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Digital Destratification – Wi-Fi Solution

Introducing Digital Destratification

Some time ago we began to investigate a remote control system to control a destratification fan.

Its a well known fact that to adjust the temperature a destrat fan activates at, you need to access the unit. In most cases they are installed high in the roof of the building. This means you probably need a scissor lift or boom lift at worst case. Either way it costs you money.

So many sites simply leave the fans turned off because they are not happy with how they work, missing out on massive fuel savings and not getting the full benefit of destratification.

Back in 2015 we began designing a system to control the fans remotely. We made a couple of prototype systems that worked really well, the first using Infra Red and the second using radio technology. The fundamentals were great, but the remote control worked out far to expensive, especially if you only owned one fan.

Remember when the first smart lighting for warehouses was released? The T5 technology was fantastic, lux sensors and motion detection and all fully programmable from the ground level. Then you came to buy a remote control and the cost was close to a thousand pounds. For our fan controller to be commercially viable, the remote needed to be really cheap or even free.

Back in 2016 we came across a fantastic device, a Wi-Fi SoC (system on a chip) integrated with a Tensilica Xtensa LX106 Core processor. We ordered a few demo models and the power and abilities of the device were absolutely amazing.

The capabilities we now had in a footprint the size of a cigarette lighter took us straight back to the drawing board. Not only could we control temperature but we could deliver the entire control procedure straight over Wi-Fi to any compatible device and web browser with ease.

Our final Beta version worked straight from the box, did what it said on the tin and to be frank, it turned heads for those few people lucky enough to see the initial work and testing going on.

We are proud to announce that the first batch of controllers is currently under way, and we will be able to offer this controller on our own brand of destratification fans within the next few weeks. At the same time they will be commercially available for other manufacturers or for retro fit applications.

Installation is simple, attach the control unit to the side of the fan and connect a flex from the PCB to the fan motor. A simple set of screw terminals provides the mains power to the fan.

The mains feed to the controller is similar, drop a flex to the fan and terminate at the terminals on board. To comply with wiring regulations you should install a spur in the roof but you should be doing that now anyway.

We supply a digital sensor with each unit that simply cable ties to the wire guard on the back end of the fan and again terminates to a set of terminals on the PCB. The sensor contains a single chip sensing element that responds to temperature changes much faster than a thermostat or thermocouple. Its simply digital all the way.

We sample the sensor thousands of times a second and take an average reading over a period of time for a much more stabilised temperature reading. We added a time delay to prevent the fan cycling on and off quickly.

When power is applied to the fan, you can find it on your smart phone under Wi-Fi settings. Log in with the supplied password then open a web browser and you have complete control.

You are then able to select four operating modes and given temperature information from the fan.

Fan Off
Turns the fan off, it stays off.

Fan On
Turns the fan on, it stays on continuously.

Automatic
With the click of a button, you set the required temperature for the fan to activate and it runs like a normal destratification fan. Simple to adjust the operating temperature within seconds. No need to get to the fan.

Frost Mode
When entering frost mode, select the operating temperature. When the temperature drops below the selected temperature the fan will come on. Even during the winter the heat will stay at the top of the building. Using frost mode can help reduce freezing issues within your building when its vacant during holidays for example. Frost mode is normally only found on expensive BMS controlled systems.

The user interface is so simple, its all controlled at the click of a button without cumbersome text entry boxes or drop down menus.

For further information please contact us and we will be happy to assist.

 

Philip Hamer
Director.

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About Philip Hamer

Phil Hamer is the owner of PW Maintenance, the home of www.warmairheaters.com. Phil is responsible for Business Development, Sales, IT Infrastructure and manages the companies on-line presence and website. Phil has years of experience in Energy Efficiency, Buildings & Property Services and Facilities Management including Commercial & Industrial Heating, Air Conditioning, Electrical Installation, Maintenance, Fire and Security. Phil still regularly gets involved with the planning and designing of new systems and still actively works on site to both assist with installations and to problem solve. Email phil@pwmaintenance.co.uk