IntellaMaxx Solar Controllers 9.17.2010

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Date: 9/17/2010

Folks, welcome to the SunMaxx series Solar Hot Water webinars. Today we’re talking about IntellaMaxx controllers. I’d like to speak with you about the different functionality of the controllers, programming and troubleshooting, as well as installation techniques. And as always, if you have any questions, I encourage you to type it in the chat box and we can try to address it right away.

Ok, now SunMaxx offers two basic types of IntellaMaxx controllers and the functionality between these two basically covers just about everything we have been trying to do. Over the last few years, we’ve looked around and tried to design controllers and functions that don’t offer too much but at least the minimum capabilities. So, we’ve broken up into two classes: the domestic hot water and the combination system. A combisystem is one that does heat and hot water, okay.

The IntellaMaxx-DHW processes two relays. Those two relays can be used for anything from valves to pumps or other switches for that matter. Both controllers, the IntellaMaxx and CombiPlus, take in 110 volts. They have an internal transformer so we can run a low voltage actuator if we need to off of that or we can run a high voltage pump higher than 110. So, there are four sensors on the basic hot water system. Those four sensors can be used for the collectors for the top of the storage tank, for the bottom of the storage tank, for a second storage tank altogether. You can also use one of the relays as a second recirculation pump. It gives you the opportunity to begin dumping heat from the solar tank into an existing tank when the conditions are right and it optimizes the collector’s efficiency.

With the IntellaMaxx CombiPlus controller there are seven relays. Now this gives you a really broad range of types of capabilities. We can run multiple pumps using the pump logic, or we can run multiple valves, which is most optimally with a combination of both valve and pump logic. This has twelve sensors. Now, although you have twelve sensors, there are only seven of those that are going to be able to operate as a differential. And you have monitoring sensors that you will be able to plug in a VBus or data logging capability so that you can find what the temperature gain is across the collector. You can look at temperature losses from one section of run to the other. You can also input radiation. You can input flow meter data to measure the total of BTU output. CombiPlus will allow you to have up to five different storage tanks. Those five storage tanks give you the opportunity to regulate your storage capacity relative to production. And as many of you know, from one day to the next production may be cut in half or cut in a third. So, you try to size up your storage tank relative to the production. With production changes all the time, what we’re finding is that some of these systems that use multiple tank strategies are getting a higher efficiency therefore a higher output over the course of the season. So CombiPlus allows you to do that relatively easy.

The DHWB Plus, domestic hot water basic plus, like I said it has two relays. There’s a thermostat function which means that one relay can be based on the differential which will turn on the pump based on the differential between the collector and the storage tank. The other rely can be used as a thermostatic function where we can execute a function based on a set temperature, not a differential but a set temperature, okay. We can install up to four PT1000 sensors. There are two relays, both are speed controlled. There’s a variable speed control associated with those relays. There is also a drainback option. The drainback option allows you to send 110 volts to a second pump to boost the head in that line until you get a siphoning effect at which point the second pump would shut off. That’s the booster function. Another drainback function is that if the collector temperature exceeds a set temperature that you can program in at 250 degrees, the pump will not kick on if the collectors are at that temperature, that prevents the flash steaming and basically little micro explosions of water losing pressure and reaching its boiling point instantaneously. Okay, so these controllers have that functionality and also have an anti-freeze function that is if you choose to use just water. It allows you the ability to begin transferring heat from your storage tank into the solar loop to prevent freezing and it can operate intermittently depending on the temperature of the line. You can also plug in the VBus. The VBus gives you the data logging capability and you can do some energy metering with a VT meter and flow meter. We can also program the system through RESOL and design this to transfer data through a service center that can be downloadable remotely. Okay, so there’s a lot of functionality built into this simple controller. Simple is a relative word in many areas and differential controllers such as the SunMaxx and IntellaMaxx controller is no exception. Its simple controllers, relative to the more complicated CombiPlus. This is our basic inexpensive controller that is suitable for 75 to 80 percent of the systems out there.

