Monday, December 20, 2010

LoopLink Update

If you made it here from the email we sent, then you have already heard about some of the key new features we brought into this update like Fixed Length Mode and the all new RaceTrack Configuration. So we will start this post with the list of less obvious improvements we have made to LoopLink over the past couple of months and then get into the details of the big additions.

  • Zone balance point temperature for supplemental heating calculated and displayed on screen.
  • Desuperheater hot water generation calculations modified for increased accuracy in the cooling mode.
  • Open loop pumping power calculations include static water level and increased pumping power due to “lifting head”.
  • Commas in input fields are now allowed.
  • Pie chart added to zone printout.
  • Nearly 250 bin data locations have been added.
  • Northern Heat Pump, Johnson Controls and Comfort-Aire equipment added to the database.

Now let’s look at some the bigger changes we made in a little better detail.

Fixed Length Mode

This is the biggest feature you didn't know you were missing. Through our trainings we have noted that a lot of drillers and installers have a basic assumption about how much bore per ton will get the job done in their area. Sometimes they are right and sometimes, they are wrong but the approach stuck with us.

We created a tool that allows the user to specify the length of the bore, trench, pit or track that they think will handle the load for the project and the software then works out what the minimum and maximum entering water temperatures (EWTs) will be based on the specified length instead of the other way around.

Fixed Length Mode is perhaps most powerful as an optimization tool. Create your project and get your GHEX configuration set up near to where you would like it. Then switch into Fixed Length Mode and get the most accurate performance and economic model possible with the adjusted EWTs.

RaceTrack Configuration

This was a user idea and we are thankful for it. We had heard about the racetrack configuration being used but we didn't realize how popular this method is until you told us. The RaceTrack Configuration is built into your options for the horizontally trenched GHEX design page. We hope we have met and exceeded your expectations for this tool.

Remember to keep your ideas coming, we only get better with focused improvement and there is no better lens to focus our attention through than your needs.

Active Error Detection

Once you see it, you will wonder why it wasn't always there (we sure did). Instead of waiting for you to save your inputs to check for errors we have created active error detection which will keep you on track as you enter your data. This doesn't work for every field in the system since some errors can't be recognized until after we get info back to the server and run some calculations. We think you will be pleasantly surprised with this simple yet effective change in how you work with LoopLink.

Enhanced Real Time Update

By real time update we are referring to LoopLink's output of your results once there is sufficient information input on a page and the constant refreshing of that data as you change numbers.  Seems like a trivial thing after years of experience with desktop applications but this feature of LoopLink is actually something that took us quite a while to get working correctly over the internet (without forcing you to save every time you wanted new results.)

As the number of LoopLink users grew, we learned that users with slower connection speeds and/or more complicated projects would experience delays in the real time update. So, we reworked our update engine to be more efficient. If you have had problems in the past we hope we have gotten all the kinks worked out and gotten this feature really working well for you.

That pretty much covers the highlights of this update. Let us know what you think!