Wicomico County Public Schools Case Study – Part 3 of 3
Events2HVAC has several features specifically designed to increase confidence and allow flexibility in how facility managers choose to integrate their systems. Recently, Jim Urbanski, Energy Manager at Wicomico County Public Schools, described how he implemented Events2HVAC and tailored it to his specific needs.
“I don’t even have to worry that, ‘Oh my God, am I going to miss stuff tonight?’ I just saw that it worked.” (Jim Urbanski)
During his Events2HVAC setup process, one of the features Urbanki used often was sending test commands to turn equipment on and off. He set up a split screen on his computer, with Events2HVAC on one side and his Reliable Controls building automation system on the other. As he added each new piece of HVAC equipment to the system using its BACnet ID, he sent test commands through Events2HVAC to turn it on and off. Seeing the test commands start up equipment in his Reliable Controls interface in real time gave him confidence that the integration was going to work.
“I hit the test, I see my occupied point come on. I hit the test, I see my occupied point go off,” Urbanski said. “So I know it’s going to work. I don’t even have to worry that, ‘Oh my God, am I going to miss stuff tonight?’ I just saw that it worked.”
One setup decision Urbanski put some thought into was choosing how to set up command priorities. Facility managers have different systems and needs, so Events2HVAC allows them to set the priority level at which commands are sent to the building automation system. Urbanski has daily occupancy schedules for his schools set in his Reliable Controls building automation system, with after-hours events scheduled in Dean Evans EMS District and controlled by Events2HVAC. For everything to work smoothly together, he decided to set his priorities up like this:
Daily schedules in Reliable Controls are set at priority 10.
Holiday schedules are set at priority 9 so that they override daily schedules.
Priority 8 is left open for Urbanski and technicians at the schools to use as an override for special situations.
Events2HVAC uses priority 7 to send commands for after-hours events.
Urbanski explained that he chose these priorities because he wants Events2HVAC to serve as the “supervisor” for any after-hours events. With this setup, if there is a community event scheduled on a holiday, Events2HVAC will override the holiday schedule and turn on the HVAC equipment on for the event. But he pointed out that others may choose to set their priorities differently.
“If you wanted to be able to have your control system, your building automation system, be your supervisory controller for any event, you could set the priorities up differently,” Urbanski said. “You could put your overrides at the highest priority so you could override schedules. But if I did that, I’ve got technicians in the field that might be doing something and inadvertently canceling my events. So I let my Events2HVAC be the supervisor for any after-hour events.”
“They [contractors] can immediately see that Events2HVAC has written to a BACnet variable and it’s being run automatically by the EMS schedule.” (Jim Urbanski)
Urbanski also likes the way Events2HVAC can be customized to alert controls contractors who are working on his systems to the fact that points are being automatically controlled. Events2HVAC puts a note into building automation system schedules to indicate that a point is being controlled by a BACnet write. During his Events2HVAC setup, Urbanski added “E2H” as a text addition to that note so that his contractors always know which points and pieces of HVAC equipment are being controlled by Events2HVAC.
“They [contractors] can immediately see that Events2HVAC has written to a BACnet variable and it’s being run automatically by the EMS schedule,” Urbanski said. “So that’s a fantastic feature if you’ve got control people that get confused about what’s going on.”