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Future Technicians Learn Next-Generation Building Automation with BAScontrollers

A new Building Automation Technology (BAT) Program at Wake Tech Community College in North Carolina utilizes Contemporary Controls' BAScontrol22S unitary controllers to teach future technicians how to implement building controls that meet industry demands for more energy-efficient and secure buildings.

Wake Tech's BAT program was created to prepare students for careers in today's high-tech building automation industry. The program has been funded through a National Science Foundation (NSF) Advanced Technological Education (ATE) grant which was used to help develop new curriculum and a state-of-the-art building automation lab.

"The goal of the program is to educate future technicians on building automation and control that maximizes energy efficiency, with all the implications of energy savings, including environmental impacts and national security," said Dr. Constance Keen, Assistant Professor - Electronics Engineering Technology and Building Automation Technology. "Properly implemented building controls, which students will learn in the real-world-equipped BAT lab, will also improve occupants' productivity and health."

Housed in Wake Tech's Center for Building Technologies, the Automation Lab features student workstations with panel enclosures where each student can control a VAV box and monitor the facility's AHU and other equipment. Next to the panel enclosure, wall-mounted sensors, such as CO2, humidity, and temperature sensors, connect to the controller. The BAT program also provides portable trainers that allow students to manage a device from a remote location.

"Our lab is on the south campus, and we're able to use this trainer on the north campus," said Keen. "We plan to use the trainers in high schools to provide hand-on labs, to recruit students at college fairs, or anywhere we want to demonstrate the capabilities of our lab."

In the trainer configuration shown, the BAScontrol22S connects to both an MS/TP and universal sensor. Then, a Contemporary Controls' CTRLink switch connects the BAScontrol22S over IP which connects to the BASview3 graphical interface, allowing users to manage a device from a laptop, tablet, or PC.

"With the BAScontrol22S, you don't need another box to bring MS/TP to BACnet over IP; the controller is translator," said Keen. "In addition, the controllers on each trainer can be connected to each other to create a network. We also have added controllers in our mounted enclosures in the classroom to provide a more realistic work experience for students."

The BAScontrol series of unitary controllers are ideal for general purpose applications, such as controlling fan coils, heat pumps, lead-lag pump sequences, and constant volume AHUs and RTUs. All models offer simple webpage configuration and are freely programmable using our BAScontrol Toolset with no recurring yearly costs. BAScontrol22S models feature 22 points of I/O, offer 24 Virtual Points available to BACnet client supervisors (such as BASview3), and support BACnet client/server operation over BACnet/IP or BACnet MS/TP. Though most applications are migrating to IP, MS/TP is still commonly used in today's industry. Students entering the workforce will encounter MS/TP and should know how to work with it.

For more information, go to BAScontrol22S product page.