Mitsubishi Electric VRF Integration with Home Automation Systems
In this post, we would like to address our fellow home automation professionals that are interested in integrating a Mitsubishi Electric VRF system with a Home Automation system of their choice.
HVAC integration is usually not perceived as a challenging aspect of the project. This is correct until you encounter a VRF HVAC system. Those systems were developed and designed in Asia, taking a unitary HVAC to the whole new level of efficiency and as a result - communication system design level. The idea behind such systems is to break up an HVAC into components that act together based on efficiency logic and allow communication between the system components. Let’s dive a bit deeper. If you wish to skip this part, simply go directly to: “What is my goal as an integrator” section.
What are the HVAC system components?
While a traditional Unitary system operates as one unit, both supplying all the required resources for the indoor air conditioning unit to cool the air, the VRF system consists of an Indoor Unit (IDU) and an Outdoor Unit (ODU). It is the indoor unit that handles the cooling or the heating of the air in the room. The Outdoor Unit is the one that supplies the energy, the coolant, and supports the need of the indoor unit, as the user requested it.
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The VRF system also includes a Wired Remote Controller (WRC). This controller is simply an input panel for the user requirement and has nothing in common with a thermostat as you are familiar with. You see, a thermostat all by itself controls the Unitary HVAC system, and contains the logic of the AC operation.
How does the communication operate?
To allow the system to operate in sync and deliver a setpoint temperature and the needed mode (Cool/Heat/Dry, etc.) the Outdoor, the Indoor, and the Wired Remote controller are connected with a network wire to allow the communication in a proprietary protocol, unique to the HVAC manufacturer.
What is my goal as an integrator?
It is your goal as an integrator to access the network, that connects the VRF HVAC system components (the Indoor, Outdoor Units, and the Wired Remote Control panel). Accessing the network will grant you the ability to control and monitor the indoor units.
How do I achieve it?
The solution is usually very cumbersome and involves a lot of mapping and coding. However, a plug & play solution has been in place for the last 13 years: CoolMasterNet.
CoolMasterNet as a VRF HVAC gateway specially designed to connect Home Automation systems and a VRF. It is developed to be connected to the communication system of the VRV and to enable the integrator to apply the Home Automation controllers, such as thermostats, keypads, controllers, and apps to control and monitor all the indoor units. This allows synchronized operation of Home Automation devices with the HVAC controls that are connected to the VRF network.
And so, the integrator can now lean on a universal gateway that supports all the major Home Automation brands like Signify (Philips-Dynalite), Crestron, Savant, Control4, Lutron. See the full list below.
Is my Home Automation system compatible with CoolMasterNet?
|This is the full list of Home Automation brands the device supports:|
|Embedded Systems||Maar Automation Software||URC|
How can I connect any of the Smart Home popular devices?
So how about Smart Home devices, such as Ecobee-smart thermostat, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa?
The fact that the VRF HVAC system operates based on independent internal logic (that is communicated on an internal network), poses a challenge: a local proprietary communication of the VRV is now required to communicate with cloud-based technology.
CoolMasterNet is designed to solve this challenge as well. To create a digital representation of the Mitsubishi Electric VRF on the cloud, the system needs internet access and an HVAC cloud that was designed to identify and work in sync with the Mitsubishi electric VRF system. Buy installing a CoolMasterNet the proprietary CoolAutomation cloud, CoolRemote, becomes available for any VRF system it was installed in. By digitalizing the VRF system, other cloud-based systems can now be connected to the VRF. See a chart below for a visual explanation.