Interclima 2022 Experience

Interclima is back!

After years of absence due to covid, Interclima 2022 took place in Paris this October. 

Interclima is the historic exhibition for all key players in the European HVAC industry. Technologies and equipment for renewable energies, indoor air quality and ventilation, heating and domestic hot water as well as cooling are at the heart of the energy transition and the energy-carbon challenge that France is committed to, with ambitious objectives for 2030 and 2050.

The exhibition’s star was without a doubt the Air to Water heat pump. Facing the recent ban on fuel boilers in new construction or heat generators overpassing 300 gCO2eq/kWh ICP emission, the air to water is the most energy efficient solution. hundreds of thousands of air to water systems were installed this year in Europe, and the rate is expected to grow significantly in the coming years. The need for remote service on these systems is evident, as a lot of calibration is required post installation and between the seasons. New financial models of ‘comfort leasing’ that promote these solutions also highlight the need for remote service tools that will allow the leasing company the ability to optimize its service and operations.

CoolAutomation presented its universal HVAC solutions dedicated to remotely control, manage and service HVAC systems including the Air to Water models, using cloud intelligence to optimize and reduce energy consumption.

Smart HVAC management- Insights from MCE 2022

The City of Milan has not experienced such a heat wave for many decades. This provided a ‘hot atmosphere’ for hosting the MCE 2022, one of the biggest global shows for HVAC+R, renewable energy, and energy efficiency. While the outside air temperatures reached 36 degrees Celsius, inside the different pavilions it was cool and pleasant and allowed everyone to walk around, meet up, learn and socialize.

Our booth, showcasing our cloud-based solutions for HVAC system management, energy optimization, and service, was crowded most of the time. Visitors came to our booth to get live demos and to discuss our latest solutions which attracted a lot of interest and good discussions.

Here are a few insights about the trends everyone visiting us was talking about:

  1. Tools for energy consumption optimization become a mandatory requirement: In Europe, every commercial site is required to have a solution that will assist in monitoring and managing HVAC energy usage. It is not a 'nice-to-have' capability anymore. In some countries it is already required by regulation, in others, there is an immediate need to save energy for avoiding the high electricity bills resulting from soaring energy prices.
  2. Integrative smart solutions are essential: Site managers and building owners are demanding a holistic view of their HVAC operations. There is a big need for integrating various sensors (CO2, capacity, humidity, and air quality, to name a few), to streamline HVAC operation with the air quality, and the comfort required by the building tenants. Automation mechanisms for such correlated operations must allow flexible dynamic changes and leverage machine-learning tools based on specific building usage patterns.
  3. Air to Water heat pumps are the next big thing- remote access is a critical component for large scale successful deployment: A lot was said about the advantages of Heat Pumps over fossil and gas-based heating. Market demand for such systems is increasing exponentially and manufacturers are struggling to satisfy the demand. In some places, energy companies started offering "heating-as-a-service" where tenants "lease" the comfort they like (e.g. 24 degrees Celsius) and no longer need to deal with all the maintenance related to it. In this model, all the hassle is taken care of by the service companies who must have remote access to the systems, making sure the systems are well calibrated and assure they work at top performance at all times.
  4. VRF/VRV technical experts are hard to find and HVAC service providers need a solution: with the continuous growth of deployed VRF/VRV systems globally, there is a growing need for highly trained technicians for providing proper service. Customers who invest in these systems, expect to benefit from the efficient operation and low energy consumption. Unless properly and timely serviced the benefits and the system lifespan is reduced significantly. Today’s temperature rise and high usage will mean a higher frequency of service calls. HVAC Service companies need to decide how to best use their VRF experts and where to dispatch them to make the most of their time. As it seems, the problem of expanding VRF experts’ teams is only growing. New models of remote service and moving to predictive maintenance are required.
  5. Integration of VRF/VRV with BMS and home automation: Many professionals who deliver end-to-end solutions to commercial and residential buildings still face a challenge. Existing and new VRF vendors bring more models and solutions, but all of them still rely on their proprietary control interfaces. Having a universal solution that would easily connect with all of them uniformly, is a game changer for many professionals, making their integration project much easier, saving them expansive time, and shortening time to market.

All in all, as HVAC systems are responsible for up to 70% of a building’s energy footprint, the HVAC industry has a critical role in reducing global energy consumption and optimizing usage to allow the move to renewable energy. In CoolAutomation we keep focusing on building solutions to allow these optimizations through smart control and monitoring. Looking forward to next year's show, hopefully, it will be as successful as this one and a bit ‘cooler’ outdoors.

For more information on our solutions, schedule a demo with our experts

Energy Regulation in Europe – Where to Begin?

Global warming is here, and as part of international policy to fight it, many countries have started setting regulations to ensure the long-term goals of reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions are met.

This article will review the Tertiary Decree regulation in France, which sets mandatory goals for all tertiary buildings to reduce their energy consumption consistently, decade after decade, by 2050. It may seem far, but clear to all that energy consumption reduction requires many changes, and unless starting today, objectives will not be met. For that reason, regulators also set some short-term goals of immediate action.

 What is the Tertiary Decree?

The tertiary decree sets objectives for reducing energy consumption in the tertiary sector at three milestones to reach a target consumption in 2050.  It, therefore, puts mandatory obligations on building owners and tenants to plan to implement tools for better management of the building operations and to start following best practices of energy optimizations in buildings.

In France, almost 700 million m2 are affected by this regulation.

Given the steady increase in the price of energy and the high percentage of electricity consumption in the tertiary sector, these obligations are also an opportunity to achieve long-term energy improvements that increase the market value of buildings.  

Who is it related to, and what is required?

Owners and operators of buildings, public or private, whose cumulative area occupied by commercial activities are greater than 1000 m2 should start building a plan to reduce the final energy consumption of their building.

Two optional tracks are in place, with different models:

- Achieve relative reduction of energy consumption compared to a base year:  Decrease of 40% by 2030, 50% by 2040, and 60% by 2050. The baseline measurement year cannot be earlier than 2010.

- Achieve an absolute energy consumption value by 2050: meet an energy consumption value set by the regulator based on new buildings of the same category (structure, occupancy levels,  type of tenants, and other factors), expressed in absolute terms kWh/m²/year.

How can the building's energy consumption be reduced?

There are many aspects to cutting the energy consumption of buildings. We’ll focus on one of the highest energy consumers - HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning) systems.

In some cases, HVAC systems reach 70% of the overall building energy consumption.  Implementing best practices to save on the HVAC will surely make a significant step toward meeting the goals set by the regulations.

 The usage patterns of air conditioning and heating can heavily impact the energy balance. A temperature set point that is too low (summer) or too high (winter). A meeting room that is left for the night with its AC unit on. A clogged condenser that hardly cools the refrigerant and has to work extra hours and in higher intensity to do the work.  All these, and many other examples, can quickly increase the energy bill.

 Let's see a few examples of how we can optimize the usage of the HVAC system in a way that will assure tenants' comfort is met (this is still the building owner's goal when putting HVAC systems in place…) side by side with optimizing the energy usage:

- Implement policies that enforce usage patterns of the HVAC equipment by scheduling the HVAC operation hours to only the times and spaces that need cooling/heating.

- Limit controls of units to only the range and functions needed for the space and tenant, side by side with assuring the system is working in its optimal capacity. Do not allow setting setpoints of extreme temperatures, completely restrict user settings changes when systems should be down (e.g., weekends), lock local wall thermostat from changing setpoint at some hours, and keep these only through central controls.

- Continuous monitoring of the systems to ensure that equipment remains in optimal working conditions to guarantee the energy performance of the HVAC system. 

-Using a power consumption monitoring system that alerts when consumption levels exceed pre-defined peak/expected consumption. This can be done at the building level and up to the specific indoor unit level.

-Awareness – let the tenants see their working patterns and how it impacts energy consumption. Periodic reports can indicate anomalies in the usage patterns, which can be easily fixed and help use the HVAC systems more efficiently.

What can CoolAutomation offer under the Tertiary Decree?

 Many tenants share the HVAC system in buildings. The Tertiary Decree stipulates a shared responsibility of tenants and building owners. So, even as a tenant (e.g., a firm hosting a full floor in a building), you should be aware of the regulation and assure you do the maximum to optimize your HVAC usage.

 Depending on the occupancy structure of the building, an HVAC VRF system covers the heating and air conditioning needs of several tenants, each having slightly or significantly different usage needs:

- Different operating and working times related to the nature of the industry and company standards.

- Different setpoints related to individual preferences

- Different setpoint related to special spaces (e.g., server rooms, gym).

 CoolAutomation suite of Cloud-Based HVAC monitoring & management solutions provides a set of tools for the building owners and managers to address some of these challenges:

 CoolAutomation energy metering solution allows the measurement of each indoor unit according to its actual operating usage. Therefore, the proportional consumption of an area occupied by a tenant using multiple indoor units can be calculated for this tenant out of the total system energy consumption.

