OPTI-VISOR™ Automated Control Solution From Armstrong

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Armstrong Fluid Technology has launched a new control solution that improves the energy efficiency of chiller plants.

Interfacing seamlessly with an existing building or chiller plant automation system, the Armstrong OPTI-VISORTM controls the key components of a chiller plant, providing the optimal operating settings for equipment such as water-cooled variable speed chillers, variable flow cooling towers and variable speed pumps on the chilled water and tower water circuits.

By controlling the chiller plant settings to maximize system-wide efficiency, OPTI-VISOR will generate valuable energy savings – even when applied to recently installed equipment. Armstrong Fluid Technology estimates that an energy savings of 15%-30% can be expected from a typical installation on an existing all-variable speed chiller plant.

Armstrong OPTI-VISOR is a relational control solution for the operation of an all-variable-speed chiller plant. OPTI-VISOR is an excellent solution for retrofit in buildings with water cooled chiller plants, including those less than five years old, but is also suitable for new construction applications involving variable-primary flow chiller plants that have advanced building automation systems (BAS).

OPTI-VISOR connects to the BAS/BMS using industry-standard serial communication protocols, and gathers data on building load and plant conditions from the BMS data. Using patented Design Envelope Integrated Plant Control methods, OPTI-VISOR determines optimal device settings for maximum total plant energy efficiency. The OPTI-VISOR then sends control instructions to the BMS with the control settings for the plant equipment, such as fan speeds, pump speeds, chilled water set points, and the combination of equipment to operate.

The majority of chiller plants use technology developed during the analog era, and operate using independent control loops with PID feedback control. In contrast, OPTI-VISOR is a digital era technology that operates the plant as one integrated solution. This digital, system-wide approach enables faster response, better stability, the optimization of thermodynamic effects at the equipment level, and reduced cycling stress on system components. Compared to typical BMS offerings, the OPTI-VISOR provides more in-depth analysis and tuning of chiller plant operations. It also monitors and adjusts component operation to adjust for changes as individual components age.

The OPTI-VISOR offers a web-based user interface, and local touch screen user interface with menus for easy assessment key performance and systems indicators including:

  • BMS/BAS compliance
  • Plant performance (YTD, 30 day, actual)
  • Plant status
  • BMS communication
  • Chilled water plant schematic with equipment status
  • Plant operating load (capacity and kW)
  • 30-day plant performance trend charts (efficiency, load, and chiller efficiency)
  • Alarm history screen
  • Default screen showing; plant efficiency, plant efficiency chart, CHWST, ECWT
  • Component efficiency levels (pumps, fans)

OPTI-VISOR offers ‘plug and play installation’, requiring only minor modification to the existing BAS plant automation module to ensure that the BAS recognizes the control signals from the OPTI-VISOR and will make available the input data points necessary.

In July 2013, Armstrong Fluid Technology announced the launch of ECO*PULSETM HVAC Health Management Service. ECO*PULSE combines industry leading diagnostic technology with expert review to help keep central cooling systems operating at optimal performance, and is offered as a subscription-based service to complement Armstrong’s Integrated Plant Controller and OPTI-VISOR products.

ECO*PULSE will provide building owners and operators with timely and concise insight and recommendations to keep their cooling system running at an optimal level. Customers will benefit from the insights into trends and anomalies with practical recommendations on how to optimize their cooling system. Even efficient systems can easily lose 5% efficiency or more without on-going attention to detail.

New shipments of IPC and OPTI-VISOR from Armstrong will be configured with the ECO*PULSE technology enabled and a one-year subscription to the ECO*PULSE service will be included in the initial purchase.

About Armstrong Fluid Technology

With more than 1000 employees worldwide, operating seven manufacturing facilities on three continents, Armstrong Fluid Technology is known around the world as a leader and innovator in design, engineering and manufacturing of integrated solutions within the building oriented fluid-flow equipment industry. Armstrong products are internationally recognized for design innovation, quality, long service life, and superior operating economy. For more information about Armstrong Fluid Technology visit www.armstrongfluidtechnology.com.

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