine is bad it just means they are little behind and hopefully will quickly catch up. I have not seen a standard water heater here like the common water heaters with tanks in the States. All the systems I have seen here are tankless including the water heaters in the apartment I rented and now in the house where I live. I am sure there are tank-type water heaters here like in the States but I have not seen them yet.
Air Conditioner Ductwork Leaks
A good consideration when replacing the air conditioning system is the duct work.
Duct work seems to be the most ignored part of an HVAC system but is a very important consideration in this age of new technology and higher energy efficient equipment being developed and manufactured. You can have the most energy efficient engine but if its in an old 60 or 70’s model car your efficiency is going to suffer. The same is true with HVAC systems. You can have the most energy efficient compressor available on the market but if your duct work is leaky or your house or business is not properly insulated that high efficient system you just spent big dollars on is wasted money. For more insight on HVAC ductwork see the High Performance HVAC Ductwork Page.
How to Save Energy: Methods of Saving Energy Google PowerMeter (Google Power Meter was discontinued in 2012 but there are still good methods of saving energy in this article)
Google PowerMeter has been discontinued but there are other options available to you to track your power use. This article is archived.
With the ever increasing cost of energy we must ask ourselves how can we save energy? This question can be answered easily by someone who understands energy saving methods and I will show you different ways to save energy.
Why do we want to save energy? To many this question is easy to answer and while some be thinking the answer is axiomatic you may be surprised at how some people answer that question. To me the core reason for saving energy is two things: 1) To save money and 2) It is incredibly irresponsible to waste good energy. It is kind of like cooking a Porterhouse T-bone and only eating half and throwing the rest of the delicious steak away. What an incredible waste!
Variable Air Volume Systems – Variable Air Volume (VAV) systems are the best way to zone especially in large buildings. A VAV system with the proper controls and set-up will help the building owner realize large savings in energy usage. There are many VAV systems out there set up in different ways. The most common set-up (for DDC) are, of course, usually the cheapest to install. They have an air handler (DX or Chilled Water) which supplies the VAV Boxes with a fixed pressure and temperature of conditioned air. The VAV Boxes have electric reheat which will heat the air if that particular zone calls for heat (it is not uncommon to also find VAV boxes that have hot water reheat although this usually cost more to install but can save in energy costs).
Domestic hot water heaters make our lives much more comfortable than ever before. Hot water heaters give us hot water for washing our hands, showering, washing dishes and other uses that would otherwise be uncomfortable without a hot water heater. When considering hot water heaters beyond the cost of the water things to consider are the size of the hot water heater and the type of fuel it will use to heat the water. Efficiency plays a key role in the decision also and while the more efficient models are more costly to purchase paying the higher cost now will save a lot of money down the road in energy savings. Additionally, with all the tax incentives and utility incentives buying the more efficiency model may cost less than the less efficient water heaters. Before looking for a water heater it might be a good idea to check with your local utilities to find out what kind of incentives are available for buying higher efficient water heaters. After checking with the local utilities then you can go out looking for the best water heater to suit you and the purpose you need the water heater for. Tankless water heaters can also be a consideration although these should be sized by a professional so you don’t get too small of a tankless water heater (not enough hot water) or too large of a tankless water heater (inefficient).
Ductwork systems channel the air to the spaces where it is needed from the air handler. HVAC duct systems also pulls the air from the space and channels it back to the air handler where it needs to be conditioned. In some commercial applications the area above the ceiling is considered the return duct. All the return air is channeled back to the air handler through the plenum where it is conditioned in the air handler. Part of the conditioning process is the air being passed through a filter and then an exchanger like a coil or heat exchanger.
Wireless WiFi Smart Thermostats
The future of wireless thermostat has already arrived as there are a handful of wireless thermostats available on the market now. These are the forefathers of wireless thermostats and offer basic functions that the average wired programmable thermostat has to offer that are currently available on the market. As we progress and the thermostat manufacturers tweak and improve on their thermostats the thermostats will grow far more complex than the wireless thermostats offered today. This new breed of wireless thermostat is a far cry from the once state of the art thermostats that offered touch screens and adaptive recovery features that the current breed of thermostat offers. As we move into the future we see new features and options that will offer us more control, monitoring, and energy savings. All the manufacturers have something in the pipeline for wireless thermostats including Venstar, Emerson (White-Rodgers) and Honeywell to name a few thermostat manufacturers.