Saturday, April 11, 2015

Bluetooth Tools for HVAC

At the recent HVAC Excellence Instructor’s Conference there were many digital tools featuring Bluetooth connectivity on display. These tools allow you to use phone and tablet apps which take readings from the device as input. This can be as simple as just displaying a reading, or more helpful such as using the reading to perform a calculation. Most also allow the user to use their phone or tablet to send the information to someone else. Technicians can send real time readings to a service manager for consultations or document results to verify system operation. Most of the devices were measuring pressure and temperature. Of course, the Stride i-manifold was there. It was actually introduced last year. This year they have company. Fieldpiece has had wireless gauges longer than anyone else, but they used a proprietary signal. This year Fieldpiece was showing a set of digital gauges with Bluetooth and a Bluetooth wireless bridge to allow their older Fieldpiece wireless gauges to connect to Bluetooth.

 Yellow Jacket, Appion, and Sporlan all had pressure and temperature measurement tools which featured Bluetooth connectivity and apps designed to work with the tools. To be sure these are not manifolds, but pressure and temperature measurement tools. Appion had a trio of pressure gauges and a Vacuum gauge. Their gauges each have a digital display as well as sending Bluetooth information to your phone. They are “short” gauges with a short stem, allowing connection without filling a set of hoses with refrigerant. The Yellow Jacket Mantooth device is also a “short” gauge, but it has no display. Like the i-manifold, it relies on your phone or tablet for a display. The Mantooth consists of a digital pressure gauge with a tethered temperature clamp. Sporlan was showing off a set of digital pressure and temperature devices with Bluetooth connectivity. They also rely on the connected device for a display. 

All Bluetooth devices were not gauges - Fluke and UEI were showing Bluetooth enabled digital multi-meters and clamp amp meters. 

All these devices were showing apps designed to work with the device and extend its usefulness. Most can be freely downloaded. The i-manifold app is a killer app that is useful even if you don’t have an i-manifold. The Stride folks are hoping you will get tired of typing in the pressures and temperatures and pick up an i-manifold. One final consideration – If your gauges, multi-meter, thermometers, and vacuum gauge are all connecting to your phone while you work, you are going to need some extra juice to keep operating. You will need an extra battery pack or two for your phone, most phones won’t operate all day long without a recharge.  

6 comments:

  1. Wow, that's something that I haven't heard about before. That would be really nice to be able to control your air conditioner from your phone. Our thermostat is on the bottom floor of our house. Every time that we want to turn on the AC, we have to walk all of the way down there. This bluetooth HVAC system would be really convenient. http://www.campbellcare.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Trevor,

      The HVAC and building controls industry currently has the ability to control nearly everything in a building via the internet. Total wireless control including changing setpoints, setting up alarms to go to cell phones, changing operating schedules, monitoring various operating cycles, monitoring boiler temperatures and pressures and more...

      Norm Christopherson

      Delete
  2. Wait, there are Bluetooth tools for HVAC systems? That is way cool and is going to make taking care of them and using them so much easier. This is something that I would love to have. It is just app that I will have to get and have it set up with my system to use it.
    http://www.allcountycorp.com/services.html

    ReplyDelete
  3. WoSports S6 Bluetooth Sunglasses Save 50% each on Qualifying items offered by WoSports when you purchase 1 or more. Enter code 9QOZSF9M at checkout.
    Here: WoSports S6 Bluetooth Sunglasses

    WoSports Sunglasses Bluetooth Headphones Polarized Glasses Headset with Handsfree Answer Phone Music Mp3 Player for Android IOS Smartphones
    Here: WoSports S6 Bluetooth Sunglasses

    ReplyDelete
  4. Only a matter of time when the units themselves are "smart and cloud connected, and the real time data already available from the service managers desk., so the technician will be going out to for instance change a motor he has with him because he already knows it's bad, or knowing he/she will be locating a leak because it is already known that there is a loss of refrigerant....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ...and then you will all be frustrated that your expensive Bluetooth toys are already obsolete, but more frustrated that a low paid drone wearing google glasses will be given step by step instructions to change a part without a need to know what they are doing or why...

      Delete