Lebanon's post operator Libanpost will consider introducing a new HVAC (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning) control system for its premises next year. The design of the system was a master thesis project done by Khodor Bakarat, who used quite a few MikroElektronika boards, then wrote to us to share his accomplishments.
Libanpost's existing HVAC (heating, ventilation, air-conditioning) system was manually operated, requiring an employee to switch it on and off. It was also not very efficient, causing some excessive cooling or heating at times.
To improve it, Khodor designed an automated control system for the air handling units. The system relies on temperature sensors and actuators that regulate the temperature on their own, with the option of manual adjustments.
The system comprises several temperature sensing nodes connected to a central controlling unit.
Each node is a Ready for PIC board to which several DS18B20 temperature sensors are connected. The onboard PIC calculates the average temperature and sends the data to the central controlling unit over Zigbee, via an EasyBee3 board.
The central unit is an EasyPIC PRO v7 enhanced with EEPROM, relay4, EasyBee3 and a 4x4 keypad board. It can be remotely accessed through a local network. All the system parameters are stored in a SQL database. Parameters include the schedule (holidays, weekends...) and seasons of the year (To make it energy-efficient, the system is designed to behave differently depending on the season). The database also contains a back-log of temperature readings and the air handling units performance. All these parameters can be manually adjusted through a web-browser or a specially designed Windows application.
(Check out our WiFi weather station for an example of a MCU acting as a web-host for temperature dashboard)
As you can see, Khodor built a system that's sophisticated, comprehensive, and practical. Khodor points out that the system is also flexible, and can be easily adjusted for different purposes, like lighting or irrigation control. Compared to the system that was in place before it, it saves time and cuts costs.
To save his own time however, Khodor relied on example code we provide for our boards, and adjusted it for his needs.
End result? The system was successfully tested by LibanPost on a limited scale. Its full implementation will be considered by management at the budgeting meetings for 2015-2016.
If you like reading stories like these, check out our other success stories we wrote about this year: the One4All for timing pro races, the GSM activated school bell, the mikromedia powered Mini maus beet loader.
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