Conversation from The EDGE: The Key to High-Tech HVAC Systems? Keep It Simple

July 29, 2019
Sean Heath

 

A sweltering summer means it’s a busy time for Bobby Marcus, vice president of controls division for Engineered Cooling Services, a division of Service Logic. On this episode of Conversations from The EDGE with Service Logic, Marcus shared his perspective on the challenges of integrating modern HVAC systems and controls.

The Internet of Things has come for air conditioning systems, and while sophisticated technology exists to make life easier, that’s not always the case. According to Marcus, there are two gaps he sees in his line of work.

The first is the gap between older legacy systems and integrating them with the standardized protocols and digital technologies now available that can provide detailed analytics and intelligent operation. And then there’s the customer’s ability to operate their high-tech system.

“The gap is the capabilities of the system versus the capabilities of the user,” Marcus said.

While he understands that modern systems can provide excellent enhancements for tech-savvy consumers, he said that “the majority of customers just want some basic controls and interface.”

He sees his job as an integrator tasked with making things simple. To do this, he consolidates individual controllers into a single web server that allows users to understand and monitor their HVAC system. He also tries to find ways to make their existing systems all function seamlessly together, so customers don’t have to throw out expensive investments.

Then comes the final and crucial part of the equation: continuous training to expand the user’s capabilities. Marcus likes to visit customers monthly or quarterly, where he can ensure proper operation and provide ongoing education.

“We want to be with them for the life of the system,” Marcus said.

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