Actuator and Control Valve Training

BelimoRegister today to reserve your seat in  a free Belimo 101 Training on air damper actuators and control valves. CCI will be hosting the training here in our training facility in the Boston area on October 29, 2014.

Students attending this training:

  • take part in a hands-on mounting and wiring lab,
  • learn how to size air damper actuators and control valves,
  • receive advice straight from the experts – the Belimo training team.

Belimo ValveSpecific topics covered during the Belimo 101 Training include:

  • How to size an actuator based on damper torque requirements
  • The differences between spring return and non-spring return actuators
  • The control signals commonly used today in commercial HVAC
  • How to select control signals based upon application
  • How to identify the features and properties of Belimo actuators from the model number
  • How to mount and wire spring and non-spring return actuators
  • Basic troubleshooting on the mounting and wiring of Belimo actuators
  • The programming options available on Belimo Multi Function Technology (MFT) products
  • The key differences between 2-way and 3-way valves
  • The difference between mixing and diverting valves
  • How to calculate the required Cv rating for a valve from GPM and ?P over the valve
  • What the different valve flow characteristics mean
  • Where to find information pertaining to valve limitations using Belimo resources
  • How to identify valves by type (i.e. ball valve, globe valve etc.)
  • How the Belimo pressure independent valve (PICCV) works
  • The purpose of the lights and switches within the NV actuator and how to respond to these signals

For more information about the training contact CCI or register online.  

How to detect proof of flow on VFDs with current sensors

The challenge with monitoring variable frequency drives (VFDs) is the necessity to monitor both amperage and frequency ensure the drive is operating normally. To monitor this ratio, a current sensor must learn the VFD curve and
alarm the controller when the relationship is outside the normal operating range. VFD current sensors are installed on the load side of the variable frequency drive and use a microprocessor to set the proper threshold. The sensor will
detect motor undercurrent conditions such as belt loss, coupling shear, and mechanical failure on fans and pumps.

Proof of flow for a VFD

How is the current sensor trip point calibrated for VFDs?
In order to detect belt loss/coupling shear on variable frequency drives, the current sensor trip point is set by a microprocessor that establishes a proper threshold between current and frequency at one or multiple frequency
bands. The current sensor then alarms the controller with a change in state when the ratio between amperage and hertz is outside of the learned load, indicating belt loss or other mechanical failure. So, how does a technician calibrate a current sensor to monitor mechanical failure on a VFD? Some VFD current sensors require manual calibration from a field technician by running the VFD at different bands for 2 minutes each, taking a minimum of 10 minutes per sensor to install. To save time and money on install, a Senva VFD current sensor self-calibrates in 10 seconds of the VFD operating above 50Hz.

Selecting the correct VFD current sensor
The biggest constraint when working with VFD sensors is ensuring the VFD will be operating within the amperage requirements. Standard VFD current sensors require a minimum of 3.5amps on the lowest frequency. Most issues stem from having insufficient amperage to power the microprocessor in the current sensor. For example, for a Senva C-2350VFD current sensor, if the minimum amperage is not present in the 20Hz range, the sensor will not operate properly. The options at this point are to wrap the wire to double the current present, or to select a VFD current sensor that can operate with a lower amperage range, such as Senva’s C-2350VFD-L (0.5-15 A range).

Need help calculating the amperage for your specific VFD? Use Senva’s motor amperage calculator.

Control Ball Valve Selection Guide

Ball ValveHoneywell’s characterized control ball valves feature a parabolic flow insert that’s integral to the ball. Its unique construction enables a smoother flow curve and greater degree of rotation responsiveness. The result: more accurate flow rate with less wear and tear. Honeywell has simplified the ball valve selection process, too. Their control ball valves use the same actuator mounting bracket for all 1⁄2″ – 3″ valves, whether spring or non-spring return actuators. And, Honeywell’s Cv ratings are similar to globe valve Cv ratings, making it easier to design your system using a ball valve.

View the Honeywell Control Ball Valve Quick Selection Guide.

CCI assembles Honeywell VBN Ball Valves and MVN Actuator in our warehouse. We carry the components necessary to assemble 100’s of modulating, floating, or two position 1/2″ through 1 1/4″ 2-way and 3-way characterized ball valves. Whether you need one or 1,000 – you’ll receive your actuators and valves quickly and conveniently.We provide same-day shipping for orders received by 1:00pm ET.

Visit our online store or call CCI at 781-335-8353 to place an order.


Project Assist for DGLux5

DGLux’s Project Assist is a “drag and drop” wizard that can be used to design and develop a data-driven applications. It helps you create a graphic interface for your building data – and you don’t need programming or design skills to use it. It’s made up of four main menu components that walk you through the design and development experience.

  1. Project Navigation
  2. Manage Templates
  3. Style Manager
  4. Launch Viewer

Project Assist is simple and manageable – see how it works in this video.

Contact CCI for more information about DGLogik and Project Assist.

5 Questions with Blue Ridge Technologies

Blue Ridge TechnologiesCCI carries lighting controls from Blue Ridge Technologies. Their energy management solutions have presented a fantastic business opportunity  for many control contractors interested in branching out into lighting controls. We recently had a chance to catch up with Ron Poskevich, VP of Sales & Marketing at Blue Ridge Technologies, to talk about the company, how their products help save energy, and  how control contractors can learn more about lighting controls.

