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Interface Delivers Precise Energy Saving Control At Low Cost


Mitsubishi Electric has announced a new I/O Interface which will deliver the precise control and advanced energy saving functions normally associated with much more expensive BEMS interfaces.

The I/O Interface is fully compatible with both the M Series and Mr Slim ranges of Mitsubishi Electric air conditioning products with features that allow for more intelligent centralised control. Businesses will therefore be able to reduce energy consumption without compromising on the occupant’s level of control or comfort.

“This will make control of different premises much easier for organisations to manage and will also allow companies to more closely monitor and control their energy use,” explained Mitsubishi Electric’s controls expert, Sebastien Desmottes.

The new Interface, which is available immediately along with the more standard control inputs and outputs, offers two new energy saving modes which were previously only available on much more expensive control solutions – bringing high level functionality to a much wider market.

‘Auto Off’ – the first of the two modes, sets the auto mode for a predetermined period of time, before reverting back to fan only to save energy. The time can be set to two hours, one hour or half an hour. This could be used to turn the air conditioning on at a set time of the day – say 8am and two hours later, the unit would switch to fan only mode.

If staff on site need to reactivate the system, a simple button will reset the unit for another two hours. This ‘Auto Off’ function prevents the user turning on the system in the morning and leaving it running all day regardless of need and has obvious energy saving potential.

The second mode – ‘Set point’ – allows the temperature to be used to activate the air conditioning, with the fan only running if the ambient temperature falls or exceeds a specified temperature, e.g. below 19°C or exceeding 23°C.

In this example, the I/O Interface could still be programmed to switch the air conditioning on at 8am but the air conditioning will only function if the temperature drops below or exceeds the predetermined limits. This ‘Set point’ operation is a version of the ‘Night set-back function’ which was previously available on much more advanced control systems.

“The Interface has three digital inputs (On/Off, Function Lock and Energy Save), three analogue inputs (Setpoint, Mode and Fan speed) and four digital, relay-driven outputs (Run, Fault, Thermo and Mode) with individual LEDs to show if the relay contact is open or closed,” explains Desmottes.

As well as BEMS and energy-saving functions, new outputs have been added to allow simple interlocking with third party heating to ensure that heating and cooling equipment don’t run at the same time. Mitsubishi Electric has been running a prototype at its Hatfield offices for several months to demonstrate the different operating performances to customers and has also installed demonstration systems at other live premises to highlight its suitability – especially for retail operations.

“Energy use is a major cost for businesses today and carbon reduction targets mean that companies must be able to demonstrate that they are controlling consumption,” adds Desmottes. “This new interface makes the straightforward control of individual sites much more affordable and will make the energy consumed by the air conditioning much more predictable.”

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