Heating, ventilation and air-conditioning

Significant increase in testing requirements

Heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems are becoming increasingly intelligent. For example, the industry speaks about “smart heating” and intelligent heating and ventilation technology.

Typical trends see the merging of previously separate units into integrated and connected systems. Hybrid heating systems with multiple heat generators open up new possibilities for linking renewable heat sources. Demand is also increasing for decentralised air extraction systems with heat recovery.

At the same time, statutory minimum requirements for energy efficiency and energy savings are also on the increase. This is all creating a dilemma: more functions, more software, extremely diverse plant components and increasing connectivity are making systems more complex. The functionality of such systems must be accurately simulated and tried and tested at the development stage. Increasingly more parameters and tighter limitsmust be taken into account. There is therefore a considerable increase for measurement and testing as well as for greater performance from measurement technology.

Trends in measurement and testing technology

  • Increasing standards and tighter limits require increasingly detailed and precise measuring technology which can be adapted by users to actual test needs. In addition to measurement, control and automation technology, test systems therefore also require control software that is flexible to operate.

  • Increased connectivity requirements: Increasing connectivity requires universal sensor inputs, open and proprietary interfaces as well as standardised protocols. Users want complete solutions that are compatible with all relevant interfaces. Such systems also need to be capable of connecting third-party measuring equipment such as scales and gas meters.

Increased testing and higher performance requirements

  • Increased measurement and testing requirements also result in more complex and larger test stands. The extent of testing and the number of measurement parameters is increasing and a wide variety of test technologies need to be used. Users want test systems that enable flexible integration of their tasks.

  • The need for higher performance: Larger, more powerful test stands with more measuring parameters require higher performing measuring and control technology. This includes, for example, faster measurement inputs with sampling rates of 50,000 measurement values per second, per channel. The ability to perform internal computing and monitoring functions also enables a higher level of performance.

Flexible measurement and testing technology for heating, ventilation and air conditioning

  • Example of a heating system test stand: Test stands need to provide a wider scope for test applications. Therefore, a catalogue of test equipment for various testing tasks has been developed in conjunction with a major manufacturer of heating systems. By using universal inputs for temperature and pressure sensors as well as for analog and digital inputs, new test requirements can be independently implemented by the user. The measuring devices (such as ProfiMessage and Expert Logger) receive new parameters as required via the control software (ProfiSignal). The test equipment requires only configuration rather than re-programming thereby considerably simplifying operation.

  • Example of cooling and air conditioning equipment: Cooling and air-conditioning units undergo simulated usage in climate chambers with a range of components being tested for compliance. The test samples are tested according to precisely managed pressure and temperature profiles, vibrations and coolant flow rates. A "single-button solution" enables different profiles to be selected and synchronous management of independent testing procedures. Furthermore, measurement automation enables online analyses to be carried out while testing is in progress. Materials databases and tables facilitate evaluations. The devices also automatically detect faults and limit value violations and report these via switch outputs, text messages, fax or email.

  • Example of energy efficiency label testing: In tests for standards compliance, various parameters are monitored at more than 20 different temperature measuring points. Integrated control technology undertakes the setting of different ambient temperatures. The same system also performs a range of tests in parallel and independently of each other. The software can acquire, process and store an unlimited number of channels and up to 30 test stands in parallel.