Overview and Benefits of a Digital Controller

Control panels are an important element of mechanical or electrical devices. They help regulate temperature, humidity, pressure and other factors while operating as a safety mechanism. With the advancement in the industrial segment, digital controllers are increasingly being used in various devices—especially in heaters and other HVAC devices.
An overview of the digital controller
A digital controller is microprocessor-based technology used for environmental controls. It logs electronic temperature measurements and checks them against desired settings. When the logged values differ with the set points, the digital controller sends out signals to start or stop a process. A control loop is comprised of three elements: the temperature controller, sensor and the controlled device that runs this mechanism. There are three steps involved in a control loop that controls a heater or any HVAC device.
1)      Environmental sensors measure the temperature.
2)      This data is compared with predefined values.
3)      A control action is initiated.
Modern heaters come with digital controllers. When the temperature of water is above the set point, the digital controller sends out a signal to stop the heating process. On the other hand, if the logged value is less than the set point, the digital controller sends out a signal to start the heating process. Digital controllers are used in a wide range of home and commercial appliances including: chillers, hot water pumps, chilled water pumps, cooling tower fans and all types of HVAC devices.
Benefits of digital controllers
When compared with traditional control panels, digital controllers offer several benefits:
Improved efficiency
Electrical sensors provide more accurate data when compared with traditional pneumatic sensors. Moreover, they consistently provide accurate results. Unlike pneumatic sensors, they do not drift out of calibration when excess loads are involved. Accurate data ensures effective safety mechanism.
Improved visibility
A digital controller offers a visible control panel that enables users to effectively manage the performance of the device. While the regular heating/cooling process is efficiently performed, any deviation in the temperature is immediately reported. The controller routes alarms to various locations on a network. In addition, you can analyze the trending patterns to resolve any technical issues of the device quickly.
Increased flexibility
Digital controllers more easily integrate with a computer system. This integration allows you to reconfigure the logic of the controller quickly and easily. You can change set points, reset schedules or completely alter the overall logic. You can use digital controllers for a wide range of applications including: fire alarm systems, lighting control systems, and security control systems.
Increased energy efficiency
The accurate data provided by electrical sensors enable you to manage the device effectively at optimal levels. You can increase the temperature to the required point. At the same time, you can control the temperature zone by zone or for a particular area. You can analyze trends and energy consumption patterns on a day-to-day basis. Optimal use of the device, improves energy efficiency while saving money on heating bills.

Get a quote on a control panel today. WATTCO also manufactures other industrial heating solutions such as immersion heaters, circulation heaters and pipe heaters. Browse all of our process heaters on the Our Products page.


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