Racing Into HVAC

People who know me well know that I am an avid fan of Formula 1 and MotoGP motorcycle racing.  In both of those racing series this year there is a team that is running away with the championship.  In the case of Formula 1 it is Infinity Red Bull Racing.  In the case of MotoGP it is Honda.  Unless you follow both sports and peel back the layers a little you might not realize how much technology sharing there is between the two premier classes.


How Controls Software Makes the Difference in Racing and in HVAC

At this point you are probably wondering where I am going with this.  After all, what does racing technology have to do with HVAC?  Well, the connection is the impact of "control software".

The Infinity Red Bull team uses Renault engines but they are not the only team that uses those same engines.  However, Red Bull has developed a "factory" version of the engine control software that limits wheel spin when exiting turns and, as a result, they are wining many races by large margins.

Honda's factory team is also not the only Honda MotoGP bike on the starting grid.  But the "factory" team has engine control software that also limits wheel spin as well as gyroscopic sensing derived from the Honda Asimo robot that allows the factory bike to apply power more quickly than the non-factory bikes.

In both of these cases the other teams using the same basic mechanical components and technologies are developing their own control software packages.  But, without the benefit of factory "inside knowledge" of how the mechanical and control elements mesh, the results are just not quite as good.

Over the last 14 years Mestex, Dallas, has been implementing factory developed digital controls on our equipment.  The control software in our products has been developed using years of field and testing experience that provides unique insights into how quickly our mechanical elements respond, how heat transfer is accomplished within our equipment, and how air moves through our cabinets.  All of that information is "baked in" to our control algorithms.

From time to time well-meaning controls contractors choose to override the factory controls, or circumvent them altogether by asking us to install their control packages, and more often than not the HVAC equipment simply does not perform as well as it could.  We try to provide as much flexibility in our controls for the contractor and end user as we believe the overall system can accommodate. 

When the "factory" controls are not used in an HVAC product the results can be the same as what we see in racing.  The product may continue to operate but it will most likely come up a bit short of the finish line.

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