Complete AHU Solutions Put FMs In Control

Alastair EwenAlastair Ewen, Controls Sales Manager at Synapsys Solutions, comments on the growing trend for building plant to come fitted with OEM controls, and the advantages this offers for facilities managers.

“Recent years have seen a growing trend for factory fitted OEM controls to come fitted in a range of building plant from pump sets to chillers and fan coil units. Leading manufacturers are now offering complete Air Handling Units pre-packaged with all the necessary controls. This is part of a wider trend in building plant that has taken advantage of micro-processing technology becoming cheaper and easier to apply. Providing factory fitted OEM controls offers plant that is considerably more energy-efficient and cost-effective.

Integrated units control the AHU within the desired design parameters and provide the interface between all external control devices and the unit itself. From an engineering perspective it means that the AHUs are being controlled according to the manufacturer’s specifications, ensuring the stated energy efficiency of the product as a whole is met. It greatly simplifies installation and connectivity and makes it easier to integrate with the building management system (BMS) through Trend and open systems such as BACnet.

AHUs with fitted controls have undergone full factory testing and approval, ensuring that they are delivered ready to connect. Housing the controls within the unit significantly reduces the need for wiring, cutting down the cost of handling and installation.

Perhaps most importantly this development puts the facilities manager firmly in control, such that the products you choose to purchase are controlled and behave according to the manufacturer’s specification.

Fitting OEM controls in the AHU is also fundamental to determining and improving energy efficiency measures. These units can be integrated with energy monitoring and display options, allowing FMs to fully understand the consumption patterns of the units and identify where reductions can be made. Moreover these can be understood and integrated in the context of the rest of your building systems including heating and lighting.

Paul Smiles is Commercial Director at Weatherite Manufacturing, one of the UK’s leading suppliers of quality energy efficient air conditioning, air handling, heating, heat recovery, and cooling equipment for all sectors of industry. Weatherite has been delivering their products with packaged controls for more than 20 years, a fact – as Paul Smiles explains – that has given them an important competitive advantage in the market.

“It comes down to offering a complete solution for our customers. Factory Fitted controls reduce time on site because the unit can be fully pre-commissioned in a controlled environment, Many of our blue chip clients even chose to come and witness the tests at the factory, which offers the option to make any adjustments and fix any issues before the product is delivered. It saves cost because you eliminate the need for expensive interconnecting wiring, and it saves on commissioning because you only have to work in one central location. Other rooftop equipment, extract fans for example, can also be controlled from a central control panel in the unit,” explains Paul Smiles.

“It’s the engineered solution particularly from the customer perspective. It’s easier, it’s quicker and if you do have any problems you only need to make one phone call rather than 3 or 4.”

In addition to being the leading BMS controls manufacturer, Trend has always been active in providing HVAC manufacturers with leading-edge OEM controls and displays. In our role as Trend's UK OEM agents, Synapsys Solutions provide the design and engineering expertise to develop technical solutions to integrate Trend controls with manufacturer’s plant. We can also provide the necessary support for manufacturers who wish to become Trend OEM Partners.”

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