Case Study

Defense Contractor - Merrimack, NH


This multi-building campus type facility located off of Route 3A in Merrimack, NH serves as an engineering, research and manufacturing facility.


Each building has their own dedicated mechanical systems.  The types of systems include:

Water Source Heat Pumps
Rooftop Gas Heating/DX Cooling
DX Cooling/Hot Water Heating Units
DX Cooling with Electric Heating
Cooling Towers
Makeup Air Units with Heat Reclamation
Integrated Lighting Control

The first phase of this project was to control the heat pumps in the Environment Test Facility.  This project commenced in the mid 1980's.  The initial equipment was manufactured by American Auto-Matrix and included 5 RCU's connected to a SAC2.  This equipment provided fire, security and HVAC control for the facility for nearly 10 years before being upgraded. 

In 1989, R. L. Shields Associates was chosen to provide system engineering as well as programming services for the new areas as well as the upgrades to existing areas.  R. L. Shields Associates was also involved in maintaining the fire and security systems for the complex until their conversion in the mid 1990's.

For all the new controlled equipment, the American Auto-Matrix SOLO series controllers were used.  These included SOLO/RX's, SOLO/HX's and SOLO/MX's.  The SOLO products initially fed into STAR panels that were then connected via Fiber Optic and standard trunk wire to a SAC3.  As new products evolved, the SAC3 was later replaced with SAGE MAX's at each STAR location.  The STAR's and SAC3 were eliminated.

Since there were many different types of mechanical systems at this facility, color graphics was a cornerstone in make the system operator friendly.  American Auto-Matrix's EtherView was used for it's graphics and hosting ability.  It allowed the SAGE MAX's to be connected to the host computer using 10mb Ethernet, thus making system expansion simple and inexpensive. 

In the second half of the 1990's, the owners began experimenting with using the facilities corporate Ethernet to act as the network for the control panels.  This eliminated the need for the dedicated Ethernet cable that was initially installed.   With this new approach, the facilities can be monitored from any location that is connected to their Ethernet.

The facilities mechanical system automation project was substantially completed in 1997.  The completed system will allow the HVAC technicians (currently 2) to monitor, control and troubleshoot HVAC equipment controlling 6+ buildings.


For more information on this project, contact:

R. L. Shields Associates, Inc.
27 Wentworth Drive
Bedford, NH 03110
603-472-7431 (Voice)
603-472-7395 (Fax) (E-Mail)

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Copyright R. L. Shields Associates, Inc. All rights reserved.

STAR, RCU, SAC3, SOLO/HX, SOLO/RX,  SOLO/MX, SOLO/MC, SAGE MAX and EtherView are trademarks of American Auto-Matrix, Inc.