An energy audit of the system, including individual consumption and operating parameters (setpoint, working hours, mode of operation of each unit), can be audited periodically and monitored throughout the year and over several years to reduce energy expenditure.

Periodic reports allow the building manager to see exactly how much time the systems were working in each period, what the site temperatures were, what mode it was operated on, and much more information.

Based on these reports, he can set operating policies for the building spaces.

 Controls restrictions to HVAC units - remotely from his mobile device or office desktop, the manager can set schedules, lock local thermostats, and limit setpoints – no need to navigate to another tool to do it or to walk to the room to set the wall thermostat.

 Set automation rules to automate systems operations - use sensors and dry contacts to correlate with system operation – limit HVAC operation when door/window is open, shut down space AC when unoccupied, turn off space cooling, and turn on fresh air system if outside air is cool enough and many more.

 Solutions for technical performance monitoring and Predictive maintenance - detect abnormally energy-intensive operations. By constantly recording technical parameter values, our software detects any variation in performance and alerts the site manager. The quick resolution, before the problem deteriorates, reduces the time the system was running in inefficient operation mode.

Supporting different VRF equipment from other manufacturers

CoolAutomation solutions are compatible with all VRF equipment from the various manufacturers.

Our solution will even make it possible to group units from different VRF systems from different manufacturers within an area of occupancy and measure their proportional energy consumption.

 

Want to hear more? 

Digitize Your VRF/VRV HVAC With CoolMasterNet

CoolMasterNet is a universal gateway, allowing integrators, technical service providers, facilities managers, and more, to integrate any VRF or VRV HVAC system with Home & Building Automation systems. 

CoolMasterNet allows you to also connect your VRF/VRV HVAC to CoolAutomation's Cloud Solutions, and to control, monitor, service, and manage the systems through these designated, various apps.

In this blog post, we’ll break down the many ways in which CoolMasterNet benefits Home Automation Integrators, HVAC Technical Service Providers, and Facilities Managers. We will begin by detailing the challenges each HVAC professional encounters when approaching a VRF/VRV air conditioning system and follow by detailing how connecting it to CoolMasterNet enables a simple connection to an app that fits each of these professionals’ needs.

Home Automation Integrators 

The Challenge

Home Automation Integrators strive to achieve an easy integration between Smart Home Controllers and VRF/VRV HVACs.

But when arriving on-site and discovering that there’s a VRF/VRV HVAC installed, Home Automation Integrators tend to encounter a recurring challenge: they already know from past experience that each VRF/VRV HVAC has a different protocol and that this protocol is a closed, proprietary one. 

They know that this is going to be a complex integration that will require them to provide a mediation device from the specific manufacturer, in order to integrate the VRF/VRV into the Home Automation system. Or have the manufacturer provide the integrator with a unique protocol. However, this is not always available, ending up with the integrator investing a lot of professional energy in the integration process.

 

The Solution

CoolMasterNet allows Home Automation Integrators to seamlessly, universally, and natively integrate VRF/VRV HVAC into any Home Automation System. It also enables the connection to the leading Smart Home Device integration (such as Google Home and Amazon Alexa).

As a Plug & Play device CoolMasterNet is simple to install and saves Home Automation Integrators precious time.

HVAC Technical Service Providers 

The Challenge

Many HVAC Technical Service Providers are familiar with this routine: arriving on-site, only to discover they’re carrying the wrong set of tools for the HVAC malfunction they were called to fix. 

In another scenario: they receive a service call that sounds complex, and send their company’s most valuable workforce - their VRF Engineer - to perform the fix. Once the Engineer arrives on-site to fix the issue, he discovers that it’s actually quite minor - and ends up wasting his time in traffic and solving an issue a junior HVAC service provider could have solved.

 The Solution

Connecting the HVAC system to CoolMasterNet enables a connection to CoolAutomation’s Cloud Solutions - including the HVAC Remote Diagnostics solution. This solution allows you to constantly and remotely monitor the performance of all the connected HVACs on all connected sites.

Not only that, but this solution allows you to remotely diagnose and solve errors, and helps you to downsize your and your VRF engineer’s on-site visits to the required minimum.

Facilities Managers

The Challenge

Facilities Managers experience a complexity in their job: while they need to manage VRF/VRV HVAC systems on multiple floors, buildings, or sites, they need to easily view, monitor or manage these different locations - through a single interface; something that is not always available to them. They are also called to optimize the facilities’ energy consumption.

The Solution

CoolMasterNet allows Facilities Managers to control VRF/VRV HVAC systems in different locations and buildings under their management - easily and remotely, and through a single interface.

This is done through the Advanced HVAC Operations solution, allowing Facilities Managers to stay on top of things, inspect the operational trends of each of the connected HVAC systems and diagnose recurring malfunctions - and remotely.

Not only that, but CoolMasterNet allows Facilities Managers to integrate Home and Building Automation Systems with HVAC - allowing them to remotely set effective scheduling

(according to hours of the day/temperature), limit users' change of the system’s temperature, set seasonal adjustments, and set the HVAC to a pre-set, regulated temperature. These abilities allow for energy efficiency, and save on the facility’s energy bills.

For more information, contact our team of experts

The Remote HVAC Revolution: What Facilities Managers Should Know

First, there was the fan…

More precisely, a very primitive cooling system. 

The humidity in the summer of 1902 was unbearable. It was so bad that it damaged the products of a US print house, causing the pages to swell and the printed ink to blur. 

The print house turned to the evolving cooling industry for a solution, and asked Willis Carrier, a 25-year-old experimental engineer, to create a cooling system of whose aim was to reduce the humidity around the print house and decrease the room temperature. 

The cooling system was a success, and Carrier continued developing his invention. In 1922 he invented a safer, smaller and more powerful Centrifugal Refrigeration Compressor. (The Smithsonian Magazine)

That was the beginning of HVAC.

But of course, we have gone a long way since the first HVAC, not only in terms of mechanics, but also in terms of communication abilities - and the ability to remotely control these systems. Let us take a huge leap to the future - to the revolution of the Internet of Things.

Facilities Managers and The 4th Industrial Revolution

At the beginning of 2010s, the 4th Industrial Revolution began. One of the main components of this revolution was the IoT, the Internet of Things - the ability to connect machines to each other, make them communicate with each other, and the ways in which we can control these machines remotely through the Cloud.

The 4th Industrial Revolution improved the lives of Facilities Managers and their daily work. 

The Benefits of The 4th Industrial Revolution

Before the 4th Industrial Revolution, Facilities Managers who were responsible for HVAC systems on multiple floors, buildings, or sites, were presented with a unique difficulty: they had to physically attend all the HVACs on the different sites, in order to view, monitor and manage them. 

In worst cases, if malfunctions occurred on multiple sites, the Facilities Managers had to hop from site to site in no time. 

But today, with the 4th Industrial Revolution and the growing popularity of the Internet of Things and Remote HVAC Monitoring, Facilities Managers can manage HVACs on buildings, retail and hotel chains, Air bnbs, and much more - remotely. 

The 4th Industrial Revolution has turned the world into a global village, and since everything is connected, Facilities Managers can now monitor any HVAC on any connected site - from the comfort of their office.

Remote HVAC Monitoring & Service

The 4th Industrial Revolution allowed the development of a remote, cloud-based solution that fits the needs of a Facilities Manager. 

Using this unique cloud-based solution, Facilities Managers can now view all the connected HVACs at all the connected sites - through a single, remote interface.

This solution allows Facilities Managers to:

  • Optimize HVAC management, by operating the HVAC remotely and increasing its energy efficiency
  • Apply HVAC Remote Diagnostic tools
  • Receive real-time system error notifications, for malfunctioning HVAC systems in real-time

And when a malfunction occurs in an HVAC on a distant site, the Facilities Manager receives a push notification, can instantly call up the HVAC Service Provider and send him to fix the malfunction in no time.

VRF Power Distribution - The Buzz-Phrase of the HVAC World

The 4th industrial revolution enabled turbocharging another tool:  VRF Power Distribution, which became accessible through the cloud.

This solution is enabled by connecting a Wattmeter to the power circuit of the VRF’s outdoor units in the building. This connection allows to break down the overall consumption of the VRF system to each of the system’s individual indoor units.

By implementing this function, Facilities Managers can bill their tenants accurately - by the actual operational demand of each of the VRF system’s  indoor units.

As you probably already know, HVAC is one of the most energy-consuming appliances in a building. And when it comes to tenants’ billing, precision is of a high importance. That’s why billing tenants by their actual HVAC consumption is so important. 

For more information about how Cloud Solutions can benefit Facilities Managers - Contact Us, and we’ll be happy to answer any of your questions.

Double Your HVAC Maintenance Team’s Output – With a HVAC Remote Diagnostic Solution

Today, everything is going remote. Online shopping, museum visits, telehealth services, and even jobs have become partially remote. COVID-19 is leaving its mark on almost every aspect of life.

