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  1. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by air1 View Post
    The problem with so many different systems is you can't be an expert on all of them. I would have a tech specialize on one or two systems while still being able to backup the other techs.
    You shouldn't worry about manufacturer systems. You should concentrate on standards and protocols and make the installers of those systems follow your rules for visualization.

    Much easier solution. Granted, not many do it. What it means is most facilities do things backwards.

  2. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Eugene, Oregon
    Posts
    1,018
    I agree that having standards would make it easier to manage multiple manufacture BAS systems. Unfortunately unless everything is BACnet it would be difficult to use a single front-end for the entire site so you would have to knowledgeable of multiple systems. Also, each manufacture uses different Application Specific Controllers and integrating them to a master front-end would be tricky at the least.
    My experience with sites that use multiple systems is that it increases the complexity of the BAS system. Increased complexity requires a higher level of expertise to manage the system.

  3. #16
    It has been my experience expiring licensing on software and server packages along with old PC's is much harder to manage then protocols. I would pick a two tier system with the bottom level allowing for field bus protocols and the top level BACnet or OPC. Then I would divorce the front end OWS from the installation and use routing. Controls long term costs.

    Usually, if something is "tricky" this means you don't want to use the "tricky" features. And, it doesn't all need to be BACnet to work.

    What it does need is someone on top of your organization aware and making the good decisions not to die of a thousand system cuts with tricky little special things.

  4. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Lakewood, CO
    Posts
    71
    Thanks for all the great input from everyone!

    And yeh Kelly, it's Brian.
    I work for Denver Public Schools so everyone knows.
    Personally, I'd like to become up to date on FX and NAE supervisory engineering. I did take a week of AX classes when I was first learning techin' and FX seems friendly enough... just so much more to learn and do with.
    Most of our stuff is some generation of JCI product.
    That being said, the Delta stuff is super easy and intuitive. The KMC could just have a JACE for a front end, the ALC is simple enough unless we'd have to reprogram a controller, the Siemens, ehhhhh, we don't have that much of it and I haven't yet had to work with it (still under warranty), I use to install a ton of it in years past... Would love extra training in DX9100 'cause we have so damn many, the JCI ASC controllers seem pretty easy and intuitive. Now we're getting a bunch of FEC's and PCT's which seem friendly enough...

    All in all, points is points. I think concentrating on supervisory systems may be the smart thing to do.

  5. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Several Miles from Sane
    Posts
    1,458
    Basparky,
    You realize you are no longer anonymous and will fall prey to interweb groupies don't you.

    We work on and with numerous School Districts. The single most common complaint I hear is that the Operating Personnel cannot get service/answers/assistance when stuff hits the fan. Second most common complaint is that a Controls Contractor installed a certain brand of controls and then restricts access to it so that "Only the Contractor" can access or service said system and the enduser is held hostage to that contractor. That is just wrong on many levels and, if it's not already, it should be illegal. (a little venting there)

    I know that your School District has intelegent people, in key positions, that are working to inprove both the HVAC systems and the Controls Systems throughout the District. I think you will agree it took a long time for all that stuff to get to it's present condition and it will take a while to get it all straightened out.

    You have my number, I know you'll can when you need help (dang it) !
    If sense were so common everyone would have it !

    All opinions expressed are my own. Any advice provided is based on personal experience, generally accepted fact or publicly available information. As such, it is worth exactly what you paid for it, not a penny more not a penny less !!

  6. #19
    What happens in a large district like this is a bunch of installations that are steamy piles of doodoo. When the mess gets large enough, in the true American way you go out and buy some Hefty bags over the top of everything to control the smell because everything got way out of hand.

    People do this with all the time with middleware and top side solutions, usually proprietary in some major way. Now you see Hefty-bag solutions with Analytical packages. You have people spending big dollars with secondary databases mining for individual little stinking piles of doodoo when these things can mostly be done at the controller level with modern technology. And, usually someone like a school district doesn't realize analytic packages need full time staff to run it so even that starts to smell. Secondly, there isn't enough staff to keep up with maintenance and repairs. How the heck are they supposed to chase economizers that may be "sparking" a bad line from time to time? ROI makes the case? See three sentences previous.

    The problem really starts at the specifications. It wasn't good enough to begin with, and did not compensate for a two tier level of system and individual building. There are no goals, no objectives, and no objective thinking. The result is the whole thing stinks. If there are some flowers tossed in the mix there is almost no way to smell anything good.

    And, when I say specifiers, I mean ASHRAE educated specifiers in the US. The majority of them have not even a marginally good idea what it takes to put together a control specification properly.

  7. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Mount Airy, MD
    Posts
    7,281
    RubberDuckee2,

    Yup Busted again

  8. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Eugene, Oregon
    Posts
    1,018
    Who's RubberDuckee2 and why is he banned?

  9. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Baton Rouge, LA
    Posts
    1,113
    Quote Originally Posted by air1 View Post
    Who's RubberDuckee2 and why is he banned?
    RubberDuckee was Bert best friend until a woman got in the middle. Oh sure, life was full of bath times and lot of fun but bubbling below the surface was another story. Bert was awfully found of RubberDuckee, until she boo boopy dupped into the scene. That is when it became a blood bath.
    If you're too "open" minded, your brains will fall out.
    Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

  10. #23
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Mount Airy, MD
    Posts
    7,281
    Quote Originally Posted by XcelTech View Post
    RubberDuckee was Bert best friend until a woman got in the middle. Oh sure, life was full of bath times and lot of fun but bubbling below the surface was another story. Bert was awfully found of RubberDuckee, until she boo boopy dupped into the scene. That is when it became a blood bath.
    LMAO !!!

    A reincarnate of a member that had more chances then most here.

  11. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    70
    I worked for a Florida School System as the Lead HVAC DDC Tech for 19 years. We had Siemens Apogee, Johnson Controls N2 and 5.2, Alerton system.
    The issue we faced was only having 2 Control techs to cover 90 schools with different controls systems installed to quickly to meet the contract deadline. I was the computer admin the took care of the servers and laptops. I kept them updated with installing the HVAC software to help save the district money. The big issue was not forcing what was in the specifications.
    They was adding lighting to the DDC system when I resigned in May 2012.

    I am much happier where I am now.
    HVAC Tech of 33 years in the HVACR and Controls Industry

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