Greetings building science enthusiasts!
Welcome back to the old blog-a-roo for a few thoughts. As you probably already know, we regularly experiment in our office with technologies to vet products for our mechanical designs. Interestingly, we found a Spanish air side zoning product called Air Zone and the early results are positive.
It's an age old story: using traditional zoning design allows the one room with the thermostat to have all the control when it comes to thermal comfort. Then the fighting over the setpoint of the thermostat begins. Airzone has developed a system that allows for different setpoints to be achieved in different rooms using zoning technology and smart controllers.
We used One Zone VRF system to couple with the Mitsubishi PUMY unit we have in the office. In short, one existing compact ducted VRF system already separated into several zones. The idea is to use Airzone to allow for independent set points for each room.
What exactly is Airzone?
Airzone is a zoning system that communicates with a VRF system's control board to provide set-point independence. Each zone has its own damper controller and thermostat select set points.
By using automated dampers to regulate air flow from the VRF system into each of the zones, the central controller communicates with the VRF system in lieu of the manufacturers thermostat port. If a zone controller is calling for more air flow to satisfy setpoint then the damper will open up and allow more air to cool the zone. Each board can handle up to ten zones.
Overall the system was accessible and pretty easy to understand and the company offers strong support when questions come up. Once the dampers are installed they just need to be connected to each of their respective controllers and connected to the central control board. Airzone uses simple standard ports for easy installation and connections. From there the control board needs to be connected to the internet to use the wireless smart controllers or the app. Simple installation and implementation. The gallery below shows the control board, damper with wired connections, and one of the Airzone Think controllers that are being used in the office.
We'll report back with some more data-intensive reporting on the system and maybe even a podcast episode on the tech. Until then, stay cool out there. It's hot here in Texas.