The HVAC realm has also been affected by the trend of remote services. But while some of the services or operations mentioned above are somewhat controversial for being remote - the HVAC realm has benefited from this trend immensely. 

Remote HVAC Diagnostic solutions are helping not only to improve clients’ satisfaction, but are also saving HVAC technical services’ costs - and improving the productivity of VRF experts.

About the HVAC Remote Diagnostic Solution

The HVAC Remote Diagnostics solution provides the technical service team the ability to remotely and intelligently diagnose, service, and control any HVAC system, leading to increased system efficiency.

It enables early detection of HVAC issues before they escalate into a major one. It also provides real time alerts and allows predictive maintenance service regiments, with the benefits of being able to take proactive steps that can prevent system downtime. 

More than that, the system collects historical data, so you can go back to any given moment in the system’s historical data, and even compare the system’s performance across different periods.

Detect errors before they escalate – for greater peace of mind

Continuous monitoring through HVAC diagnostic tools provides immediate alerts on equipment-generated errors or faults. It allows access to all the system’s technical parameters, required to remotely troubleshoot a faulty system with automatic “watchdogs” running in the background, analyzing performance trends, and alerting when trends go out of the normal range. This enables HVAC teams to get on with their daily tasks, comfortable in the knowledge that everything is being monitored. 

Diagnostic software tools offer several key features. Smart algorithms monitor specific system parameters, enabling predictive maintenance through the detection of technical and operational anomalies. And multi-site control helps teams work more efficiently, as they can monitor all the systems that are connected to the HVAC Remote Diagnostics solution under the same interface and tools.

It’s clear that the HVAC Remote Diagnostic solution offers many advantages, enabling technical service providers to take proactive steps to prevent system downtime and catch malfunctions before they escalate. It reduces HVAC system downtime, which in turn reduces the tenants’ discomfort, increases system lifespan by utilizing early detection of performance issues, optimizes system energy consumption by setting the system to work at optimal performance, detects anomalies as they happen, and saves the service provider travel time and ultimately VRF experts’ time. 

Contact Us

So what Remote HVAC Diagnostic solutions are out there in the market?

Most of the HVAC manufacturers’ Remote Diagnostics solutions are proprietary and can only connect to that specific manufacturer's HVAC systems - and to them alone. They are often limited to operating locally without remote access to the service data.

CoolAutomation’s Remote Diagnostics solution is different, as it is universal: it consists of an intuitive cloud-based application and an IoT-enabling edge device - the CloudBox, which easily plugs into any VRF HVAC system. As this is a Plug & Play solution, it automatically detects the HVAC system and available units. 

Once connected to the cloud, all brand-specific parameters of the connected systems will be immediately and continuously collected, analyzed and presented in the Remote Diagnostics solution application. And so, the Technical Team can view all the connected HVACs on-site, and access as much data as they need  - all through a single interface, from the comfort of their office.

Contact us for more information about our solution portfolio and get on track to increasing efficiency and doubling your team’s output.

The Remote HVAC Monitoring Glossary of Terms

In this blog post, we’ll define and explain the Remote HVAC monitoring glossary of terms, of the Digitalization of HVAC and Cloud-Based HVAC realms, and we’ll briefly go through the most common HVAC types there are on the market.

Remote HVAC Monitoring Glossary

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) - A field in Computer Sciences aiming to simulate human intelligence and thought processes, by using technological methods such as Machine Learning, usually based on extensive data from past cases
  • Cloud Connectivity Enabler - The device that enables a local on-site system, including an HVAC system, to communicate and be connect to the internet.
  • Developers API - Application Programming Interface for software developers. Allows for the development of a custom application, using the capabilities enabled by the interface. In the HVAC realm, these capabilities are related to control, monitor and management of the connected HVAC systems. A typical use case can be the integration of a preferred functionality (e.g. turn AC on/off) into an existing application (such as a hotel guests app).
  • Hardware - The physical computer components, or a device that has to perform a certain function by using a certain logic. These components or devices perform the actual work of the computer, typically directed by the software to execute any command or instruction.
  • HVAC Advanced Analytical Tools - A set of HVAC diagnostic tools of which purpose is analysis of data, troubleshooting a specific problem, analyzing system health or detecting anomalies. In the case of anomaly detection, the user can define an automatic rule and run it in the background. The automatic rule will continuously check for multiple conditions and alert if it finds any malfunction. The advanced analytical tools may include graphical visualization of a system’s data points over time, tools for correlating multiple parameters over time, the ability to compare system data between periods, and many more.

 

  • HVAC Data Analysis - The process of inspecting, cleansing, transforming, and modelling data, aiming to discover useful information or insights - in order to support decision making. In the realm of HVAC, Data Analysis enables making informed decisions regarding the HVAC system’s health and its operational efficiency. 
  • HVAC Data Collection - A feature in a software, allowing to collect data coming from the HVAC’s system components (such as sensors, condenser, compressor, coolant tubes, etc.). This data is then inspected in the process of HVAC Data Analysis.
  • Internet of Things (IoT) - A collection of physical devices that are connected to the internet, embedded with sensors that allow them to be connected to a cloud-based software - and controlled remotely. The Internet of Things (IoT) is also applicable when connecting various physical devices, such as HVACs, to the Smart Home cloud based solutions, such as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Ecobee Thermostat.
  • Machine Learning (ML) - A field in Computer Science that deals with the computer’s ability to learn from examples, in order to allow it to make decisions or predictions without programming it directly to execute these tasks.
  • Multi-Brand HVAC Integration Device - A device that has the ability to simultaneously connect with multiple HVAC systems. Each device can be from a different HVAC manufacturer (brand) and models -  allowing unified connectivity interface for communicating with the systems. 
  • Multi-Site Control - Allows for total control over HVAC systems within multiple geographical sites (buildings, apartments, facilities, hotels, retail stores, etc.), through a unified user interface.

    CoolAutomation Multi site control

  • Power Distribution - A solution that allows building managers, who are running VRF systems, to receive proportional allocation of the exact power consumption of each indoor unit, based on the actual operational demand. The solution gathers the information directly from the VRF system’s condenser.
  • Predictive Maintenance - A proactive maintenance strategy that continuously monitors the HVAC system status, and applies smart algorithms - in order to detect various deterioration signs, anomalies, and equipment health issues. The goal of predictive maintenance is to optimize the HVAC system’s performance, reduce downtime and optimize the HVAC service and maintenance plan schedules, based on the system's health.
  • Remote Monitoring - A technologically-enabled capability, ran by a software of which purpose is to remotely and continuously monitor the clients’ systems. In the HVAC realm, the Remote Monitoring software tools enable HVAC technicians, installers, service providers and facility managers to remotely access on-site equipment, diagnose system errors, monitor HVAC systems health, optimize the operation of the HVAC system and apply predictive maintenance models.
  • Remote Service - A suite of software-based HVAC diagnostics tools that allow HVAC technicians to remotely access a client’s system, in order to provide intelligent, smart analysis and support to technical issues of any HVAC system - without the need to travel on-site.
  • Software - A set of commands that instruct the computer’s hardware how to work and perform a certain task. It allows handling data more efficiently, eases extensive calculations (which were previously made manually), and provides enhanced tools in order to perform various tasks automatically or manually, through an intuitive and user friendly interface.
  • Software as a Service (SaaS) - A software licensing and delivery model, licensing software on a subscription basis. It is centrally hosted and maintained on the manufacturer’s “cloud”. The manufacturer maintains all the functionalities of the delivered software. Usually all the computing and data are stored and processed on the cloud servers, while the user uses a browser or a mobile application to access the software’s functionalities. The advantages of Software as a Service model are many: 

    • Easier and faster maintenance
    • Quick scaling to support
    • High computing processing needs without the need to add more local hardware or the need to update hardware specs on-site
    • Moving budgets into operational costs, which in many cases eases investment and transitions to new and more advanced software tools
    • And more.

  • User-Permission Control - Enables building managers to control which users are allowed to access the system, and which features the users are permitted to access.

HVAC Types

  • Split HVAC - A Split HVAC is a small system, composed of only two units - outdoor and indoor. Split HVAC enables a connection between the outdoor and the indoor unit. These units communicate using a proprietary protocol.
  • Multi Split HVAC - A smaller sized and lower in energy consumption HVAC, intended for small spaces such as a single house or an apartment (unlike VRF, which is usually intended for large buildings). The Multi Split HVAC has an outdoor unit, and usually up to five indoor units, each can be set individually to a different temperature. The main difference between Multi Split HVAC and VRF HVAC is in the communication and refrigerant piping topology: while VRF has a chain topology structure, the Multi Split’s piping topology is of a “star” structure.
  • VRF/VRV HVAC - VRV stands for “Variable Refrigerant Volume”, and VRF stands for “Variable Refrigerant Flow”; but they’re representing the same HVAC technology - a sophisticated air conditioning system, of which sophistication lies in the inverter compressors, refrigerant-only technology, low energy consumption, bi-directional communication, and more.
  • Unitary System - A one-package HVAC, a unit that combines an “indoor” and “outdoor” in one body. This HVAC’s architecture creates a limitation in terms of its functions: it simply has an On/Off switch, Cool/Heat selection, set point, and a selection of fan speed. The Unitary unit is supporting the air through ducts, and is limited in providing different climate conditions to different zones.

