Optimised controller for HVAC and pumping applications

Paul Boughton

Schneider Electric is introducing Modicon M171 optimised, a complete solution package for HVAC and pumping applications, with an emphasis on building automation. This family of controllers consisting of several different versions is designed for simple to moderately complex applications. These can be supplemented with expansion options and a wide range of instrumentation accessories to create complete solutions.

With Modicon M171 optimised, flexible and scalable complete automation solutions can be designed for HVAC and pumping applications, the latter focused on booster solutions for building technology. 

The controller family includes DIN rail-mounted versions with and without integrated displays and keypad, as well as a flush-mounted version for mounting in cabinets or panels. The portfolio also includes remote LED or LCD displays for ‘blind’ DIN rail-mounted versions of the controller. The controllers are suitable for operation using a wide range of supply voltages. Versions are available for both 12–24V (DC or AC) and 100–240VAC.

A Modbus Serial Link or LAN expansion bus interface is integrated into the controller to allow the setup of a communication network. Peripherals such as a remote display, an I/O expansion module, or thermostats can be connected to the expansion bus.

Depending upon the type, all controllers are equipped with 14 to 22 integrated inputs and outputs, in various combinations of discrete and analogue based upon the version.  Three different I/O expansion modules enable step-by-step expansion up to a maximum of 44 inputs/outputs.

In addition to the previously mentioned thermostats with a display unit (with or without background lighting) for wall mounting, the Modicon M171 portfolio includes a broad assortment of temperature, humidity, and pressure sensors in different designs, as well as electronic expansion valve drivers.  Schneider Electric’s broad offering of products and solutions for energy distribution and management provides a framework for developing complete automation solutions.

The tried and tested Altivar variable frequency drives are particularly suitable for integrating drive technology for equipment such as pumps or ventilation units. With these drives, Modicon M171 controllers can also be used for automation solutions with high energy efficiency requirements.  Like the energy meters and a number of other components from various product lines, Altivar units have a Modbus SL interface that allows them to communicate with a Modicon M171 controller.

SoMachine HVAC is a tool for the complete engineering of a Modicon M171-based automation solution. The core of this tool is the programme editor, which can be used to create IEC 61131-3-compliant programmes in all the programming languages used by this standard. The tool also includes all of the functionalities needed to configure and commission the final automation solution.