Liebert Mini Mate – DDC Controls Retrofit of Standalone Thermostat

Finally, I was able to find something to video and share with you without ‘The Man’ jumpin on my back! My fellow colleague Cody was tasked last week with doing the actual retrofit to the HVAC controls on our little package unit for our server closet. I was of course happy to provide some assistance as long as I could squeeze in some video footage etc.

Cody is a young man transplanted here from Montana who had no prior controls experience before working with our company and I was convinced he was the one I should hire solely based on the fact he knew how to zoom in and out on Visio CADD without any prior use of it. Funny but true, there’s more to that story of course.

He’s a fast learner and really took to the whole mechanical side of things as well as the computer/techie side as well. Even though it may look like he is clueless in the videos on this tiny package unit, it is only because for the last 2 years he has only seen big stuff like Air Handler Units and Multi Chiller Central Energy Plants in Government Buildings.

Anyways, I am really proud of putting together these next few videos about the retrofit I hope that you learn something new from them.

Liebert Mini Mate – DDC Controls Retrofit of Standalone Thermostat

After uploading this video to YouTube did I realize I can get 15 minute videos without confirming my cell phone number and after doing so, not sure how long of a video I can put up, but the size has been increased to 20 Gig! This 10 minute video is only 147 Meg…

Questions About Installing Building Automation Controllers

This of course is only one simple controller of a single unit, but it still is a new additon to our existing Building Automation System in our building. So, based on what you have seen thus far… What ya got for me?! I’ve scratched the surface so I know there are questions out there…

Just type them below, you don’t need to register and I don’t capture your email addresses when you write comments s don’t worry… just ask.

9 Responses to Liebert Mini Mate – DDC Controls Retrofit of Standalone Thermostat

  1. Ryan February 2, 2012 at 18:09

    Can you post a video of the remainder of the project? How did you come up with a sequence of operations for the Liebert unit? What kind of sensors did you install? Did your new sequence of operations different any way from the old sequence of operations? Can you show us how you programmed the new controller?

    Reply
    • The Controls Freak February 2, 2012 at 21:13

      Awesome comment, Ryan! Your type of comment is what I love reading cuz it gives me exactly what I need to post up or make a video of next. I had some issues with my computer the other day, but I think it was localized to just that video footage and not the footage I still have from the results of the retrofit.

      I will take some time and type up a good long post on the rest of the install as well as a short video to go along with it showing the results of our lil in-house project. Thanks for watching and letting me know you want more.

      Reply
  2. basparky February 3, 2012 at 20:37

    Great job!
    I will definetly pass this along to a fellow tech who is trying to understand some basic controls troubleshooting. He is a pipefitter and not familiar with troubleshooting electrical systems in ahu’s.
    I’m a sparky by trade and have installed, programmed and serviced building automation systems for the past 10 years.
    I find that many newbies are overwhelmed when they open up the controls section of an air handler. I try to tell them to take it easy and identify one thing at a time and learn one thing at a time. You’ve done a great job here with pointing out the systems and emphasizing the need for good notes and labeling!

    Reply
    • The Controls Freak February 5, 2012 at 17:35

      Thanks for passing on the links to my site basparky! That is the best thing I can hope for right now since my blog is still new… Post up links to my site all over! Any sites you comment on or via email to friends and coworkers you think could use some extra knowledge. Word of mouth is the best form of advertising even on the Internet.

      As for the overwhelming part, I agree… Honestly, it was easy for me just because I was always into electronics. As a kid I would make little bread board circuits with capacitors and resistors etc. Knowing that level of electronics really made it easy to trace out wires in a controls cabinet and think about what all the devices are doing…even when I have to guess at it. ;)

      Reply
  3. Lenny Lopez February 9, 2012 at 15:52

    What did you use for the fan status? We like to use CT’s; how did you wire in for the hot gas and dehumid?

    Reply
    • The Controls Freak February 11, 2012 at 15:49

      Lenny, I posted up the next part of the retrofit where I talked about how sequences of operation are an important aspect of DDC and HVAC controls.

      In there, I have a link to the RIBXGTFL that we used as a current switch to detect fan status.

      Reply
  4. MIKE February 13, 2012 at 19:33

    WHERE IS THE REST OF THE VIDEO I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW IF YOU WERE ABLE TO GENERATE THE ALARMS AND MESSAGES THAT THE LIEBERT PAD DOES AND WERE YOU ABLE TO GENERATE A GRAPHIC. ALSO THIS SYSTEM IS SET UP FROM THAT PAD NOT JUST SETPOINTS AND ALSO ALARMS ARE RESET FROM IT. HOW WERE YOU ABLE TO ACCOMPLISH THAT.

    Reply
    • The Controls Freak February 13, 2012 at 23:27

      Mike good information and questions…

      1. I haven’t completed all the videos for the retrofit, but I did make a second one discussing some of the sequences of operation for the unit HERE.

      2. I can already tell where you are coming from with your questions about how did we duplicate what the Liebert Pad was doing. Since we ‘replaced’ the controls, which includes the thermostat on the wall and the green control circuit board inside the unit; we can now do anything we want with the unit because the only thing liebert about the unit anymore is the name badge and sticker label on the outside of the unit.

      By utilizing a programmable DDC controller I can create any kind of programming, alarms, set points I want and only be limited by the amount of sensors(inputs) and relays(outputs) I put on the unit. In addition to doing everything a facotry OEM controller can do, a DDC controller can also do many other things including emailing alarms, SMS text message you, crank on the other building roof top units if it can’t run for some reason, etc.

      Thanks for you comment…stick around and I will see about wrapping up that retrofit with another video.

      Reply
  5. Thomas Bartlett October 6, 2012 at 07:27

    Is this system controlled by a network? Are there systems that use ethernet, is this an ethernet connectable system?

    thank you
    Tom

    Reply

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