Building HVAC controls in the digital age
Most commercial buildings incorporate heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems that are automatically controlled to ensure occupant comfort and health while minimizing energy consumption. HVAC control systems regulate airflow, temperature, humidity, and carbon dioxide levels in response to changing indoor and outdoor conditions.
Modern installations use a technology called direct digital controls (DDC), a microprocessor-based system that can be programmed for various control sequences. These complex HVAC systems require installation and maintenance technicians to have a strong understanding of their general operation.
To answer these training needs, the Building HVAC Controls Training System assists instructors in teaching the fundamentals of modern controls using commercially available components from Johnson Controls, a manufacturer recognized worldwide.
A human machine interface (HMI), accessible from any web browser through a Wi-Fi or a wired connection, displays an on-screen representation of the building AHU and ductwork printed on the hardware module. Other advanced functions, such as scheduling, trending, and alarm management are also available.
Simulated signals, real control
The keystone of the system is the Building HVAC layout module, which represents a typical air handling unit (AHU) and simplified building ductwork. This module makes it easy to change simulated temperature, pressure, humidity, and carbon dioxide levels, as well as occupancy.
Actuators, such as dampers, cooling and heating stages, blower, and humidifier are also represented on the module.
Simulated sensors and actuators are connected to a real field controller to demonstrate how a building HVAC control system responds to varying conditions. The field controller algorithm is optimized to reduce delays and save laboratory time.
- Anatomy of a typical commercial building HVAC system
- Direct digital controls (DDC)
- Introduction to network architecture (BACnet MS/TP)
- Field controllers
- Supervisory controller and HMI
- Temperature and humidity control of constant air volume systems (CAV)
- Pressure-dependent and pressure-independent variable air volume systems (VAV)
Workbook. Building HVAC Controls (BACnet)
PC with DVD drive running on Windows