OptoNews: Data center retrofit after 30 years

Posted by Jean Femia on Dec 14, 2016 3:58:11 PM

  • Think about how much computers have changed in the last 30 years.
  • Think about the quantity of data that enterprise data centers (EDCs) process today.
  • And think about how facility management priorities have changed to meet rising energy costs.

Now imagine what needs to be done to update a 30-year-old EDC.

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Topics: Energy management, Case studies, Videos, optonews, PACs, Building management, Security, REST API, RESTful server, REST, OptoNews 2016-12-14

OptoNews Tip: PID loop with a long dead loop time

Posted by Jean Femia on Sep 28, 2016 4:24:57 PM

OptoForum member tohox recently posted a question about using PID control loops on a SNAP-PAC-R1 rack-mounted controller.

The issue? A really long dead loop time. 

"The time delta between the moment the strategy opens a given loop's valve [and] starts the pump+furnace and the moment a temperature increase is measured can sometimes be on the order of an hour," tohox notes.

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Topics: Energy management, Tips, optonews, PACs, I/O, Building management, Modbus, PID loop control, OptoNews 2016-09-28

OptoNews Tip: Changes to PID algorithms

Posted by Jean Femia on Sep 14, 2016 4:05:36 PM

A proportional integral derivative (PID) control loop monitors an input or process variable, compares the variable’s current value to a desired value (a setpoint), and calculates an output to keep the value very close to the setpoint.

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Topics: Process control, Updates, Tips, optonews, PAC Project, Building management, OptoNews 2016-09-14

OptoNews: Operators monitor refrigeration remotely

Posted by Jean Femia on Aug 31, 2016 4:28:14 PM

Tasty and wholesome, the frozen fruit bars made by Natural Fruit Corporation must be stored at precise temperatures.

Although their cold storage rooms were automated, on weekends operators used to have to stop by the company's factory to verify that systems were running and temperatures were within range.

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Topics: Energy management, Case studies, Food & beverage, groov, Internet of Things, Remote monitoring, IoT, optonews, Building management, OptoNews 2016-08-31

OptoNews: Case study - Keeping supercomputers cool

Posted by Jean Femia on Jul 6, 2016 4:31:58 PM

Getting Useful Data from Big Data

At the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC), researchers analyze mountains of data from widely differing fields, including:

  • Supersonic aircraft
  • The human brain
  • Distant stars

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Topics: Energy management, Case studies, optonews, PACs, Integrators, Building management, Modbus, OptoNews 2016-07-06

OptoNews: Reliability, security, & energy challenges in enterprise data center

Posted by Jean Femia on May 25, 2016 3:28:42 PM

Say you own a 30-year-old enterprise data center in the Arizona desert, and you're starting to have some problems:

  • Aging HVAC and mechanical systems are increasingly inefficient in the hot climate.
  • Security systems are no longer adequate.

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Topics: Energy management, Case studies, optonews, PACs, Integrators, I/O, Building management, Security, OptoNews 2016-05-25

OptoNews: Frick integrates refrigeration equipment efficiently

Posted by Jean Femia on Mar 30, 2016 3:34:06 PM

Way back in 1883, the Frick Company started manufacturing refrigeration compressors. During the next 100 years they became well known for a variety of reliable refrigeration system components.

By the 1980s Frick began automating their systems with Opto 22 products, and they began to notice a new need in the industry: custom system design and integration.

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Topics: Case studies, Process control, Food & beverage, Machine builder, optonews, OEM, Migration, Integrators, Building management, OptoNews 2016-03-30

OptoNews Tip: Guide to Networking groov

Posted by Jean Femia on Feb 17, 2016 3:30:00 PM

You already know that groov is the simple way to build your own mobile operator interface—your own mobile appso you can securely monitor and control your systems and equipment from a smartphone or tablet.

With groov it really is easy to build your interface and control who can use it.

But there's one part that can be more complicated: setting up your network so you can access the data you need while maintaining security for your systems. 

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Topics: groov, Remote monitoring, Machine builder, optonews, OEM, Integrators, Networking, Building management, OptoNews 2016-02-17

OptoNews: New tool helps tune PID control loops

Posted by Jean Femia on Jan 6, 2016 4:46:04 PM

In automation, proportional integral derivative (PID) control loops are common, useful, and tricky to get right. 

Each loop is different and each requires individual tuning for maximum effectiveness.

Now here's a new tool to help you tune your PID control loops: our online PID Control Loop Tuner.

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Topics: Energy management, Process control, optonews, Integrators, Building management, OptoNews 2016-01-06

OptoNews: Case study: M-Bus building systems data

Posted by Jean Femia on Nov 18, 2015 5:26:07 PM

How do you get a variety of building systems and machinery to communicate with a central system controller, when they use different protocols? 

Swedish system integrator Processcomponent AB had to solve this problem when they installed an energy monitoring system in a large apartment building in Gothenburg. 

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Topics: Energy management, Case studies, Remote monitoring, optonews, Integrators, Building management, Modbus, OptoNews 2015-11-18, M-Bus

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