Better monitoring and control of HVAC for Shopping Malls

Thanks to a GPRS Solution, control and monitor the installation remotely.

 Situation and Customer needs

The needs of shopping centres require a wide variety of HVAC (heating, cooling, ventilation and air conditioning) solutions for control and monitoring to ensure consumer comfort and energy efficiency.

Our customer wanted to ensure control and improve all the HVAC monitoring system information in order to start anticipating the best configuration, thereby maintaining the best quality for customers, and at the same time preventing a high energy consumption.

The installed equipment did not allow to do this without the use of some hardware, external modules and multiple software interfaces and protocols.

 It is key to avoid a complicated installation and integration, and also the lack of information to start working with greener solutions and more reasonable energy consumptions.

Control of HVAC system for Shopping Centre


Challenge

There were different points to take into account when solving the customer's requirements:

  • Simplify the hardware equipment by reducing the current elements used to control and monitor.
  • Allow remote control of the HVAC control system installation.
  • Improve the monitoring of the HVAC status, consumptions, warnings, alerts.
  • Ensure optimal HVAC performance, thus guaranteeing the best environmental conditions at the mall.

Using an industrial PLC with GPRS was the best option to ensure the monitoring needed by the customer. Also, this PLC has enough inputs and outputs, and industrial communications to control the HVAC installation.

The open source software allowed the following milestones:

  • Solving all programming parts in a shorter period of time.
  • Easy and fast integration of all the elements present in the installation.
  • The customer is the owner of the software.
  • The customer can add, modify or adjust the solution.
  • Reduction of the time needed to complete the project.

HVAC solution Challenge

The Gañar Group company requested the improvement of the design of an HVAC system to manage the heating, ventilation and air conditioning installations of a shopping centre. 

The goal was to automate, control and monitor the system with Open Source technology. Using a single PLC with the knowledge and recording of the operating hours, as well as the air conditioning parameters, Gañar Group wanted to remotely manage the monitoring of the entire process with quality technology and easy programming.

 Solution

The solution suggested by Industrial Shields consists of installing a Raspberry PLC & GPRS 21 I/Os Analog/Digital PLUS industrial controller.

The installation of this Raspberry Pi PLC provides the customer with an easily integrable solution because:

  • Using a variety of inputs and outputs, the controller can be easily integrated into an existing system.
  • It is a scalable system, which can be expanded without becoming obsolete.
  • Data transfer is improved to GPRS.

 Implementation

Gañar Group, together with its integration partner Square One Project Group, integrated an Industrial Shields Raspberry PLC in order to automate, control and remotely monitor a 5000 m2 area in Pretoria, South Africa.

Gañar first assessed the size of the HVAC unit required. The company then began manufacturing and programming the system once the laboratory testing was completed. Finally, the completed unit was shipped to the final customer for on-site commissioning.

Raspberry's GPRS and Wi-Fi communications facilitate greater data transfer for remote monitoring in the SCADA system and greater data management.

Thanks to this application, the 5000 m2 of shopping area can be managed to improve the comfort and healthiness of the mall.

Raspberry PLC installed in HVAC System

 Advantages

HVAC solution with Open Source based

Less is More


With a single PLC it is possible to remotely manage the entire solution and all the monitoring. Reducing the hardware of the HVAC installation makes it easy, fast, and cheap. 

Remote Management with Industrial Shields PLC

Focus on customer


One of the most important demands of the solution was the need for remote management. Thanks to the GPRS PLC this can be done.

Easy programming with Industrial Shields PLC

Easy programming


The Raspberry PLC can be programmed with the system that best suits the customer's needs. It is an open source based operating system, making it easy for the customer.

Why Industrial Shields?

Industrial Shields won the project and beat its main competitors thanks to three main factors:

Open Source Industrial Shields

Open Solution

No license fees

Modular Solution Industrial Shields

Modular solution

Product specifications can be extended in the future.

Lower price of Industrial Shields PLCs

Lower price

Equipment designed and manufactured for industrial use at a lower price than competing products.

Download the Control of HVAC System for Shopping Centre Case Study

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