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The Smart Buildings Academy Podcast | Teaching You Building Automation, Systems Integration, and Information Technology

The weekly podcast where Phil Zito discusses topics related to building automation and provides useful tips and action packed examples to help you better understand building automation.
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The Smart Buildings Academy Podcast | Teaching You Building Automation, Systems Integration, and Information Technology
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Now displaying: May, 2018
May 28, 2018

BACnet is a protocol that confuses many new BAS professionals. Heck, if we’re honest with one another it confuses many senior BAS professionals as well. But, it doesn’t have to be this way. I’ve helped several manufacturers build their BACnet stacks and worked extensively with BACnet in the past.

In this three-part series, we are going to explorer how BACnet works.

In the first episode of this series we will discuss:

  • A general overview of what BACnet is and why it matters to you
  • The two most important BACnet physical architectures that you must know
  • How BACnet communications are changing and what you must do to keep up
  • Why not all BACnet services are created equal and which ones you must focus on

An Overview of BACnet

  • The foundations of BACnet (2:40)
  • Common objects in BACnet (4:25)
  • Objects inside objects inside objects? (6:15)
  • How properties describe objects (8:40)
  • Two physical architectures that transport BACnet (13:40)
  • The most important MS/TP trunk properties (15:30)
  • MAC addresses and BACnet (17:00)
  • Why we need to know more about how BACnet/IP works (19:15)
  • What is BACnet/IP? (21:30)
  • How do you communicate to other BACnet networks (23:10)
  • The five BACnet services you need to know! (25:00)
May 21, 2018

Is optimization some complex secret hidden throughout the ages and handed down to a select few “experts”?

Or is optimization something we all can learn?

In this episode we will discuss:

  • The two-steps you must take prior to executing optimization strategies
  • Five commonly used optimization strategies for your BAS
  • Tips and tricks you need to know before implementing an optimization strategy

Optimization Strategies for Your BAS

  • Two things that you must do before every optimization project (1:10)
  • The art of sensor calibration (1:55)
  • Ensure your end devices can control HVAC systems (4:20)
  • Using load to reset your airside system’s SAT setpoint (6:35)
  • Two methods for calculating load for your airside resets (9:07)
  • Optimizing your waterside systems through load-based resets (11:50)
  • Methods for calculating waterside load (13:15)
  • The danger of using OAT to reset your central plant setpoints (16:15)
  • Using space load to reset pressure setpoints (17:40)
  • The three ways to calculate load within your spaces (20:10)
  • How to deal with spaces that aren’t accurately controlling (22:15)
  • Strategies for controlling your economizer (24:05)
  • Moisture and its effect on economizer control (26:55)
  • Why the location of your DP sensor matters (29:15)
  • Why the 2/3rd’s of the longest duct rule may not be a good idea (30:45)
  • The effect of DP on your pump’s operation (32:47)
May 14, 2018

Depending on what "expert" you talk to there are over 60% of the buildings within the United States that are not "optimized". But what does that even mean?

What is an optimized building? Throughout my career, I've seen well-meaning folks damage their building's HVAC and BAS systems in the pursuit of optimization. That's why I'm tackling this topic. The reality is optimization does not equal energy savings. You could achieve "optimization" by simply making sure all the different BAS you have are tied into a single user interface.

So how do you deal with optimization? That is what we cover in this episode of The Building Automation Monthly Podcast.

In this episode we will discuss:

  • What optimization is
  • How to avoid damaging your building during optimization
  • Why you need to avoid retro-opto-commissioning
  • My five-step process for optimizing your building automation system

Here's a timeline breakdown of what we cover in the podcast:

  • What is optimization and what isn't optimization (2:50)
  • The upstream and downstream effects of optimization (4:55)
  • Why how you optimize is more important than why you optimize (6:50)
  • The dark side of economizer optimization (9:00)
  • The two places you need to be careful when doing math (8:00)
  • How to protect your code from the janitor operator (9:20)
  • Why learning the art of systems thinking is so important (10:55)
  • Retrocommissioning and optimization ARE NOT the same thing (12:40)
  • The danger of retro-opto-commissioning (15:20)
  • The five-step process for optimizing a BAS (19:00)
  • Why you need to have SMART goals for your optimization projects (19:45)
  • Why socializing your optimization strategies is the dumbest thing you can do (23:25)
May 7, 2018

Learning logic blocks? How do you do it? Why should you do it? And why should you even care? 

Good questions!

If you want to be more than just someone installing thermostats and pulling wire then you need to learn how to program. And what do 90% of the BAS manufacturers have in common? They use graphical programming. 

In this episode we will discuss:

  • Common Logic blocks
  • How to interpret sequences to code
  • Code layout and design strategies
  • The secret to fast coding

Buckle up this will be one intense episode!

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