When Tim McTavish set out to remodel his Parker, Colo., home, his plans included added square feet for living space, radiant floor heating, snow melting and an in-ground swimming pool. “I wanted an energy-efficient way to keep the pool warm,” McTavish recalls. “I explored all the different options available, and I settled on solar.”
After meeting with Al Wallace, president of Energy Environmental Corporation (EEC), a company specializing in design, installation and consulting of integrated renewable energy systems, McTavish’s home was completely overhauled with an elaborate, energy-efficient design that included geothermal, solar panels, boilers, heat exchangers, energy-recovery ventilators, a heat-extraction system under the pool pavers and a pool mechanical room.
Integration Controls are King
When it came to controlling the systems in and around his home, McTavish wanted more than just simple temperature set point change control — he wanted total control for maximum efficiency.
“Because we had so many parts, I wanted to make standard rules about what temperatures certain things occur,” he says. “Given the solar resources and geo and natural-gas boiler, I wanted to determine when certain components go on and off to make the system the most energy efficient. Because the Climate Cŏntrol™ Network System is object-oriented, we can make a change to any device based on the input of any other device.”
“The nice thing about Network is, out of the box, it’s preprogrammed to do a bunch of different functions and it’s completely customizable,” says Ray Blum, distributor with Dahl of Denver. “A DDC (direct digital control) is typically blank. With Network, a lot of the programming is already done. The only programming required is what you want above and beyond what the system already has.”
Another advantage is time. According to Blum, with a DDC, you have to program it from scratch. “If we had to run all the McTavish programming from scratch, it would have taken about four times the amount of time compared to what we did with Network.”
Network’s “finished look” is another benefit as well. “It’s hard to get homeowners to spend money on things they don’t see,” remarks Blum. “With Network, we can produce nice graphics for an attractive interface. This way, homeowners really get to see what they’re paying for.”
Wallace concurs, “When you’re in a price war over a commodity like GSHPs, offering an integrated control package with a user-friendly interface like Network can give contractors a competitive edge. I think consumers are looking for this kind of system and it would be in contractors’ best interest to learn more about total system integration controls. It’s not that hard to learn, yet it’s very powerful.”
• Residence remodel in Parker, Colo.
• Radiant floor heating, snow melt, geothermal and solar
• Heat-extraction pavers around pool
• Climate Cŏntrol™ Network System for integration controls
• 64 solar panels
• Four 125-gallon solar tanks
• Water-to-water ground source heat pump (GSHP)
• Two water-to-air GSHPs
• Two boilers
• 120-gallon domestic hot water (DHW) tank
• Two 50-gallon tanks for the radiant system
• Four heat exchangers
Climate Cŏntrol™ Network System