Timer and Time Clock Tech
Steve Mauer, IMEEarly timers were simple, electro-mechanical devices. Interval timers used a set time-period for load control. For instance, I used interval timers to control fans in cooling sheds. Using a 10-minute interval timer, the fans were set to come on two minutes out of every 10.
Other timers have up to a 24-hour interval with as many as 12 on/off operation settings. They are often used to control lighting, signs, fans and conveyors. Pool heaters, blowers and pumps can be connected to them as well.
If equipped with a manual override, operation points can be bypassed without disturbing the timer settings.
Electronic controls bring precision
Most of the new timers and time clocks on the market are electronically controlled. This gives the installer and user a more precise control over operations. For example, instead of a repetitive schedule, day after day, the timer can be set up with different on/off schedules for each day in a 7-day cycle.
One of the benefits is taking advantage of non-peak times to reduce the need for powering up equipment, reducing electricity costs. For example, when used to control lights signage, the sign is not lighted on days the business is closed, such as weekends.
If a restaurant has certain days with extended hours, that scenario can be programed into the timer's scheduling. The employees don't need to remember to turn or keep the sign on. It's automatically handled.
Controlling timers wirelessly
The technician, maintenance team member, or owner doesn’t need to be physically present to check or reset timer programming. Some timers are controlled by smartphone, tablet or PC through a web-based interface. The interface can be used to set light and load schedules. Additionally, real-time alerts are sent via the interface to warn of load damage or power losses.
Photo courtesy of Intermatic