 

For more information about CoolAutomation's Remote HVAC Monitoring Solutions, please contact us

7 Questions About Remote HVAC Monitoring

Have you ever arrived on-site, carrying the wrong set of tools, to fix a faulty HVAC system? Or stood in traffic, just to arrive on-site and find that the HVAC issue you’ve been called to fix is actually a minor problem? Have you ever wished you could detect HVAC anomalies - remotely? 

There’s a simple answer to all these questions - Remote Monitoring. In this blog post we’ll answer some of the most urgent questions about the topic.

What is the purpose of remote HVAC monitoring? 

To detect problems as early as they evolve, before they escalate to a major issue. Most issues will appear in the service data values - it just needs someone trained and knowledgeable to figure out the nature of the issue, and define a course of action for solving it.

How will I be sure my HVAC system is being properly monitored?

All the service data that can be retrieved on-site can be retrieved remotely by the remote service tools. More than that, the remote monitoring tool collects the historical data, so you can go back to any given moment in the system’s historical data (since the time system was connected to the remote monitoring tool), and even compare the system’s performance across different periods. 

CoolAutomation Service App - Remote HVAC Monitoring

Is remote monitoring as effective as on-site monitoring? 

Yes, and even more effective. It allows the service team to remotely analyze the HVAC issue, based on the system's data and performance, and decide whether they need to pay an on-site visit, or they can configure the issue remotely. Having analyzed the issue remotely, and if they do need to go on-site, they already know what to expect, and what tools and parts they need to bring along. 

Eventually, remote HVAC monitoring saves them travel time, and allows the technical team to optimize their operation by sending the right skilled personnel to the site, based on the early remote analysis of the case. 

  • Another Case Study demonstrating the benefits of Remote Monitoring

Is remote monitoring a more expensive solution? Will it produce a worthwhile ROI?

When calculating ROI, there are many system aspects that need to be considered and weighed into the formula: be it system lifespan, tenant’s discomfort, cost of fix, number of visits made by technicians, and more. These may vary between each site and each client (building managers). 

However, our experience shows that even if different clients have different preferences, eventually all of them end up with a significant positive ROI. Add to it their peace of mind, knowing that their system is being monitored by an HVAC professional, who can quickly react to any anomaly or system fault or error.

How can I find a service provider who provides remote monitoring services? Can my current HVAC provider offer this service?

HVAC service providers have different models of service. The common ones involve “Per Call” or yearly maintenance programs. These programs can be enhanced by adding remote monitoring, allowing them a wider set of tools.

Asking your existing service provider to implement a remote HVAC monitoring solution for your site is your first step towards getting such service. Either he has this available and you can join such a program, or he can start offering remote service solutions  and make his organization more efficient - and his customers fully covered.

Will my data be secure with remote service? Are there any security risks?

All the data is encrypted - from the point it leaves the HVAC system, and all the way up to the cloud and to the end user’s application. We use cloud  industry best practices to assure data protection and privacy.

In conclusion, here are the advantages of remote HVAC monitoring:

  • Reduces HVAC system downtime, which in turn reduces the tenants’ discomfort
  • Increases system lifespan, by utilizing early detection of performance issues
  • Optimizes system energy consumption, by setting the system to work only where needed and at optimal performance
  • Detects anomalies as they happen
  • Saves the service provider travel time 
  • Saves the skilled personnel’s time - remote analysis allows to send the skilled personnel to the site only where and when needed carrying the right tools to fix the problem

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How to Manage HVAC in a Multi-Tenant Environment

Imagine a building with 4 apartments. A family, let’s call them the Smiths, is moving into apartment 1 today. They’re really excited about this new apartment, which is equipped with 5 indoor units, one for each room. The HVAC is a VRF one, a very smart and efficient system that can be easily connected to a control app.

A typical VRF system consists of an outdoor unit, several indoor units, refrigerant piping, and communication wiring.

As the Smiths move in, the facility manager grants Mrs. Smith with access to an app that controls the HVAC, designed by the HVAC’s manufacturer. This app allows Mrs. Smith to control all the indoor units, and set the fan speed, the setpoint temperature, the On/Off mode, and the Cool/Heat modes. 

However, Mr. Smith and the 3 kids can’t control all of these. This is because the facility manager can allow only one tenant out of each apartment to have access to the manufacturer’s app. 

Why? As you can see in the diagram below, the building has two VRF outdoor units, each connected to two apartments. For this matter, apartment 1 (the Smiths) and apartment 2 share an outdoor unit. 

Manage HVAC in a Multi-Tenant Environment - diagram of a VRF system in a multi-dwelling

But this also means that if apartment 1 and 2 share an outdoor unit - they also share this outdoor unit’s communication line. This allows the tenants of apartment 2 to view and control the indoor units of the Smiths at apartment 1 - and vice versa. A great opportunity for the neighbors to pull a prank on the Smiths, and set their AC to 50°F/10°C in the middle of the night.

And so, the facility manager has got to limit the access to the app that controls the HVAC, thus allowing only one person from each apartment to have access to it. Although this limitation is sensible, it creates a situation in which most of the building’s tenants cannot control their own apartment’s indoor units. And so, Mr. Smith and the kids are kind of left out.

But what if the facility manager wanted to permit them, and all the building’s tenants, to control their apartment’s indoor units?

And as the Smiths and apartment 2 (for example) share an outdoor unit, how can the facility manager make sure that the tenants living in these apartments view and control only their own apartment’s indoor units - and not their neighbor's’?

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The Existing Solutions

There are two types of solutions that can help the facility manager to allow all the tenants to control their own indoor units - without viewing their neighbours’ indoor units. The solutions are device-based and app-based.

Device-based

A device is connected to each indoor unit, creating an internal network between the indoor units. However, this requires attaching the device to each indoor unit, which increases the costs of the project. Not only that, but this kind of solution lacks central control.

App-based

There are apps that allow all the VRF’s users to access the whole system. However, this solution is problematic in our case, as each two apartments share an outdoor unit. And so, the tenant of apartment 1, for example, can access the indoor units of tenant 2.

But there is another app solution: 

CoolAutomation’s unique User Management function allows facilities managers to manage users, and grant them access to their own apartment’s indoor units - only.

In addition, through this unique function, facilities managers can arrange the tenants of each apartment as one group, allowing all of the group members to access only their own indoor units. 

This grants access to all the building’s tenants, while preventing each and one of them from seeing other apartments’ indoor units - even though they share an outdoor unit.

Would you like to learn more about this function? Schedule a Demo with our experts

Why Predictive Maintenance and Remote Service Tools are the Next Big Thing in the World of HVAC

In traditional service contracts, equipment ‘health’ and performance are verified and fine-tuned mainly through pre-scheduled, periodic maintenance check-up routines. This is known as a Preventive Maintenance model.  Manufacturers prescribe a fixed maintenance schedule and, assuming all routines are followed, the customer should expect HVAC performance according to the spec.

Downsides to the Preventive Maintenance model

The problem with this model is that not all environments are ‘born’ equal. What works for a clean building area would not necessarily fit a heavy industrial dusty environment. Using a formula that addresses the average case can result in doing excessive maintenance activity on less stressed equipment, and vice versa, insufficient maintenance on tougher cases that would be needed to assure optimal operation.

Introducing Predictive Maintenance via Continuous Monitoring – A More Efficient Model

Digitalization and remote connectivity provide a new model of “Predictive Maintenance”. This involves Continuous Monitoring of equipment to detect performance inferences early while they are still minor. This can allow early repair or problem investigation before they deteriorate. In many cases, this prevents downtime and can significantly reduce the cost of repair.

Predictive Maintenance provides an insurance layer in-between visits

Predictive maintenance does not replace the preventive scheduled maintenance activity. Rather, it provides another layer of ‘insurance’ for the period between scheduled maintenance visits. It allows ‘spreading’ the maintenance visits ‘a bit’ and enables better scheduling of the maintenance site visits based on the actual status of equipment – making visits more effective by ensuring technicians arrive equipped with the right tools, parts, and skill-sets.

Continuous Monitoring enables immediate alerts on equipment generated errors/faults. It allows access to all the technical parameters of the system required to remotely troubleshoot a faulty system with automatic ‘watchdogs’, running in the background, analyzing performance trends, and alerting when trends go out of normal range (also known as system anomalies).