1) Tell us a little about Blue Ridge Technologies.
Blue Ridge Technologies is a privately owned company based in Marietta, Georgia that designs and manufactures proven energy management solutions with a strong focus on Unified Lighting Control. Our solutions complete the Building Automation System and empower unified control, energy management, and comfort.

Our unique approach, delivered through local controls experts, ensures that these solutions are delivered not merely sold. Our Wide-Open design and technology platform offers unparalleled versatility and it frees our customers to utilize preferred system components producing the best value and support.

2) Why are lighting controls important?
Lighting controls are important for many reasons. Lighting controls allow building owners to control the hours of operation of the connected lighting and plug load. Regardless of how efficient the load is it wastes energy when it is on at the wrong time or is at a higher level than desired. If you had the most efficient automobile you would not let it run overnight or always press the accelerator to the floor.

In addition, the state building code requirements for lighting control are getting more complex. Gone are the days when an engineer could just design in an occupancy sensor and check the box. Now there are requirements for automatic off, manual on, lighting reduction, limited occupant override, zoned daylight harvesting, plug load control, and load shedding. And these are just the base line requirements.

These changes in the market are creating an opportunity for local knowledgeable controls experts to deliver solutions that are supported locally.

3) What is the difference between standalone, gateway and unified lighting controls?
Blue Ridge Technologies designs and manufactures Unified Lighting Control solutions to fully leverage the promise of BACnet.

Stand-alone systems are just that – stand-alone. The HVAC and lighting control systems are separate, and there is no possibility to share information, integrate front ends, or combine infrastructure.

Gateway integration is a good way to bring a legacy system into the BAS, but there are limitations, increased complexity and added costs when a gateway is used. Gateways have a limited number of points that can be shared, so when you need more points you add another gateway. Gateways add complexity because there are two front -ends, lighting and HVAC. This is why many gateway integration installations are limited to read only points. Going beyond read only points requires a lot more work and well-planned command priorities.

Unified Lighting Control eliminates the limitations, complexities, and added costs of integration by making the lighting controllers an integral part of the BAS system. The lighting controllers reside directly on the same BACnet network as the HVAC controllers. The front end for lighting and HVAC is the BAS.

Lighting Controls

4) Give some examples of how lighting controls can be used, and what type of savings they can lead to.
U.S. Department of Energy data indicates that light and HVAC consume over 60% of the energy in commercial buildings. Both stand-alone and Unified Lighting Control can achieve basic energy savings and typically payback in less than 3 years. Unlike stand-alone, Unified Lighting Control can employ more advanced control sequences to achieve better savings, often accomplished through simple programming changes.

One example being employed is extending the use of occupancy sensors to automatically control lights and HVAC in unoccupied classrooms. For example; when an area goes unoccupied and the BAS is in occupied mode the lights automatically switch off and the temperature is changed to its reset value. Depending upon the application, additional energy saving measures can be taken by decreasing airflow or deciding to bring in less outside air.

Common classroom complaints with occupancy sensors can also be addressed by utilizing the BAS mode, occupied or unoccupied, to automatically adjust occupancy sensors time-out values. Increasing the value when the BAS is in occupied mode can reduce false-off complaints, while decreasing the value in the unoccupied mode can lower energy usage.

In addition, classrooms can employ a manual-on control strategy for lighting and HVAC to save energy between the occupied start time of the BAS, and the time when the room is actually occupied. Instead of the lights switching on at 6am when the BAS changes to occupied mode, activation of the override switch turns the lights on and initiates a temperature change from reset to set point.

5) What is the best way for a control contractor to start incorporating lighting controls into their services?
The first step is to install it somewhere that will allow you to learn from the experience. Lighting control has a lot of similarities to HVAC controls, but it also has some big differences. Blue Ridge Technologies has a Steps to Success document (PDF) on its website to help start the process.

Interested in learning more about Blue Ridge Technologies lighting controls? Contact CCI, or give us a call at 781-335-8353.

Niagara 4 Beta Test Participants

Customer feedback is critical to making sure that any software product is released in good shape as it enters the market. Tridium is currently looking for applicants for its Niagara 4 Beta Testing program. They’ve put together a series about the Niagara 4 Beta Test including the video below about who is eligible to apply to participate in the program.

Apply for Tridium’s Niagara 4 Best Test


Replacement of Discontinued Belimo Products

Belimo actuatorCustomers often ask us to recommend replacement parts for discontinued parts. So, we thought we would share this list of Replacement of Discontinued Belimo Products (pdf) for those of you looking for retrofit and replacement damper actuators.

Belimo recommends that when replacing any actuator, consider the application parameters before selecting the replacement. The recommended replacement part may not be the best fit for the application.  For example, take an existing SM24-SR US mounted to a valve linkage. The direct replacement of the actuator is the AMX24-MFT, but the “SM” and “AM” are different lengths, which means the linkage would need to be replaced as well. When retrofitting or replacing actuators, it is always best to select the new product based on application parameters so that you get  the actuator that is the best fit for the application.

In the Northeast and need an intro to Belimo actuators and valves? Come join CCI and Belimo for a free one-day training on Belimo air damper actuators and control valves. The training includes a hands-on mounting and wiring lab, a lesson on how to size air damper actuators and control valves, and loads of  troubleshooting tips and advice from Belimo’s training team.

Register online to reserve a seat in Belimo 101: Introduction to Valves and Actuators.