Ben Bartle-Ross of Mitsubishi Electric explores new monitoring software that shows live data.
Here’s an idea. What if you could see a live representation of a VRF system? One that showed which systems are in heating, cooling or switched off.
As a manufacturer, we have always been willing and able to share the raw data from our systems but in reality, you had to have good working knowledge of our range of products to fully understand what was going on and how to interpret it.
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As part of our overall drive to make our systems more accessible to installers, we realised that what would be better all round, would be to have a system that illustrated exactly what was happening in a live system and clearly showed engineers what was going on, in which areas.
Easier and easier
We have therefore developed new software which is able to translate this raw data into a meaningful representation of the live data, making it much, much easier for installing and maintenance engineers, to understand exactly what is happening at any point in time.
Previously, we have taken software originally built by our prototype engineers to help monitor results to improve future R&D.
Making this available to installation companies has helped and whilst this has proved very useful for engineers, the challenge arises when this monitoring data is interrogated by people who haven’t come across our systems before, or may not have worked on one for a while.
Clear visual representation
Our new system means that anyone is able to see the entire refrigeration circuit and can easily understand which parts of in heating, cooling or switched off.
They can also see any ‘problems’ or issues with the system which makes finding a resolution easier all round.
For example, identifying a blocked filter or telling is a condenser needs cleaning is much easier and can be achieved without the immediate need for a site visit.
When the engineer does then go to site, they can take exactly what they need to resolve the issue and get the system working to optimum performance.
The beauty of the new system is that engineers can also access it remotely, so they can check up on any number of jobs that they have been involved in, or are responsible for maintaining.
This means they can interrogate their customer’s air conditioning and monitor performance without even attending the site.
The more proactively minded companies will be able to report trends and offer energy efficiency advice to their customers and demonstrate added value in the relationship.
Talking your language
We’ve designed the system to be much more user-friendly and intuitive to use and operate.
By offering a graphic representation of what is actually happening in a live system, this now offers a simplified and easier to read view.
It makes it easier to see where energy is being used and when, which areas are not operating to the correct schedule, depending on other factors such as outdoor temperatures.
Local FMs can then use this data to cross refer to localised factors such as occupancy levels and can adapt the system to provide maximum comfort with minimum energy use.