multi-zone controller/small building automation system
I am looking for a multi-zone controller/building automation system for a small commercial project - 6 heating zones, 1 boiler.
Goal - upgrade existing 6 low volt simple non-programmable tstats, each 2 wire, which connect to a 6 zone relay panel for 6 hot water zone isolation valves, to a new computerized system where all programming can be done centrally (day/night setpoints, etc) - where each zone would have a sensor in the airspace telling the central system the temp in the airspace. Perhaps ability to do a user override at the zone sensor.
The existing zone relay panel can remain where the new system simply "opens" and "closes" the tstat terminals on the old panel for the 6 zones, or the new system could control the 6 zone isolation valves (4 wire valves) directly, and then also must turn on the boiler with a N/O relay output.
The boiler's internal processor handles the circulation pumps and BTU input/output required for the input/output water temp... No need to reinvent that wheel at this point.
In other words - instead of setting 6 tstats, making sure all 6 have the same time on them, making sure each setpoint is correct - having a single system to program.
This is going to be for a LEED certified project, thus there is a goal by the owner to have a nice automation system, yet the project is small enough a full fledged automation system is probably going to be out of the budget.
1) All tstats report to a central system where day/night/weekend setpoints are controlled.
2) Central system has necessary programming ability.
Optional items that would make the system more desireable:
1) Networkable to computer(s) so building managers/maintenance can change programming or monitor temp/system hours/other data metrics.
2) Outside air temp sensor that would alter setpoints (turn on heat in zones an hour earlier when it is very cold outside for an example)
3) Current temp, setpoint temp, and manual override on each zone sensor where the central system enforces rules (no 95 degree heat setpoint, overrides last X hours, etc)
Any recommendations on systems I should consider for this customer? Manufacture and model?
Distech I/O controller/Viconics/whomever provides you free configuration tool without needing LNS. Or use a Modbus or bacnet device from whomever provides you with a free device configuration tool. Somebody mentioned Distech config tools working without needing LNS. Viconics has networkable stats but for what you are doing I think a small controller is much less expensive, especially if you are only doing heating control. If this is the case (heating only) I'd go that route with an I/O controller and get some BAPI sensors for the space. I also see this Add Me AM2-MX30 will give you LON sensor control loops. You can couple this with the LINX and do probably whatever you want between the two devices. If you didn't want to mess with a server you could substitute the LVIS touch panel and use the Add Me, however, the Add Me and the LINX is a very low cost start. So, here it is:
Loytec LINX 100/200 Server (Alarm, Schedule, Trend, email, math objects) w/free configuration tool and ability to commission the devices.
LWEB 800 Graphical Interface (free)
Control Solutions Add Me AM2-MX30 (need to purchase compatible room sensors - something like BAPI 10k3 room sensors)
The server is expandable to "full fledged" automation system or for adoption into someone else's front end software or embedded system device.
EDIT: I have bias for Loytec.
Last edited by sysint; 12-09-2009 at 02:45 AM.
go with some networkable thermostats and a small webserver.
Originally Posted by travismroth
typically the webserver can handle simple programming so you can do the boiler logic in there if needed.
There are many choices for the above things.
send me an email if you need some links.
Ok, I started reading up on these. I am wondering what are the advantages/disadvantages to the Loytec over going with the Control Solutions "AM3-IP-MB AddMe III i.CanDoIt® Web Server, 32-point I/O, Modbus, SNMP".
Originally Posted by sysint
That device looks like it can have all the ins and outs I need, plus all the software inside already - ready to program.
What does the Loytec + expander modules get me?
The Control Solutions web server requires a refresh for data updates.
With the Loytec server it uses OPC to provide updated DP's. It is also does MBus, Modbus (RTU and TCP), and in this instance LON. It is a LON device so variables can be External, Static, or Dynamic. Also, you have full Alarm, Schedule, Trend and email.
So here are the things I didn't see the CS devices having that you need:
Install the nodes and make a network (LON).
Interactive data without a manual page refresh.
IMHO, I would opt for a system like the Viconics networkable thermostats (BacNet) already programmed for multiple zones. Coupled with a small, low cost webserver such as CatNet HMI (also BacNet).
I think the LINX is lower cost. However, long term I think this solution ends up ahead of Tridium as well as LINX (IMO).
Originally Posted by eyeLON
Originally Posted by sysint
Ok, so there are the Linx 100, Linx 101, 110, 111, 200, 201, 210, 211
Can you narrow me down to the model(s) I should be researching and learning?
LINX 100 and 101 for LON. The difference is features. The LINX 100 has a RNI (Remote Network Interface) and the LINX 101 has a LON router instead of the RNI.
The configuration tool is identical for all so you can download this along with LVIS config and get an idea.
LINX 200 and 201 are primarily bacnet.
All LINX do Modbus and Mbus.
LINX 110,111,210, 211 are actually programmable controllers - which for what you are doing is not what you want.
We have some instructional videos on our website showing how to do various things with LINX and LVIS touch panels.
Beyond that give sales a call and you end up talking to me.
I would go with Viconic thermostats for the zones and Either an NAE form Johnson Controls or Delta Controls.
I think you have to be signed on to JCI or Delta. You can get Control Solutions, Loytec, Viconics, and CATnet anywhere without licensing or sign up fees.