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Hands-On Training Prepares Students for Building Automation Industry Careers

At Contemporary Controls, we take great pride in our commitment to HVACR education and training. We have worked with several affiliated colleges and technical schools to create practical automation classroom/lab experiences that prepare students for success in today's high-tech HVACR industry.

College of DuPage (COD) in Glen Ellyn, Illinois offers associate and certificate HVACR programs to qualify students for positions as technicians and mechanics, installers, stationary operators, managers, contractors, and HVACR business owners. The HVACR school is located on campus at the new Technical Education Center (TEC) and includes a state-of-the-art HVACR lab.

COD offers a Building Automation Systems (BAS) certificate program to prepare students for this growing field that merges traditional HVACR knowledge with computer and IT skills. Within this program, the course "Building Automation Systems with Object-Oriented Programming I" utilizes Contemporary Controls' BAScontrol22 controllers to introduce students to BACnet and Local Operating Network (LON) protocols using Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) in the building automation industry.

"With these courses we are developing a framework for HVACR educators across the country to teach technicians to think critically and creatively in BAS programming. Creative thinking inspires innovation," said Bob Clark, professor in the HVACR department who developed the certificate program. "Instead of following the same old prescribed template, we want students to be able to develop new solutions and solve their own problems."

Students are using the BAScontrol22 to program devices that are part of a BAS. For one of their projects, students are programming the controller to replace a furnace controller's sequence of operation. "While this class focuses on programming, the next level course will build upon what they learn, and it will utilize Contemporary Controls' BASView3 graphical interface and controllers with client functionality to commission our lab equipment so that we can bring the control to our classroom.

I want to engage and challenge students to develop their own tactics for programming a device, solving problems that arise, and being able to prove these solutions. The BAScontrollers and the BAScontrol Toolset help us achieve this," said Clark. "The controllers' open architecture allows us to bring real-world scenarios into the classroom. With the development of the BASemulator, students can download the controller and their assignments on their laptop which allows them to explore solutions and gain a deeper understanding from the convenience of their own home."

Built upon BACnet open protocol and Sedona open-source programming language, Contemporary Controls' BAScontrol series of controllers are license-free and are available to all without restrictions. Students manipulate their controllers by downloading the free BAScontrol Toolset, which is a free set of tools used to program, test, archive, and restore BASautomation controllers. It includes the BASemulator to emulate controller operation on a Windows PC, the Sedona Application Editor (SAE) to create function block wiresheet applications in the Sedona environment, and BASbackup to save, restore, and replicate real or emulated controller settings and Sedona wiresheet applications.

In addition to the free BAScontrol Toolset, Contemporary Controls offers a set of pre-built Sedona applications available for free download. These applications come complete with a pre-assigned BACnet points list, sequence of operation, system schematic, and suggested device list.

Contemporary Controls strives to help students "Build on BACnet" in building automation and energy management systems and teach them how to facilitate a robust and low-cost HVACR/BAS automation system with controller programming, network integration, building supervision, and secure remote access. Learn more by reviewing Education and Training Handout (PDF).


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