Control & Automation
May 28, 2011 - ANSI/ASHRAE 135-2010 “BACnet: A Data Communication Protocol for Building Automation and Control Networks”, allows building equipment and systems manufactured by different companies to work together. It is the only open, consensus-developed standard in the building controls industry, say ANSI and ASHRAE. The new standard contains 19 addenda approved since the 2008 standard was published.
April 21, 2011By Legrand/WiremoldTake a quick look at a typical office and you see machines like computers and copiers that are essential to operating a business. Then look at individual work spaces and note the task lights, cell phone chargers, and portable electric heaters under the desk. What these and many other everyday items have in common is that they plug directly into the building’s electrical system. They constitute a building’s plug load.
April 21, 2011By Ken SinclairHow do we as an industry depict our invisible cornerstones of comfort, energy and environmental impact? How can we best show what cannot be seen: temperature, comfort, electricity and performance, as well as the necessary information to maintain all? We now have amazing anywhere graphics that can morph into real-time digital signage to take our message to the world, but have we truly thought about what we will say?Our powerful, far-reaching real-time network connections transport the invisible via the internet cloud, but it is the graphics and their dashboard representations that convert the invisible to visible.
April 5, 2011 Leviton has announced a strategic alliance with EFT Energy, a supplier of enterprise energy monitoring and reporting software, and Obvius, a provider of “cost-effective, easy-to-use” solutions for collecting energy information. Combined with Leviton's complete line of submetering and energy management products and worldwide distribution and sales channels, the alliance will allow Leviton to offer its customers the “most complete line of revenue grade submeters with the ability to generate comprehensive reports and energy use information,” said the companies. Jim Lewis, CEO of Obvius, described the alliance as an essential next step to satisfy customer demand.
March 31, 2011   Bestech has developed NRG1-ECO (Energy Consumption Optimization), a solution it says can help mining companies gain better control of their processes, energy usage, equipment, safety and energy costs. It combines hardware and software to manage "virtually every piece of automated equipment" in a mine. The solution, commissioned by Vale and Xstrata, features a VOD (Ventilation-On-Demand) module which is said to enable the mine to instantly control the ventilation system’s air flow to when and where it is needed–allowing it to reduce its ventilation costs by as much as 30 per cent.  
February 28, 2011   Venstar, a thermostat and energy management systems supplier, has announced its Surveyor Energy Management System (EMS) is now installed at more than 13,000 locations in North America, including Family Dollar and other retail stores. Using Surveyor, combined, the chains’ energy use was reduced by 1.3 billion kilowatt hours–equivalent to taking 185,057 cars off the road and eliminating more than 2.1 billion pounds of CO2 emissions, it says.
Energy Management spoke with Kevin Ashton, general manager for BELKIN CONSERVE, to learn more about surge protection. Here’s is what he said:Surge protectors were originally devices that provided extra outlets and, as surge capabilities were added, they became devices to protect vital electronic equipment.
GE unveiled its smart home technologies at its first appearance at the 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES). These ecomagination and healthymagination technologies—including Nucleus energy manager with Brillion technology, the GE WattStation electric vehicle (EV) charging station, an advanced small wind turbine, and more—promise to help consumers reduce health- and energy-related costs and redefine the benchmark for household performance.
Schlage demonstrated several new capabilities of its Link remote home management system, which allows homeowners to monitor and control Z-Wave-enabled locks, lights, Trane thermostats, Schlage cameras and other Z-Wave devices from mobile phones or internet-connected computers. Schlage Link now allows users to record and archive footage recorded by Schlage cameras, integrate Z-Wave-enabled sensors and create time-based access codes.
Carlo Gavazzi says these soft starts decreases the “wear and tear” on mechanical transmission components (such as belts) and assures the reduction of high starting currents and of mechanical stress on gears, shafts and pulleys. The company says this is due to a smooth and step-less acceleration and deceleration. While Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) have a strong market share in the low power range (0.5 to 5HP), the company says its RSQK soft starts are the perfect solution for industrial applications in higher power range (>100Hp). The RSQK Series features are well suited for applications such as controlling large pumps, fans and mixers in 200-500 HP range, that generally require only a limited number of starts and stops. For more information, go to
This is one of the best documentations of our Building Automation Industry's role in Green Building Design that I have seen The ASHRAE GreenGuide aims to help you answer your biggest question: “What do I do now?” Using an integrated, building systems perspective, it gives you the need-to-know information on what to do, where to turn, what to suggest and how to interact with other members of the design team in a productive way. Information is provided on each stage of the building process—from planning to operation and maintenance of a facility—with emphasis on teamwork and close coordination among interested parties. Why is chapter 15 important to our industry?
This power analyzer is an ideal solution for measuring electrical variables—such as current, voltage, power, energy and harmonics—in each application where parameters analysis, control, data stamping and retransmission must be very accurate, says the company. Carlo Gavazzi adds that with its streamlined modular basic unit and plug in modules, WM40-96 can be used in almost any application. In addition, this compact modular power analyzer allows consumers to save space in the back side of control doors and switchgears. This new product is provided with an advanced keypad and a display that includes five rows of measurements and bar-graph power demand indicator. Front optical communication port is also available, which the company says enables quick access to measurements and easy programming. For more information, go to
Schneider Electric and PowerSecure International Inc. are partnering up to bring PowerSecure’s Interactive Distributed Generation (IDG) smart grid power systems to hospitals.
The Guardian is the first sensor of its kind to utilize CMOS vision-based camera technology, which can detect both motion and presence, says Carlo Gavazzi. The presence zone (for safety, to prevent doors closing on persons or objects) is set through a simple teach process, and the time delay for holding the door open can be adjusted via potentiometer. The motion sensing zone can be shaped to fit the requirements of every door installation, to prevent nuisance tripping. The motion zone can operate in a bi-directional mode where any detected motion causes the door to open, or in a uni-directional smart mode, where the door will only open when people move towards the door; in this mode, people passing by the door will not cause the door to open. The Guardian will adapt to changes in the environment, including sunlight, shadows, snow, rain, leaves, and other objects. And with the blanking feature, stationary objects and even permanently placed moving objects (such as rotating signs) can be ignored.      For more information, go to
Onset, a supplier of data loggers, announced a new online professional training course on Data Loggers for Performance Monitoring.   Presented by energy consultant and educator Mark Stetz, P.E., of Stetz Consulting, LLC, the four-hour online course targets energy professionals looking to improve building commissioning and diagnostics capabilities, obtain better information during energy audits, and demonstrate the effectiveness of efficiency retrofits.   The company says students will learn how to identify necessary variables to measure for specific applications, deploy data loggers, and interpret collected data to understand building system behaviour and identify problems.   Four GBCI (Green Building Certificate Institute) CE hours will be awarded upon completion of the course. Additionally, each student will receive a HOBO U12-012 Temperature/Humidity data logger and HOBOware graphing and analysis software as part of the course fee.   The online course will be held in two, two-hour sessions on Tuesday, October 12th and Thursday, October 14th, 2010. To learn more or to register, visit

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