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Taking control of commercial HVAC

UK: MELCloud Commercial is Mitsubishi Electric’s new IoT platform that can remotely manage, monitor and control HVAC systems in multiple buildings from one central location.

It collects data and sends signals to HVAC equipment and allows these systems to be operated and monitored remotely from mobile devices, anywhere in the world. 

The control and monitor function can show an entire estate or an individual room, delivering dynamic, real-time information on the systems and their performance. 

MELCloud Commercial also supports the configuration, monitoring and pre-emptive maintenance of HVAC systems. 

Designed for commercial installations, as the name suggests, the new tool has undergone extensive field trials with corporate customers throughout Europe and the UK. 

“With feedback from our trial customers, we’ve built a solution that optimises occupant comfort, increases energy efficiency to reduce carbon emissions, and streamlines service and maintenance operations,” said Mitsubishi Electric’s national service manager Graham Jones. 

For service and maintenance professionals, the platform can deliver refrigerant flow diagrams and graphical representations of equipment performance, system operational data, all live online. 

Up to 50 Mitsubishi Electric devices including four Modbus energy meters are connected to MELCloud Commercial through a single gateway via a 4G SIM card or LAN Ethernet connection, with multiple gateways able to link up centrally to provide a global overview. 

MELCLoud Commercial is not restricted to working only with Mitsubishi Electric’s HVAC systems. In addition, other non-HVAC systems can also be monitored and controlled. Just like the HVAC equipment, alerts can be sent to the building manager if there is an alarm. 

The system can also record the energy consumption of the third-party equipment and report it to building users, so equipment such as fridges, ovens and lighting can be monitored and reported on. Energy consumption and performance patterns can be analysed over days, weeks, or even years.

One of the major new initiatives is the inclusion of an advanced energy dashboard, which allows MELCloud Commercial to monitor and compare the energy consumption of multiple buildings, ranking their usage by kW per hour per building size, or by the number of temperature or consumption alerts. 

At a more granular level, these workspace rankings can compare energy consumption between building, floors, and even rooms. Using this data, MELCloud Commercial can help prevent a single, or multiple systems within a building from exceeding set consumption limits. 

“This system makes it easy for facilities managers to ensure that there are no areas of wastage, such as meeting rooms where the heating or cooling has been left on overnight,” explained controls and innovation product manager Manohar Lal. “It can also limit all HVAC units to cooling only in the summer, and also schedule these units to reduce or shut-off operations when no one is around.”

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