Let’s take an example of a basic automatic routine that monitors the rate in which the room temp reaches the setpoint. In most cases, if the setpoint is not reached within a reasonable time, it may indicate some underperformance of the system. Various reasons can be the cause: refrigerant leak, clogged filters, malfunctioning thermistors, and others. Putting your finger on the actual cause requires analysis. Some of this can be done using remote service tools, some may require a physical check. But, as long as the problem is unresolved, the comfort level is affected, equipment is stressed in order to compensate, and this may decrease the components’ lifespan or increase repair costs. Energy consumption will also be increased.   From this example, the potential benefits of having this single continuous monitoring tool on overall customer value is clear.

When choosing an HVAC system, choose a reliable service provider

When choosing an HVAC system, the main objectives for the end customer are optimal comfort, energy consumption, and product longevity. Selecting reliable equipment together with a reliable and professional service provider, who implements predictive maintenance practices through continuous monitoring, will assure these objectives are achieved in an optimal cost-effective manner.

 

The CoolAutomation Predictive Maintenance helps service providers offer predictive maintenance through remote service tools and continuous monitoring, globally.

Contact us for more information about our solution portfolio.

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The post-Coronavirus HVAC world

The Coronavirus impacted the world with a force and suddenness that touched almost everything we know. No one really knows how deep or long the impact will be, but there is a consensus that many of the ways we have operated and acted in the past will have to change moving forward. This will of course include the world of Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC). Given our many years of experience in this space – we tried to offer preliminary thoughts on what and how things may change for those of us who work in HVAC.

Social distancing and indoor climate awareness

Since most of the world’s population is under a “social distancing” regime, and likely will remain like that for quite some time, people are spending more time at home and will likely invest in optimizing their home comfort. This will include assuring that HVAC systems provide the expected comfort level, i.e. temperature, humidity, and growing demand for fresh air circulation.

This will likely be achieved by taking basic actions like opening a window (where possible) but also a higher awareness and demand for systems and technologies that will automate it and assure that air quality standards are kept. Once “social distancing” regimes will be relaxed, people will carry this awareness and demand to their office environment as well.

The impact of Dynamic Occupancy levels on facility operations

This in turn, will fuel adjustments in HVAC operations in commercial facilities. The coming months, and possibly years, may likely include cycles of regular business operations and periods of partial-work-from-home or shutdowns triggered by governments to try and control the rates of infections.

This means office buildings will cycle through quick periods of near 100% occupancy to almost 0% occupancy and will have to do so effectively.  Maintaining building systems and office spaces ready for all occupancy rates, optimized to allow comfort for each level, all while keeping energy consumption efficient, is a challenge for any facility manager at normal times.

Doing so in a dynamically changing occupancy environment, will make it much more complex. Building systems are designed to work at high occupancy rates. Operating it at low occupancy rates for long periods, with ability to ramp up very quickly, requires good planning, as well as the tools to easily move between operating regimes. Remote control, monitoring and management tools will become mandatory for HVAC facility management.

HVAC service and monitoring during times of travel restrictions

HVAC technical service organizations and HVAC contractors also will have to make some transition in the way technical service is being provided. The model of sending a technician on site to address every service call, from small to big, will be challenging in an environment of ever-changing travel restrictions.

First, this mode of service requires granting access to a technician into a serviced building/residence. With “social distancing”, this is no longer a given that this access will be granted.

Second, and of more significance, servicing a vacant building (unfortunately HVAC problems can occur even if nobody is at the office...) requires special coordination from facility managers – someone has to specially be on-site to grant building access to the technician, wait for them to complete the work, and maybe come back to see everything works properly and test the system at different loads.

Third, a vacant building’s system may still be working at times and will require ongoing monitoring to detect the system’s health. At regular times, tenants will probably alert if temperature is too high/low or comfort has deteriorated, indicating something is problematic with the system. But if the building is empty, these issues may only be noticed when occupants come in and may render the environment potentially unhabitable (consider a glass office building in August in New York without AC for a week….).

Remote access for HVAC service teams

These considerations emphasize the importance of tools that will allow service teams remote and automatic diagnostics and control. Such tools allow them to offer preventive maintenance best practices and notifications and also allow them to plan much better how to address service calls.

For Example, when a service call is opened, they can easily connect to the alerted system, view all relevant parameters and perform an initial HVAC diagnostic of the situation with an app. Some cases may even be resolved remotely by proper configuration changes, some may allow the service technician to guide a local team to perform some mechanical work to fix the issues and some will still require a technician to travel to the site.

But even if on-site visit is required, the technician will have some more info prior to going on-site so he can take with him the right tools/parts and expertise (the right person for the job...) so he doesn’t have to travel again.

HVAC meets the Internet of Things

The Corona crisis is one of the defining challenges of our times. For the HVAC world as for every other aspect of our lives, this will mean making critical adjustments in how we live, work and travel.

The good news in the HVAC world is that innovations in technology during the last decade, especially around big-data, cloud and IOT, allows making these necessary adjustments quickly and efficiently.

Tools for the 21st Century HVAC Professional

Today’s digital age places HVAC professionals in a unique position (and if you’re reading this, we assume that you’re one of them). While HVAC digitization may possibly create some advantages for you, these benefits are abstract, and learning how to jump into the digital world  seems like a big barrier to overcome.

We’ve written this article to help HVAC professionals to understand not just the specific advantages that the digital world can provide for you, your customers, and your business, but also to help you see just how easy the process can be.

 A Multitude of Advantages

The digital world brings many opportunities to the HVAC industry. It does require some level of adjustment for HVAC professionals and technicians but it also provides them with the most value.

As an example, digital solutions enable you to have a more efficient workday, potentially eliminating the need to drive across the city to perform onsite system diagnostics or commissioning. Instead, you can access these systems digitally so that you can perform the tests remotely. It also helps HVAC professionals like you expand your business by making your company more attractive to both existing and potential customers through faster and more efficient service.

Why Some Professionals Are Ignoring the Digital Trend?

Despite its numerous benefits, many professionals within the HVAC industry have still not embraced the digital world, while others are simply ignoring it. This might be due to the perceived challenges associated with making the jump into the digital revolution. But as we’re about to show you, it’s much easier than they think.

 How to Digitize an HVAC?

VRF, VRV, Split, Mini-Split and some of the other HVAC systems, are all designed with a closed communication system, and as such, are unable to connect to any external device, network, or smart home device. The ultimate solution to bridge this gap is through the use of an intermediary solution, that includes an Internet of Climate (IoC) device and cloud-based API access.

CoolAutomation Connects Your HVAC to the Internet of Climate (IoC)

In order to enable digital functionality and interactivity, you will need to install an intermediary device such as one of CoolAutomation’s hardware devices. Easy to install, these devices enable VRF and Split systems to communicate with the internet and web applications.  

This creates what we call: The Internet of Climate or the IoC.

IoC Enabled HVAC: Key Opportunities 

1)    Pro-active HVAC Service

One of the most significant challenges for HVAC professionals and businesses like yourself, is that you have no ability to proactively interact with your customers after an initial installation or servicing. This leaves you constantly searching for new customers instead of maximizing the customers you already have.

Remote Monitoring and Predictive Maintenance

The ability to remotely monitor HVAC systems allows you to reach out to your customers and initiate servicing to help them avoid severe technical issues in the future - through a designated app. CoolAutomation's solution is designed for the HVAC professional saves time and resources through HVAC remote monitoring, diagnostics, and predictive maintenance.

Gain Access to Data From HVAC Systems You’ve Installed

The installation of an intermediary hardware device enables you to access the HVAC System data. There’s no limit to the number of systems you can integrate into your account, and for each individual system you can:

  •     Receive alerts and notifications - when an HVAC system nears or exceeds the performance limits, so that you can reach out to your customer and proactively recommend a service call to avoid system errors or failures.
  •     Drastically reduce the time needed for each service call - through remote servicing, troubleshooting, and diagnostics, you will be providing more efficient service for your customers.
  •     Enable HVAC predictive maintenance - our advanced algorithms will send alerts related to potential problems and errors before they occur. This enables you to inform your customers and solve small problems before they become big problems.

In other words, an HVAC troubleshooting App allows you to provide your customers with peace-of-mind and a sense of trust in your professional expertise.

2)    Universal Smart Home Integration

At some time or another, your customers may have asked you about connecting an HVAC system to a smart home device. The most popular systems include WiFi thermostats, Nest,Amazon Alexa, Ecobee, or Google Assistant.

While in the past this may not have been a serious problem, the incredible popularity of smart home devices and the growing penetration of VRF and Split HVAC systems is about to significantly increase your need for a simple connectivity solution.

Connect with CoolAutomation

As mentioned, VRF and Split HVAC systems cannot directly connect to any external system, including Home Automation. By installing one of CoolAutomation’s hardware solutions you will now be able to integrate VRF, VRV, Split, Mini-Split, and Multi-Split HVACs to any Home Automation system and all of the most popular smart home devices. 

