Control & Automation
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
This compact, vibration-resistant relay boasts an unlimited service life because it has no moving parts, according to Schneider Electric. It features high breaking capacities, a wide input voltage range and a front-facing LED for instant indication of line voltage. The company says complete silence when switching makes this relay ideally suited for hospitals and buildings; high switching frequency makes this relay ideally suited for packaging machines. Other applications include HVAC/R, commercial and industrial machines. Panel builders and OEMs can choose from two alternatives: the SSRD, which features an integrated heat sink for heat dissipation and can be clipped directly onto DIN rail or be panel-mounted; and the SSRP, which is panel-mounted and can be combined with a factory-tested heat sink for applications requiring considerable heat dissipation. These ROHS-compliant relays can be used in an ambient environment of -40°C to 80°C. They comply with IEC 60950, UL E258297 and CSA C168986.   For more information, visit
Carlo Gavazzi launched a new series of slim-profile photoelectric sensors for pedestrian and industrial door applications. The PD70 packs a multitude of features and approvals into a compact housing that can fit in many installations. With a housing that is only 11.5-mm wide by 11.5-mm deep, the PD70 can be mounted in narrow door frames. A built-in test input feature on the emitter allows for evaluation of proper sensor function, thereby increasing the level of safety, according to the company. The sensing range of 12m allows the PD70 to be used in wide door openings with total reliability. The colour-coded sensors (red for emitter, green for receiver) come pre-wired with 5m of cable, or with a M8 quick-connect plug. Carlo Gavazzi says the PD70 is the perfect complement to standard radar door sensors, providing the presence detection required to alert the door controller that a person or object is in the door opening and to keep the door open until it is clear.   For more information, go to

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