Johnson Controls Verasys Controls System Release 4.0 offers numerous new features and enhancements, including BACnet integration capability for integration with third-party devices and HVAC equipment, leading to its selection as the 2021 Commercial Comfort Product of the Year in the Commercial Controls category.Designed specifically for light commercial buildings, adding Verasys to single- or multi-zone rooftop HVAC applications extends capabilities well beyond a rooftop unit control board and programmable thermostat without the investment and complexity required by more sophisticated building automation systems.
“The Verasys controls system reduces energy consumption with an intuitive scheduling interface that’s designed to only run equipment when needed, integrated occupancy sensors that allow for automatic setback when rooms are unoccupied, and load-shedding capabilities that allow the system to temporarily reduce energy usage in response to a local utility program,” said Philip Smyth, executive director of commercial product management, Johnson Controls.
Verasys Release 4.0 allows third-party devices into the Verasys system through BACnet MS/TP integration.“Third-party devices are automatically discovered when connected to the system bus, and their data automatically populates into a predefined set of views based on the object type,” added Smyth. “Profiles can be created to give BACnet points user-friendly names; rearrange the data into specific views; and add BACnet extensions, such as alarms, trends, and schedules.”
Profiles can be exported out of the smart building hub (SBH) and imported in other SBHs to ensure a consistent interface across multiple sites. This integration also applies to the Verasys Enterprise, and third-party data is now visible in the cloud application alongside Verasys-compatible devices.
The controller clone feature of the SBH provides faster installation and commissioning of jobs with a higher level of quality. Installers can configure the set points and parameters for one device and use the controller clone feature to copy that configuration to one (or more) device(s) on the network with the click of a button. The feature has intelligence built-in to only copy the parameters that are important for control and skip settings that could be harmful to network or equipment setup.
Zone Group Scheduling
The Verasys Zone Coordinator can support up to 32 zone controllers, which can be put into one of four groups. Each group has its own weekly schedule that also includes the ability to add exceptions, for example, on holidays. In addition, each group has an independent ability to temporarily change the zoning system to occupied mode for after-hours operation.
With the new site alarms feature, users can view all active and historical alarms from all devices at a site on a single screen. Each alarm displays information about the device that it came from, when it occurred, and the severity of the alarm. The screen also includes historical alarms so that users can identify systematic issues with equipment.
The Verdict Is in
One of our engineering judges selected the Verasys because it provides a cost-effective solution for projects that do not require a sophisticated building management system (BMS).
“The system appears to be basically plug and play for a variety of HVAC equipment and has the ability to give building owners more visibility into system operation,” he said. “With that added access comes the ability to adjust operating schedules without the need to engage a third party. My hope is that this easy system access will lead to energy savings simply by giving owners the ability to operate equipment only as needed.”
Yet another judge appreciated how the manufacturer focused primarily on the light commercial sector, which occupies a large portion of the market.
“Features, such as easy terminations in the field, device auto discovery, good system setup workflow, and summaries for non-technical startup staff, which likely yields better performance and energy outcomes, made this an easy selection as the product of the year,” he said.