3)    Cross Brand HVAC Control

Since nowadays most people assume everything comes with an app, some of your customers have no doubt already asked you for a web or mobile application to remotely control their HVAC. While some of the HVAC manufacturers have developed an application for this purpose, using a different application for each individual manufacturer is a significant task for you and mainly, your customer. The ultimate solution would be finding a universal application that can be used for just about every VRF and Split HVAC system, and can even be used if multiple HVAC brands are being used in a single location.

By installing one of CoolAutomation’s hardware devices, together with the CoolAutomation HVAC Control, you can give your customers complete remote control over their HVAC system, regardless of the manufacturing brand.

What You Need to Make it Work

The entire CoolAutomation Application Suite is enabled through the installation of a CoolAutomation hardware device: CoolMasterNet, CoolPlug, and CooLinkBridge

So what are you waiting for?! Start improving your business by contacting us today!

VRV or VRF?

What's the difference between VRV and VRF?

Many people mistakenly believe that VRV and VRF are two different HVAC technologies. Actually, VRV and VRF are two different terms for the same HVAC technology. Based on Inverter technology compressors, the first VRV HVAC systems were invented by Daikin during the early 1980's.

As a technology leader in the HVAC industry, Daikin registered the VRV term (which stands for Variable Refrigerant Volume1) as an official trademark. All other companies use VRF (Variable Refrigerant Flow2) for their similar HVAC systems. Eventually, VRF became the more common term for these types of systems. This is the term that will be used for the rest of this article.

Want to proactively and intelligently diagnose, service and control your VRF HVAC?

Check out CoolAutomation's solutions for HVAC service providers and professionals:

So what is VRF HVAC?

Think of VRF as the "Rolls-Royce" of Air Conditioning Systems. It’s a very sophisticated technological air conditioning system, based on several principles:

  1. Refrigerant only - where refrigerant is the only coolant material in the system (in contrary to the chilled water systems, where refrigerant is used for cooling/heating the water that is circulated throughout the whole system)
  2. Inverter compressors that allow lowering power consumption with partial cooling/heating loads
  3. Several air handlers (indoor units) on the same refrigerant loop/circuit
  4. Ability of modular expansion (especially applicable for large projects, that can grow in stages)

Typical VRF system structure

A typical system consists of an outdoor unit (comprising one or multiple compressors), several indoor units (often  mistakenly called "fan coils"), refrigerant piping running from the outdoor to the indoors, using Refnet Joints (copper distributors in pipes) and communication wiring.

VRF diagram - piping technical diagram, CoolAutomation

Communication wiring comprises a 2 wired cable chained from the outdoor to all indoors, creating an internal closed loop network. This is an essential part of any VRF installation.

As for the Control, each indoor is controlled by its own wired control panel, while there are some possibilities for wireless remotes (IR) and centralized controllers, enabling controlling all indoors from one location.

How does VRF HVAC work?

The operation logic of the VRF is fully built-in inside the system and is proprietary for each VRF manufacturer. The system gets inputs from the user (e.g. desired comfort temperature) and from the surroundings (outside ambient temperature). According to that data, it implements its logic in order to get to the desired comfort conditions, utilizing optimal power consumptions.

The ability to adjust itself to the outdoor conditions is one of the main factors that makes these systems so efficient, compared to the traditional water cooled systems, based on chillers and fan coils.

Now, let's dive in, and see how it works in detail.

Let's take as an example a typical VRF installation, with one outdoor unit and multiple indoors.

A Typical Example

At the beginning, the system is in standstill condition (everything is turned off).

Once a user turns one of the indoors "ON" by its local remote, the outdoor "gets noted" regarding it, and starts working. At this point, it will examine the outdoor conditions (temperature), the operating indoor requirements (operation mode, set point temperature), and will operate the compressor at the exact level, required to comply with the indoor requirements.

When another indoor unit is turned on, the outdoor recalculates the requirements from all the indoors, and will increase the compressor's output, according to the required level of demand.

This process is constantly occurring with any change, performed in the HVAC system. As described, this system is fully automatic, and regulates its power consumption based on the demand arriving from the indoor units and outside prevailing conditions.

Users can have influence on the desired indoor comfort conditions, modifying: Operation mode (On/Off), Operation state (Cool/Heat/Fan/Dry/Auto), setpoint temperature, and fan speed (High/Medium/Low/Auto). Controlling those parameters is the only thing required for proper operation, and the only thing that is required for proper integration with the VRF system.

VRF HVAC System types

Cooling Only systems (less popular) – those systems can only cool. Heating is not available. Fan and Dry modes are available for each indoor unit independently.

Heat Pump systems (most popular) – all the indoor units can either heat, or cool (not at the same time). Fan and Dry modes are available for each indoor unit independently.

Heat Recovery systems (less popular) – those systems are the most sophisticated ones, where cooling and heating may be available by each indoor unit, independently, at the same time.

 

Want to proactively and intelligently diagnose, service and control your VRF HVAC?

Check out CoolAutomation's solutions for HVAC service providers and professionals:

 

Footnotes

  1. http://www.daikin.com/products/ac/lineup/vrv/
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Variable_refrigerant_flow

Daikin Error Codes (Malfunction Self-Diagnosis and Troubleshooting)

Malfunction (Error) codeMalfunction ContentsSupposed causesObjects
RASkyAirVRVPackageHRVChiller
Indoor UnitA0External protection device activatedExternal protection device connected to the terminal strip T1-T2 of indoor unit is activated
A1Malfunction of indoor unit PCBMalfunction due to noise Defect of indoor unit PCB
A3Malfunction of drain level control systemDrain piping clogging, improper drain piping work Defect of drain pump                 Defect of float switch
A4Malfunction of freezing protectionShortage of water volume      Low water temperature setting Defect of 26WL       Defect of water temperature thermistor
A5High pressure control in heating, freeze-up protection control in coolingClogged air filter of indoor unit and short-circuit Defect of indoor unit heat exchanger thermistor
A6Fan motor locked, overload, overcurrentDefect of connector contact Defect of indoor unit PCBDefect of fan motor
A7Malfunction of swing flap motorFailure of swing flap motor        Defect of indoor unit PCB Jammed swing mechanism/blade
A8Malfunction of power supplyOvercurrent of AC input

Defect of power supply voltage

A9Malfunction of electronic expansion valve driveDefect of electronic expansion valve coil

Defect of indoor unit PCB         Defect of connector contact

AAHeater overheat26WH is activated
AFMalfunction of a humidifier systemWater leakage of humidifier (option)

Failure of swing float switch      Improper drain piping incline

AHMalfunction of dust collector of air cleanerDefect of dust collecting element Defect of high voltage power supply unitStained insulator part Defect of indoor unit PCB
AJMalfunction of capacity setting (Indoor unit PCB)Capacity setting adaptor is not installed when replacing PCB Defect of indoor unit PCB
C1Failure of transmission (between indoor unit PCB and fan PCB)Defect of transmission of fan motor control driver
C4Malfunction of liquid pipe thermistor for heat exchangerDefect of connector contact

Defect of liquid pipe thermistor for heat exchanger

C5Malfunction of gas pipe thermistor for heat exchangerDefect of connector contact

Defect of gas pipe thermistor for heat exchanger

C6Malfunction of fan motor control driverDefect of fan motor sensor system Defect of fan motor control driver
C7Front panel driving motor faultDefect of front panel driving motor Defect of limit switch
C9Malfunction of suction air thermistorDefect of connector contact Defect of thermistor for suction air
CAMalfunction of discharge air thermistorDefect of connector contact

Defect of thermistor for discharge air

CCMalfunction of humidity sensor systemDefect of connector contact Defect of humidity sensor
CJMalfunction of thermostat sensor in remote controllerDefect of remote controller thermistor   Malfunction due to noise Defect of remote controller PCB
Outdoor UnitE0Protection devices actuated (unified)Protection device connected to outdoor PCB actuated Defect of protection device connector contact
E1Defect of outdoor unit PCBMalfunction due to noise Defect of outdoor unit PCB
E3Actuation of high pressure switch (HPS)Dirty outdoor unit heat exchanger and suction filter      Defect of HPS Clogged refrigerant piping         Defect of connector contact
E3System No.1

Actuation of high pressure switch (HPS)

Dirty outdoor unit heat exchanger Clogged refrigerant piping Defect of HPSShortage of water volume Defect of connector contact
Outdoor UnitE4Actuation of low pressure switch (LPS)Clogged refrigerant piping         Shortage of gas

Defect of connecting connector   Defect of outdoor unit PCB

E5Overheat of inverter compressor motorShortage of refrigerant amount    Defect of connector contact Leakage of four way valve
E5Inverter compressor motor lockInverter compressor lock Incorrect wiring
E6STD compressor motor overcurrent/lockClosed stop valve STD compressor lock
E6System No.1 Compressor overcurrentDefect of EXP. valve Defect of compressorShortage of refrigerant amount
E7Malfunction of outdoor unit fan motorFaulty contact of fan motor connector