Okay, some technical data, we won’t go over too much of it but just so you have it in reference. There are semiconductor relays, there’s three push buttons that mount on the wall, also can mount into a patch panel, and has four PT1000 sensors, and its 110-115 volt semiconductor relay. Just to remind you what I’ve just gone over, the number of collectors that are capable, and just to point out that it is not really collectors but rather the number of arrays, this is the number of return pipes that it can have. Each array in parallel would have its own return pipe with a separate pump and this gives you the ability to have two separate arrays. For example, if you had one array facing east and one array facing west, this control would allow you to operate two separate pumps independently of one another depending on the temperature. Now the CombiPlus controller has seven basic systems that are possible with this. And as I mentioned before, there are 13 sensor inputs, there’s a heating circuit and the control of three additional weather-compensated heating circuits by additional modules. So, this can be designed as a full house heating controller that you can monitor remotely using the VBus and it’s very easy to understand. This is a home heating controller that does solar in conjunction with a boiler, or furnace, a wood boiler, steam boiler, propane, that does not matter. It can control or tie into the thermostats of your house. The CombiPlus controller uses 100-240 volts. There’s standard push buttons on the front and twelve sensor inputs. There is a remote control input where you can have a remote temperature sensor, and it controls or you can add to it a sensor. There are thirteen relays, twelve of them are semiconductors, one is a free relay. You can tie into different boilers, outdoor ambient resets, flow control regulators.

Some more of the technical information, what I’d like to do is forward to you the manual if you’d like to have it or you can go to where you can download a copy of this manual. By downloading a copy and getting an idea of what systems you’d like to integrate there are different arrays. All you really need to do is click on the array that you think is most suitable and we can help you design it from there. By choosing the controller first, then all the system components will fall into place. A lot of guys will buy the system and then try to decide what kind of controller they want. We’ve already done a lot of that for you. We’ve offered two that cover every possible system that we’ve installed so far.

The IntellaMaxx CombiPlus is going to give you a lot of versatility, slightly more expensive cost up front, but in the end it’s going to be able to do your heating system, you can tie a boiler and a furnace and a fan into this controller so it will take care of your heating system for you. Some of the accessories you can buy, one is the VBus also a data logger, and a VBus monitoring system. You can also get a system alarm so that if anything goes wrong with the perimeters that you’ve predetermined such as temperature or pressure then the alarm will be sent. It will either be activated directly or a message will be sent to your computer or flow switch. A flow switch is a very important device. In order to turn on the circulation between the tank and the external exchanger when there’s presence of domestic hot water flow. A flow switch allows you to bring the exchanger out of the tank, mount it externally, and when somebody pours hot water through the system that flow switch is automatically going to trigger a circulator to turn on to exchange heat from the tank into the exchanger, from the exchanger into the cold water supply.

Another accessory is the VBus touch for iPhones. The iPhone gives you a pretty unique ability. As long as you have wireless capability, from your home you can log into your home’s network and open up the screen that shows the collector temperature. So as you see here, you have the temperature of the tank, the temperature of the top, the bottom, the flow, the temperature of the supply and return of the collectors, and you have the heat requirement, you have the radiation sensor you can read, you can look at the temperature or you can include a calorimeter. There are a lot of opportunities in using a VBus touch, especially with the iPhone. There is an application I believe for the Blackberry but I know the iPhone we have several dealers that use this and it’s neat to show off. On a good sunny day when you’re meeting with a client somewhere else you can simply pull this up and show them that the system is cranking out at 140 degrees now as we speak and it can be very impressive.

Okay, as always I want to thank you for your time. Thank you for joining us. But, most importantly thank you for getting a hold of SunMaxx. One way or another, contact us again. Contact your sales rep, contact me if you’d like, and ask us what we can do for you. We want to help you. We want to train you. We want to make you more knowledgeable. We want to make sure you’re installing these right so we’re doing a lot of the homework for you by picking up the parts for your system. I would recommend buying a prepackaged system before anything else. But, once you begin to think out of the box it’s going to be important that you have a very good handle on what controller you need in order to get the job done that you would like to do. Nothing is impossible. Everything is possible. Turn to SunMaxx so we can help you figure out what is feasible and make sure you do it right. Thanks again. Get a hold of me and I’ll make sure you get in touch with the right person. Thanks again and have a super solar day. Take care.

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