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Open Controllers Featured at the BEST Center Annual Institute

A Contemporary Controls 22-point BACnet/IP Sedona open controller was given to each HVAC training school that attended the BEST Center Annual Institute hosted by Laney College in Oakland, CA (Jan. 3-6, 2018). Using free Sedona programming tools, the participants were led by Bob Clark of College of DuPage in configuring and programming their controllers to execute a simple HVAC application. Participants were given a switch box and thermistors that they were required to wire to the controller. Once participants became familiar with the controllers, they can develop their own curriculum on how these controllers can be used to train their HVAC students at their schools. Approximately 35 schools were represented.

BEST stands for Building Efficiency for a Sustainable Tomorrow and the BEST center promotes better building performance through the advancement of building science and technician education. Sponsored by the National Science Foundation's Advanced Technology Education program, this national collaboration unites 2-year community and technical colleges, 4-year universities and industry partners to support advanced educational programs in heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, refrigeration, control systems, building automation and energy management. Peter Crabtree from Laney College is the principal investigator. Co-principal investigators exist at Georgia Piedmont Technical College, Milwaukee Area Technical College and Lawrence Berkeley National labs (LBNL). To learn more about the center's goals and mission visit their website at

According to Bob Clark, "The Contemporary Controls' BAScontrol22 open controller is ideal for HVAC training centers with limited budgets. The free BAScontrol toolset runs on a PC and includes a BASemulator, Sedona Applications Editor (SAE) and the BASbackup utility. Just by having a PC, the student can configure his BACnet points on his emulated controller using a browser, program his application using SAE, test his application by forcing points with a browser before transferring the emulated program to a real controller using BASbackup." For advanced training, Contemporary Controls provides a library of sequences and pre-built apps that will execute the sequences.

In addition to DDC training, there were several presenters from the industry discussing topics such as microgrids, professional certifications, retro-commissioning, energy audits and climate change. One day of data logger training was held at the FLEXLAB at LBNL.

The 2018 BEST Center Annual Institute was excellent and its mission to train HVAC professionals in meeting the sustainability needs of our smart buildings is worthy.

Best Institute

Bob Clark of College of DuPage leads the BEST participants in DDC training using Contemporary Controls BACnet/IP Sedona open controllers.


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