Defect of fan motor                   Defect of fan motor driver

E8Overcurrent of inverter compressorDefect of compressor                Defect of outdoor unit PCB Defect of inverter main circuit capacitor   Defect of power transistor
E9Malfunction of electronic expansion valve coilDefect of electronic expansion valve    Defect of connector contact Defect of outdoor unit PCB
EAMalfunction of four way valveDefect of four way valve Defect of outdoor unit PCBShortage of gas Defect of thermistor
ECMalfunction of entering water temperatureMalfunction of cooling water temperature

Defect of thermistor                   Defect of outdoor unit PCB

EFMalfunction of thermal storage unitDefect of electronic expansion valve of thermal storage unit Defect of thermal storage PCB
F3Malfunction of discharge pipe temperatureShortage of gas

Defect of connector contact

Clogged refrigerant piping Defect fo discharge pipe thermistor
F6Abnormal high pressure in coolingDefect of outdoor unit fan motor     Defect of electronic expansion valve Defect of heat exchanger thermistor     Defect of outdoor unit PCB
F6Refrigerant overchargedRefrigerant overcharged Disconnection of heat exchanger thermistorDisconnection of outdoor air thermistor Disconnection of liquid pipe thermistor
H0Malfunction of sensor system of compressorHarness is disconnected, or defective connection Defect of PCB
H1Malfunction of humidifier unit damperDefect of limit switch Defect of damper
H3Malfunction of high pressure switch (HPS)Defect of high pressure switch     Broken wire

Defect of connector contact         Defect of outdoor unit PCB

H4Malfunction of low pressure switch (LPS)Defect of low pressure switch    Broken wire

Defect of connector contact         Defect of outdoor unit PCB

H5Malfunction of compressor motor overload thermistorDefect of connector contact

Defect of compressor motor overload thermistor

H6Malfunction of position detection sensorFaulty contact of compress or cable

Defect of compressor                Defect of outdoor unit PCB

H7Malfunction of outdoor fan motor signalFaulty contact of fan wiring Defect of fan motor driverDefect of fan motor
H8Malfunction of compressor input (CT) systemDefect of power transistor         Defect of reactor

Faulty wiring of inverter system   Defect of outdoor unit PCB

H9Malfunction of outdoor air thermistorDefect of connector contact Defect of thermistor for outdoor air
HCMalfunction of  (hot) water temperature thermistorDefect of connector contact      Defect of outdoor unit PCB Defect of thermistor for water temperature
HFAlarm in thermal storage unit with iceThermal storage group defective wiring     Defect of setting Excess of thermal storage tank numbers
HJMalfunction of thermal storage tank water levelLow water level                          Defect of switch setting Water level detecting sensor failure   Defect of connector contact
Outdoor UnitJ1Malfunction of pressure sensorDefect of pressure sensor connector contact

Defect of pressure sensor         Defect of outdoor unit PCB

J2Malfunction of current sensor of compressorDefect of current sensor Defect of outdoor unit PCBDefect of compressor
J3Malfunction of discharge pipe thermistorDefect of connector contact Defect of outdoor unit PCBDefect of discharge pipe thermistor
J4Malfunction of low pressure equivalent saturated temperature sensor systemDefect of connector contact       Defect of thermistor Defect of outdoor unit PCB (Multi-split,  Super-multi )
J5Malfunction of suction pipe thermistorDefect of connector contact Defect of outdoor unit PCBDefect of suction pipe thermistor
J6Malfunction of heat exchanger thermistorDefect of connector contact Defect of outdoor unit PCBDefect of heat exchanger thermistor
J7Malfunction of liquid pipe thermistor (Refrigerant circuit and others)Defect of connector contact Defect of outdoor unit PCBDefect of liquid pipe thermistor
J8Malfunction of liquid pipe thermistor (Refrigerant circuit and others)Defect of connector contact Defect of outdoor unit PCBDefect of liquid pipe thermistor
J9Malfunction of gas pipe thermistor (Refrigerant circuit and others)Defect of connector contact Defect of outdoor unit PCBDefect of gas pipe thermistor
JAMalfunction of high pressure sensorDefect of connector contact Defect of outdoor unit PCBDefect of high pressure sensor
JCMalfunction of low pressure sensorDefect of connector contact Defect of outdoor unit PCBDefect of low pressure sensor
JEMalfunction of sub-tank thermistorDefect of connector contact Defect of outdoor unit PCBDefect of sub-tank thermistor
JFMalfunction of heating thermistor for heat exchangerDefect of connector contact Defect of outdoor unit PCBDefect of heat exchanger thermistor
JHMalfunction of oil temperature thermistorDefect of connector contact Defect of outdoor unit PCBDefect of oil temperature thermistor
L0Malfunction of inverter systemShortage of power supply capacity Defect of inverter PCBDefect of power transistor
L1Malfunction of inverter PCBDefect of compressor wiring Blown fuseDefect of outdoor unit fan motor Defect of inverter PCB
L3Electrical box temperature riseFin temperature rise due to short-circuit Defect of power transistorDefect of outdoor unit fan Defect of outdoor unit PCB
L4Malfunction of inverter radiating fin temperature riseFin temperature rise due to short-circuit Defect of fin thermistor
L5Inverter instantaneous overcurrent (DC)Closed stop valve Defect of compressor
L6Inverter instantaneous overcurrent (AC)Overcharge of refrigerant amount Defect of compressorShortage of power supply capacity Defect of inverter unit
L8Overcurrent of inverter compressorAbnormal high pressure rise due to clogged refrigerant circuit and others Defect of compressor
L9Malfunction of inverter compressor startupFaulty of pressure equalization Defect of compressor wiringDefect of compressor
LAMalfunction of power transistorDefect of power transistor Defect of inverter PCBDefect of compressor
LCMalfunction of transmission between outdoor unit PCB and micro-computerDefect of grounding connection Defect of outdoor unit PCBMalfunction due to noise
LCMalfunction of transmission between control and inverter PCBDefect of connector contact Defect of inverter PCBMalfunction due to noise Defect of outdoor unit control PCB
P0Shortage of refrigerant amount (thermal storage unit)Shortage of refrigerant Clogged refrigerant piping
Outdoor UnitP1Power voltage imbalance, open phaseOpen phase        Voltage imbalance between phases Faulty main circuit capacitor      Defect of wiring contact
P2Automatic refrigerant charge operation stopClosed stop valve

Closed valve of refrigerant tank

P3Malfunction of thermistor in electrical boxElectrical box temperature rise (ambient temperature rise) Defect of fin thermistor              Defect of outdoor unit PCB
P4Malfunction of radiating fin temperature sensorDefect of radiating fin thermistor  Defect of wiring contact Defect of outdoor unit PCB
P8Heat exchanger freezing protection during automatic refrigerant charging(Close the refrigerant cylinder. Start again from step 1.)
P9Malfunction of fan motor (humidifier unit)Defect of fan motor Broken relay harnessDefect of outdoor unit PCB Defect of connector contact
P9Automatic refrigerant charge operation completed
PABroken wire of heater (humidifier unit)Defect of heater unit Defect of outdoor unit PCBDefect of thermistor
PAEmpty refrigerant cylinder during automatic refrigerant chargingRefrigerant cylinder of master unit is empty
PCEmpty refrigerant cylinder during automatic refrigerant chargingRefrigerant cylinder of slave unit 2 is empty
PEAutomatic refrigerant charge operation nearly completed
PHMalfunction of temperature (humidifier unit)Defect of heater unit Defect of thermistorDefect of connector contact Defect of outdoor unit PCB
PHEmpty refrigerant cylinder during automatic refrigerant chargingRefrigerant cylinder of slave unit 1 is empty
PJMalfunction of capacity setting (Outdoor unit PCB)Capacity setting adaptor is not installed   Improper capacity setting adaptor Defect of outdoor unit PCB
PJImproper combination between inverter and fan driverMistake of inverter PCB Mistake of control PCBMistake of inverter fan PCB
SystemU0Shortage of refrigerantShortage of refrigerant Closed stop valveClogged refrigerant piping
U1Reverse phase, open phaseReverse phase, open phase of power wiring

Wrong wiring                             Defect of outdoor unit PCB

U2Defect of power supply voltage or instantaneous power failureDefect of power supply voltage    Instantaneous power failure Defect of wiring contact
U3Check operation not executedCheck operation not executed
U3Malfunction of transmissionMalfunction due to noise Defect of outdoor unit PCBWrong wiring
U4Malfunction of transmission between indoor and outdoor unitDefect or indoor-outdoor transmission wiring Malfunction due to noise

Defect of indoor unit PCB and outdoor unit PCB

U5Malfunction of transmission between indoor unit and remote controllerDefect of remote controller wiring   Defect of indoor unit PCB Malfunction due to noise   Defect of remote controller main/sub setting
U6Malfunction of transmission between indoor unitsFaulty wiring

