Transformative Wave

“The Catalyst HVAC Retrofit and Building Automation system is an excellent example of a product that drives energy efficiency through innovative technology. This product can significantly improve the energy efficiency of buildings and HVAC systems.”
–Energy Manager Today Awards judge

The CATALYST is an HVAC Retrofit and Building Automation Solution (BAS). When installed to rooftop-units (RTUs), it transforms HVAC assets into smart machines. By combining a Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) with Demand Control Ventilation (DCV) and both advanced and predictive economization, the CATALYST reduces energy usage by up to 50%.

Enabling customers to go beyond HVAC asset control, the CATALYST solution can grow into a BAS that enables control of other building assets such as lighting and refrigeration. Developed on an open-source platform, the CATALYST can integrate with existing or legacy technology, or be deployed as a complete BAS. Additional features such as Automated Fault Detection & Diagnostics, Dehumidification, and Indoor Air Quality Assurance, ensures that CATALYST not only decreases energy cost and consumption, but also increases customer comfort and safety.

The CATALYST achieves energy savings in three ways: it converts an RTU’s constant fan speed fan to multi-speed operation using the VFD which saves energy; it uses a carbon dioxide sensor in the return air stream to enable Demand Control Ventilation (DCV) and ensure proper ventilation for occupants; and it uses outdoor temperature and relative humidity sensors to provide predictive economizing.

The CATALYST understands when the space has a cooling disposition but has not yet warmed up to the cooling setpoint and will start economizing early to delay the need for compressor-based cooling until later in the day. Using integrated, differential dry-bulb economizing with a dew-point lock-out, it prevents bringing in humid air, reducing costs.

Its set of automated FDD features notifies users of fan belts slipping before they fail, compressor and heating system failures, if outdoor air dampers are stuck, and when an asset is using abnormally large amounts of energy.

Utilities across the country have ramped up prescriptive incentive programs covering 30 to 70 percent of the installed cost, and the CATALYST typically delivers a simple payback between one and four years. It has a customer base of nearly 300 clients and over 6500 installations.

“This is an area where building owners can see large savings,” said a judge. “It’s an excellent product that saves energy and helps the environment.”

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