When PBH Mechanical Ltd. was awarded a contract to build a control panel for an office space and product lead time delays threatened their project deadline, they turned to Contemporary Controls to help them design a custom solution. Utilizing Contemporary Controls' BASautomation Series of open-control BACnet/IP Controllers, PBH Mechanical Ltd. was able to complete their project on time and deliver an automation system that exceeded their client's expectations.
Located in the UK, PBH Mechanical Ltd. performs installation and maintenance management of building controls, such as HVAC and plumbing. The application was to operate actuators for 26 windows based on combined ambient temperature and CO2 level per designated zone. Programmable windows are one component of an intelligent building automation system. Room climate automation can improve indoor air quality and provide a healthier and more comfortable working environment for employees. In addition, room climate automation saves energy and reduces operation costs.
The controller was to be fully programmable and contained within a wall-mounted control panel (800 x 800 x 200 mm) in the IT room. The controller was to operate 26 windows actuators located in nine mechanical zones. Each zone contained an open/close rocker switch, 1200 mm above finished floor level (AFFL), and a temperature and CO2 sensor 1500 mm AFFL.
PBH Mechanical Ltd. installed three Contemporary Controls' BASControl22C controllers and one BASpi-Edge controller to provide BACnet client/server communication. The controllers are fully web page-configurable, and freely programmable using Sedona, an open-source, drag-and-drop, component-based software. With BACnet/IP client capability, the controllers can read/write other device points over the BACnet network as well as serve BACnet points to supervisors simultaneously.
"We managed to keep the costs similar to the original quote and at the same time make a much more customizable solution," said Peter Dunham, Project Manager at PBH Mechanical Ltd, "This allowed the client to expand the original design and improve functionality—adding PIR sensors, a rain sensor, and a touch screen—and to achieve much better control of the environment than they originally requested."
The expanded design featured automated window operation via a programmable time schedule, an external rain sensor mounted outside the IT room (Zone 1), and PIR activation (Zones 7 and 8 only).
The windows open and close based on set points for
- CO2 max: open window (initial setpoint was 1000ppm)
- CO2 min: close window
- Temperature max: open window
- Temperature min: close window (initial setpoint was 18°C)
Parameters can be monitored and updated via the web interface or a 254 mm touchscreen mounted in the control panel. These parameters include:
- Adjustable setpoints, such as time schedule, open/close temperatures, open/close CO2
- Global values, such as rain status and occupancy
- Zone values, such as CO2/temperature levels
The BAScontrol22C and BASpi-Edge are part of Contemporary Controls' line of the BASautomation Series of open-control BACnet/IP Controllers.
The BAScontrol22C is a 22-point unitary controller which supports BACnet/IP and Sedona using a 2-port Ethernet switch connection. It supports 48 web components which link Sedona wire sheet readable/writeable data to web pages and 24 virtual points which link Sedona wire sheet readable/writeable data to a BACnet client.
Powered by Raspberry Pi, the BASpi-Edge controller is a hardened, cloud-connected BACnet controller with enhanced features and data processing at the Edge. It offers quick and easy cloud connectivity to Azure IoT Central (SaaS) cloud solution. Features such as email alarms/notifications, schedules with holidays/exceptions, weather web service, and graphical dashboards make the BASpi-Edge ideal for standalone or BACnet supervised automation applications. The built-in HDMI port allowed easy integration of a touch screen.
Both controllers are fully web-page configurable using a common web browser and freely programmable using Contemporary Controls' free Sedona Application Editor (SAE).