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TREND IQ on supermarket shopping list


Twenty years ago, the Netto supermarket chain acquired its first Trend IQ building services controller. Today there is an IQ providing energy efficient control of the heating, ventilation and lighting in over 850 of the company’s stores across five European countries – with another being added each time a new shop is opened or an old one refurbished.

The model fitted in recent years has been the powerful and versatile IQ3xcite, whose modular design and highly flexible firmware are easily tailored to the stores’ diverse requirements. All the sites are managed and monitored remotely, using Trend ‘963’ supervisors.

Part of the Dansk Supermarket group, Netto opened its first food store almost thirty years ago, in Copenhagen. It now operates throughout Denmark and has also expanded into Germany, the UK, Poland and Sweden – bringing the total number of its branches to over 1100. At the beginning of this year (2009), Trend controls were in 337 of the shops in Denmark, 186 in Germany, 115 in the UK, 153 in Poland and 80 in Sweden, plus five of the company’s warehouses. With Netto planning to open a further 98 new outlets between March and the end of the year – and refurbish another 32 – Trend technology will soon be a feature of around 1000 of its stores.

All Nettos are neighbourhood stores and have a sales floor area of 500 – 1000m2, the newer ones tending to be the largest. Typically each site has a radiator heating circuit, a warm air curtain at the entrance and an air handling unit supplying tempered fresh air to the sales area – though in some of the older Danish stores there are no AHUs and the space is heated by radiators. Whereas some stores have boilers, many connect to a local district-heating scheme, especially those in Denmark. In the UK stores there is no radiator heating and, unlike elsewhere, the sales area is served by a direct gas-fired air heater. The various situations encountered are all catered for by a few standard H&V control strategies.

The lighting control strategy generally takes in the shop lights, the illuminated signage and the car park lighting. The lights within the store are switched in accordance with occupancy and opening times, there being two or three lighting levels. The luminaires are duty rotated to even out wear. Switching of the external and sign lights is both time-controlled and linked to natural light levels, allowing further energy savings.

As well as having to control and monitor heating, ventilation and lighting, the stores’ IQs also log the readings from water, electricity and gas or heat meters, which may include additional meters for monitoring the energy used by concessionaires.

Despite differences in plant arrangements and the requirements of particular countries and stores, a single IQ3xcite is always able to satisfy all of a site’s control and monitoring needs. The controller’s use of modular input/output units makes it easy to customise to any application. Typically, the Netto stores require a points count of something over 40 i/o, well within the IQ3xcite’s maximum capacity of 128.

Store personnel do not have access to controller settings, though they do have the facility to bring or keep on the heating and lighting for a pre-set time outside normal occupancy. Making adjustments, such as changing temperature setpoints or occupancy hours, is done from the remotely located 963 supervisors. These are also used for accessing monitored data, including energy consumption readings, and for receiving plant alarms.

Through the supervisor in his office, Netto’s International Technical Manager has access to every one of the Trend-controlled sites. The Technical Manager and Energy Technicians in each country have supervisors as well, enabling them to manage and monitor their national stores. The screen displays have been designed to a common standard that allows ease of operation and understanding, whatever the language used. The supervisors link to the stores’ controls over Netto’s IT network, allowing rapid, low-cost data communication.

The use of standard supervisor graphics and common control strategies has facilitated successful roll-out across the different regions. Though modifications are necessary to accommodate the different types of building services, the control philosophy always remains the same.

The stores’ controls have all been engineered and commissioned by local Trend VARs (value-added resellers). They are: MK Energistrying (Denmark), Westminster Controls (UK), Digitech GmbH (Germany), Sygnity Technology (Poland) and Geamatic Styr AB (Sweden).

In each country Netto is supported by its VAR and a Trend account manager, with Trend’s Danish office co-ordinating their activities. Every year Trend hosts a workshop that is attended by all of Netto’s Technical Managers and representatives from the VARs. The event provides an opportunity for sharing of good practice and agreeing any changes to the standard control strategies.
 

Email: casey.wells@trendcontrols.com


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News Categories : Building Management Systems
Supervisors and Displays
I/ O Devices
Rotary Damper Actuators
Linear Valve Actuators
Frequency Converters
Sensors and Switches