It is nowadays one of the most common means of connecting electronic equipment in industrial applications, including automation, transportation and energy applications.
Modbus allows for communication between many devices connected to the same network, for example, a system that measures temperature and humidity and communicates the results to a computer and the computer controls the fan.
Modbus is often used to connect a supervisory computer with a remote terminal unit (RTU) in supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems. Its simplicity makes it a useful tool for achieving interoperability in building automation applications and Building Management Systems (BMS), and it can also be easily used over the internet.
Modbus is also used for fans in heating, ventilating and air conditioning applications (HVAC), especially where several fans are in operation. This will allow the computer to monitor a Rosenberg EC fan and for example, if one fails it allows the computer to increase the speed of the others while giving an alarm to which one needs investigating. This could be used to turn off the fans which are not required, thus saving energy.
Previous controls involved master/slave types, where a program drives the speed of a master fan, which then communicates to all others (referred as slaves). As a result, all fans would operate at the same time and the same speed. These controls were mechanically and electrically linked with an RS485 interface as a way of communication. The downside was that these were driven by proprietary systems and software, which would drive the fans as sole function and not communicate with anything else.
Rosenberg EC fans using Modbus allows the controls to be integrated with other systems within a Building Management System network. It also allows further types of controls, on top of master/slave configuration. Modbus control allows all fans to programme independently, depending on each position, location or operating point.
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