Defect of indoor unit PCB

Malfunction due to noise
U7Malfunction of transmission between main body micro-computer – INV micro-computerHarness disconnection/broken wire between PCB Defect of outdoor unit PCB
U7Malfunction of transmission between outdoor unitsDefect of wiring between outdoor units Defect of outdoor unit switch setting Defect of wiring between outdoor – thermal storage units
U8Malfunction of transmission between remote controllersDefect of remote controller main/sub setting

Defect of remote controller wiring   Defect of remote controller PCB

Others77System No. 1

Malfunction of fan inter lock

Defect of relay contact Broken wire
78System No. 2

Malfunction of fan inter lock

Defect of relay contact Broken wire
7ASystem No. 2

Malfunction of current sensor of compressor

Defect of current sensor            Defect of compressor Defect of outdoor unit PCB
7CSystem No. 2

Malfunction of pump inter lock

Cooling water pump interlock actuated
80Malfunction of entering water temperature thermistorDefect of connector contact

Defect of entering water temperature thermistor

81Malfunction of leaving water temperature thermistorDefect of connector contact

Defect of leaving water temperature thermistor

82System No. 1

Malfunction of refrigerant thermistor

Defect of connector contact Defect of refrigerant thermistor
83System No. 2

Malfunction of refrigerant thermistor

Defect of connector contact Defect of refrigerant thermistor
84System No. 1

Malfunction of heat exchanger thermistor

Defect of connector contact

Defect of heat exchanger thermistor

85System No. 2

Malfunction of heat exchanger thermistor

Defect of connector contact

Defect of heat exchanger thermistor

86System No. 2

Malfunction of discharge pipe thermistor

Defect of connecting connector Defect of discharge pipe thermistor
88System No. 2

Malfunction of discharge pipe temperature

Shortage of gas          Defect of discharge pipe thermistor Defect of connector contact       Clogged refrigerant piping
89Malfunction of brazed-plate heat exchanger freezingDirty heat exchanger                 Shortage of refrigerant amount Defect of thermistor
8ASystem No. 2

Malfunction of leaving water temperature thermistor

Defect of connector contact

Defect of leaving water temperature thermistor

8ESystem No. 1

Malfunction of suction pipe thermistor 1 for heating

Defect of connector contact Defect of suction pipe thermistor
8FSystem No. 1

Malfunction of suction pipe thermistor 2 for heating

Defect of connector contact Defect of suction pipe thermistor
8HAbnormal high hot water temperatureThree-way valve malfunction     Defect of thermistor Defect of water temperature setting
90Abnormal chilled water quantity, abnormal AXPShortage of water volume Disconnection of AXP
91System No. 2

Malfunction of electronic expansion valve

Defect of connector contact

Defect of electronic expansion valve coil

92System No. 2

Malfunction of suction pipe thermistor

Defect of connector contact Defect of suction pipe thermistor
94Malfunction of transmission (between heat reclaim ventilation unit and fan unit)Defect of fan unit PCB

Defect of connecting wire between (1) and (2)

95System No. 1

Malfunction of inverter system

Defect of fan inverter unit
96System No. 2

Malfunction of inverter system

Defect of fan inverter unit
97Malfunction of thermal storage unitDefect of thermal storage unit
98Malfunction of thermal storage brine pumpActuation of thermal storage brine pump overcurrent (OC)
99Malfunction of thermal storage brine tankLow water level of thermal storage brine tank
SystemU9Malfunction of transmission (other system)Defect of communication between other indoor unit and outdoor unit Other indoor unit electronic expansion valve failure
UADefect of indoor/outdoor power supplyWrong model connections Wrong PCB connectedImproper power supply Defect of PCB
UAMalfunction of field settingMalfunction of field setting by remote controller

Defect of remote controller wiring       Defective connection of optional device Defect of indoor unit PCB

UAImproper combination of indoor and outdoor unitsExcess of connected indoor units   Malfunction of field setting Uncanceled service mode         Defect of outdoor unit PCB
UARemote temperature setting wire disconnectionRemote temperature setting wire disconnection Defect of connector contact
UCMalfunction of setting of centralized controller addressAddress duplication of centralized controller
UEMalfunction of transmission between indoor unit and centralized controllerMalfunction of wiring between indoor unit and centralized controller Defect of setting of group number  Defect of indoor unit PCB
UFWiring and piping mismatchImproper connection of transmission wiring between indoor-outdoor units and outdoor-outdoor units
UHMalfunction of systemImproper connection of transmission wiring between indoor- outdoor units and outdoor-outdoor units     Defect of indoor and outdoor unit PCB (RA: Mismatching indoor and outdoor units, Defect of voltage, Freeze protection in other indoor unit(k)
UJMalfunction of transmission (Accessory devices)Defect of accessory devices Faulty wiring
M1Malfunction of centralized remote controller PCBDefect of centralized remote controller PCB
M8Malfunction of transmission between optional controllers for centralized controlOther centralized control power disconnection   Centralized control reset switch ON Defect of transmission wiring    Central remote controller address change
MAImproper combination of optional controllers for centralized controlImproper combination of optional controllers for centralized control More than one master controller is connected

Faulty setting of centralized control Defect of centralized control

MCAddress duplication, improper settingAddress duplication of central remote controller
Others60External protection device actuatedActuation of external protection device

Defect of output signal wiring    Defect of control PCB

64Malfunction of indoor air thermistorDefect of connecting connector   Defect of thermistor for indoor air Defect of control PCB
65Malfunction of outdoor air thermistorDefect of connector contact Defect of control PCBDefect of outdoor air thermistor
6AMalfunction of damper systemDefect of connector contact Defect of damper motorDefect of limit switch Defect of control PCB
70System No. 2 Compressor overloadShortage of refrigerant amount   Defect of connector contact Leakage of four way valve
71System No. 2 Compressor overcurrentShortage of refrigerant amount   Short-circuit Defect of compressor
72System No. 2

Fan motor overcurrent

Defect of fan motor connector contact

Defect of fan motor                    Defect of PCB

73System No. 2

Malfunction of high pressure (HPS) actuated

Dirty heat exchanger Clogged refrigerant piping Defect of HPSShortage of water volume Defect of connector contact
74System No. 2

Malfunction of low pressure switch (LPS)

Clogged refrigerant piping Shortage of gasDefect of connector contact Defect of LPS
75System No. 2

Malfunction of low pressure sensor

Defect of connector contact Defect of PCBDefect of low pressure sensor
76System No. 2

Malfunction of high pressure sensor

Defect of connector contact Defect of PCBDefect of high pressure sensor

 

3 simple ways automation can improve your HVAC business

Success within the HVAC industry relies on the ability to retain and grow a customer base. The easiest way to do this is through proactive customer support and servicing. While this might seem on the surface to be fairly simple, there are 3 major areas where HVAC professionals can utilize automation in order to add significant value for their customers, increase customer interaction, as well as satisfaction, without creating much more work for them.

Automating an HVAC system is an incredibly quick and simple process that provides significant benefits to both the installer as well as the homeowner through a number of different areas.

Remote Monitoring  

Most homeowners have no knowledge regarding the need for regular or preventive maintenance for their VRF HVAC System. As a result, they only call a service technician once the unit has a problem, which generally requires much more costly repair service. 

HVAC automation enables the installer to monitor the internal mechanics of every unit, which provides the ability for installers to troubleshoot and potentially solve issues with units while servicing other clients.

Simply put, remote monitoring enables the technician to provide remote, off-site diagnostics, quicker, and more efficient repairs, and ultimately, a much improved overall service experience for the customer.

Energy Efficiency

Automation systems focus on ensuring that the HVAC unit(s) are functioning optimally, and therefore in the most energy-efficient way possible. If for some reason, a unit’s efficiency begins to fall, the technician can easily see where the problem is and how to fix it. 

Since the automation system focuses on improving inner working mechanisms of the VRF HVAC system, it can improve the energy efficiency of any unit or system, even if there is a connected smart system already installed.

Additionally, the real-time monitoring for cleaning filters on indoor units, and washing the coils on outdoor units- are the preventive maintenance actions that maintain, or improve the energy efficiency of the HVAC system.

Individualized Attention

Today’s homeowner is looking for more individualized attention. They want to feel valued. This is an incredibly challenging task to accomplish, since historically, HVAC installers and technicians have been entirely reactive, in that they would only be able to interact with customers and homeowners when a problem would arise.

Automation enables HVAC technicians to provide individualized and proactive support for their customers, which can create real, lasting, and loyal relationships. Most importantly, it can also drastically increase word-of-mouth recommendations, which is the gold-standard across the service industry.

The Bottom Line

Through the quick and simple installation of a building HVAC automation system, HVAC professionals are able to increase efficiency, more effectively service their installed units. By utilizing the automation tools such as predictive maintenance and remote monitoring, they can provide individualized attention to each one of their customers. This combination creates stronger and longer lasting relationships with their customers, and many more opportunities to further grow their businesses.