Span Validatar HVAC Remote Monitoring System
INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The Validatar from Span is a compact electronic device containing a configurable set of modules that measure,monitor and record HVAC system performance.
“This device will accept transducers of almost any sort and it allows us to make measurements of any sort, even gas densities, sulfur oxide, nitrous oxide and so forth,” explained William Baker, Span president. “Virtually any kind of kind of transducer can be connected to this compact measurement system to provide data from ancillary systems such as boilers, heat-exchange units, pumps, blowers, and air handlers.”
One module of this system, the low voltage monitor, accepts signals from 0-5 volt, 4-20 ma, thermistors, RTDs, and switch position sensors via internal, electrically isolated circuits. As many as 10 signals can be measured and stored at once.
The Validatar system addresses high voltage issues with a separate monitor that measures 500-volt 3-phase and single-phase power signals together with the currents for each phase. It computes everything: peak, minimum and average volts and currents for each phase, KVA, power factor, actual power, KWH and also reports phase imbalance events for both voltage and current.
There are several common HVAC troubleshooting and repair issues that are eliminated by this advanced system. Since performing on-the-spot troubleshooting using traditional tools and gauges can lead to an inaccurate diagnosis due to intermittent performance problems, the integrated Validatar contains a digital recording device that logs system performance data for up to 30 days. The results are stored both on removable memory as well as being cued up ready for sending to a master Modbus component.
HVAC system performance can be measured and logged hands-free anywhere from a few hours up to a month. Once the service technician is satisfied that the necessary monitoring interval has been achieved, performance data is then offloaded from removable memory via either thumb drive, slash memory stick or Modbus.
Using an optional communications module with the tech’s computer attached, HVAC performance data can monitored either via LAN or a through a WiFi network. Captured data may then be viewed using any PC spreadsheet program, such as Excel, for accurate HVAC system performance diagnosis.
This is an important differentiator between a one-time single shot test of HVAC performance via traditional gauges and the use of an electronic device that monitors and records performance data over a period of time. The readings taken from sensor inputs are converted into real engineering units (degrees, PSIG, %, etc.) and time stamped according to settings provided by the service technician (e.g. four samples per minute).
“One of the major benefits of the system is that data recorded organized in a manner that makes HVAC troubleshooting and repair relatively simple for the service technician,” Baker said.
Permanent installation of a troubleshooting system like the Validatar offers the important preventative maintenance. Besides providing a warning (in data form) just before a system breakdown, comparing performance of critical components over time could foretell imminent failure. For example a motor that normally consumes 2000 watts suddenly is shown to be using 2500 watts. This condition signals a need to check out multiple performance factors, making repairs faster, cheaper and more efficient.
“That makes it a very affordable way to protect customer’s HVAC investment” Baker added. “And it also provides service techs with remote monitoring capabilities from the comfort of their offices.”