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Staying ahead in accurate and reliable detection

Produal develops and manufactures measurement and control devices for HVAC use, based on the philosophy that accurate and reliable detection is the cornerstone of a well-functioning control system. And the better a building functions, the more capable it will be of saving energy.

Produal’s measurement and control devices offer modern design and high quality, and are installation-friendly. The various technological innovations they contain have made many of them a standard in the industry in Finland and in a number of other markets.

Produal supplies all of Finland’s major HVAC system providers today, and its products are used in a number of European and Asian countries. Exports go to over 20 countries worldwide and account for around 40% of output.

Measure and save

Produal’s range of over 400 products measures all the key parameters affecting key building functions, such as temperature, light levels, CO2 and CO concentrations, humidity, and pressure – and can be integrated and customised to deliver precisely the measurement and control data required.

Produal’s transmitters, for example, provide data on parameters such as air velocity, differential pressure, gas concentrations, water pressure, illumination, and humidity.

Based on the hot-wire measurement principle, its air velocity transmitters offer very good accuracy at low air velocities and are ideal for measuring air flows and temperatures in air ducts.

Its PEL range of differential pressure transmitters employ a piezoresistive PEL design to detect pressure differences in air handling systems or control under- and overpressure in clean rooms and isolation rooms in hospitals. The automatic zeroing capabilities of these products eliminates drift and makes them self-calibrating, providing good long-term stability. This Produal-developed feature leads the field and can prove very useful in helping save energy.

Produal’s wireless transmitters handle a variety of parameters and communicate with the company’s FLTA base stations, monitoring room units for any malfunctions and low battery level.

Produal’s gas concentration transmitters are selective for specific gases, making them very accurate. The HML, for example, uses an electrochemical sensor element to measure carbon monoxide levels in outside temperatures as low as -30 °C. Produal’s self-calibrating CO2 transmitters are designed for both indoor and outdoor use and easy and fast installation.

Using the new HDH-RH module, three variables (CO2, temperature, and humidity) can be measured with one and the same transmitter. Additional modules can be added to single-use units to extend their capabilities as well.

This type of multiple measurement capability gives Produal’s products an important competitive advantage, as one unit can replace or do the work of a number of alternatives, making for simpler installation and maintenance.

Flexible wireless performance

Produal also delivers flexibility through its wireless transmitters. These communicate with the company’s FLTA base stations and can be configured for varying parameters and monitor room units for any malfunctions and low battery level. FLTA base stations also act as Modbus communication interfaces for sensor readings. The use of the open Modbus protocol is designed to ‘futureproof’ installations and ensure a maximally long service life.

The sophisticated HLS 34 enables set points and control fan speeds to be adjusted and can be connected to occupancy and CO2 sensors.

Produal’s wireless transmitters, which operate in the 868.30 MHz range and are powered by long-life lithium batteries, can incorporate a number of sensors, covering parameters such as humidity, temperature, motion, and light levels, depending on customer needs, using a mix of built-in features and add-on sensors as needed.

The performance of TEFLwireless rooms sensors located in difficult environments can be extended and boosted by the use of FLREP repeaters. Up to eight of these can be connected to one FLTA base station, with each repeater configured with its own repeater identification number and base station identification number when a system is commissioned.

Too hot or too cold?

A range of frost protection and fire alarm thermostats is also offered to guard against low or excessively high temperatures that could damage heating coils in air handling units and ductwork and lead to a potentially serious accident. These units can prove useful in the type of harsh winter conditions seen across Europe in 2009-2010 in areas not normally susceptible to these types of low temperatures.

Produal’s universal controllers, room temperature controllers, and power controllers offer a range of different features. The PDS 2, for example, is a universal design that can be configured for VENT or HEAT modes, with the former acting as a P/PI controller for air-conditioning systems and hot water supply, and the latter providing outdoor-compensated temperature regulation for a heating system.

The automatic zeroing capabilities of Produal’s differential pressure transmitters eliminate drift and make them self-calibrating, providing good long-term stability.

Produal offers a particularly comprehensive range of room temperature controllers, from basic standalone units such as the HLS 21, a two-stage controller for heating and cooling using thermal (PWM) actuators, to the sophisticated HLS 34, which features a Modbus link and the ability to adjust set points and control fan speeds and the possibility to connect occupancy and CO2 sensors.

This level of control can be very useful in saving energy in hotels and offices, enabling heating and lighting to be switched on and off when somebody enters their hotel room or leaves their office, for example, preventing energy being wasted on unnecessary heating and lighting.

> Ari Mårtensson
(Published in HighTech Finland 2010)