"The L Connection Network has become a high-value product for Samtec and allowed us to implement a sophisticated, user-friendly system."
Samtec, Inc., a manufacturer of electronic board components, in New Albany, Indiana.
The Samtec USA headquarters includes a variety of spaces with a wide range of functionality, including offices, a manufacturing facility, meeting rooms and a large break room, which made fresh-air ventilation a special concern for this project.
The customer’s primary concerns were:
Samtec had an existing zoning system that was costly and difficult to use. To monitor and control the HVAC system, the customer had to purchase unit controllers for each rooftop unit (RTU), as well as three network controllers that needed to be synchronized and separately maintained. The existing interface panels were DOS-based, which limited configuration options and required maintenance personnel to program three separate devices.
After an examination of the facility, the existing zoning system’s requirements and its ongoing costs, the L Connection® Network from Lennox was selected. A major factor in winning the bid was the L Connection Network’s sophisticated zoning capabilities that would treat each zone differently according to its needs. The L Connection Network can also integrate the Liebert equipment, which controls specialty HVAC equipment in the computer labs, allowing the customer to monitor all devices from a central location. In fact, the Network provides an interface that can allow the customer to be notified of blower operation, temperature, humidity, and more in the computer lab.
The heart of the network is the Integrated Modular Controller (IMC), a standard feature on Lennox’ premium rooftop units. Serving as the unit controller for each rooftop unit, the IMC:
The result is flexible and customizable comfort control, maximized equipment life cycle and reduced energy costs. Also, with the L Connection Network, a single device is able to control the entire network. This device, the Network Control Panel (NCP), has a simple-to-use interface that allows the user to monitor and control the RTUs locally or with PC software from a remote location via a phone modem, Ethernet or the Internet.
After consulting with Lennox’ Commercial Territory Manager Greg Luckett, contractor Roberts Heating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Inc. included a Lennox® Comfort Sensor in each of the facility’s zones to monitor and control temperature and relative humidity. This gave each zone the proper amount of fresh-air ventilation, based on information communicated from the Comfort Sensor to the IMC. The Comfort Sensor is the only communicating zone sensor on the market today that combines CO2, humidity and temperature sensing within a single device to minimize installation labor and reduce wall clutter.
With advice from Lennox’ Commercial Controls Specialist Alan Bennett, the L Connection Network was quickly installed, with the contractor planning to tie in most of Samtec’s rooftop units—which includes approximately 70 L Series® rooftop units—to the network for control from a centralized location. The flexibility of the L Connection Network provided a high level of customization, making it possible to integrate the zoned L Series constant-air-volume bypass (CAVB) units and additional non-zoned units into the system.
Because all of Lennox’ premium rooftop units have the built in IMC unit controller, Samtec no longer has to purchase expensive, third-party unit controllers. The Network Control Panel (NCP) functions as the system controller, replacing the three controllers needed by the old system. In addition, the NCP Windows®-based software allows easy configuration, monitoring and control of the entire HVAC system.
“Installation of the L Connection Network on new construction applications is very straight forward,” says Matt Luckett of Roberts Heating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration. “Lennox has done a great job writing their installation instructions and engineering manuals, which allow quick reference to the needed information in the field. With the new zoning configuration capability available on the L Connection Network software, Roberts can now offer its customers a complete energy management package that includes rooftop equipment and L Connection Network controls without the use of a third-party control system.”
“The customer wanted a single-point control system for their entire facility. They’ve been very impressed with the added control, relative humidity and temperature in each zone made possible by the Comfort Sensors,” says Lennox’ Greg Luckett. “The L Connection Network has become a high value product for Samtec and allowed us to implement a sophisticated, user-friendly system at a competitive price.”
With the installation of the L Connection Network, Samtec has enjoyed improved, cost-effective monitoring and control of several types of units, excellent fresh-air ventilation, simple configuration and reduced energy and maintenance costs.