Intelligent Building Controls
Intelligent building controls have been around for quite a few years, it is only the technology that has changed – more so in recent years, with the capability of microprocessors, which has given rise to the term `Smart Controls`, however not all Smart building controls need to be cloud, wireless or Wi-Fi based, in fact most products need to have a cable to provide power. They also need to be robust in what they do, easy to set up, maintain and be affordable.
As a building controls industry our systems have been smart and energy saving, since the introduction of the first thermostats in the early 1900`s. (Smart in respect of the technology available). What has changed is the advance in technology. We are now seeing great advances in sensing products as we become more aware of our health and the environment.
Sensors no longer need to be wired separately back to BMS outstations in a centralised control panel, which is expensive both in cabling and I/O count and hardware, nor do they need to be wireless (which is expensive, not necessarily cable-less and can be unreliable).
Cabled networked devices offer the Smart solution- reliable, cost effective, flexible and user friendly.
The BACnet communications protocol is a good example of an open source protocol which has been extensively used for several years by controls engineers. By using this method, the communications are self- contained on site and provide a reliable network.
Clarkson Controls have developed a range of room controllers, which sense temperature and CO2 levels whilst providing local visual and audible warnings of high CO2 levels, together with timed user overrides.
Up to 16 of Our Q-LINK room controllers linked, by a daisy chain of 2 core cable, (which gives them power and communications), back to our i-CON BACnet enabled controller. This controller can be standalone with its own controls algorithms with a local graphical user interface (smart phone type display) or can sit on a communications network with other like -minded devices, such as window controllers and inverters, and be integrated into the site wide BMS/EMS/ control system.
The i-CON controller also has on board I/O (12 x 0/10v, 4 X 10k sensor inputs, 4 x universal inputs and 9 x binary outputs) this combination of local easy wire Q-LINK room controllers and local I/O makes it an idea controller for natural ventilation and MVHRU products and underfloor heating manifold valves, plus picking up the odd alarm point and providing enable signals to other plant.
The fully programmable i-CON controller allows the Engineer to configure the control system as if the I/O points where directly connected into a system with the use of the BAC instance table.
The i-CON systems are easy to install with less wiring. Easy to control – no other manufacturer offers a traffic-light indicator with override buttons for instant control. They are more flexible and cheaper to install offering more addresses and room controllers back into for example a 4NC controller.
Designed by control engineers for the Smart controls engineer.