Mission Control for Commercial Fireplaces: The Control Panel
Modern technology has created all-in-one fireplace control panels that are small, lightweight, and filled with convenient features. While these control boards are great for residential fireplaces, there’s a few reasons why they are not designed for use in commercial applications.
We’re taking a look at why Montigo chooses to use custom designed external control panels for our commercial fireplace line.
Control Panel Diagnostics
The Montigo control panel contains a variety of components designed to adjust fireplace features and display diagnostic issues with the unit. As any technician knows, its easier to troubleshoot a fireplace from an external panel. It’s easier than removing (sometimes multiple) panes of glass, burner media, and components to get at a control board located at the base of a unit.
Inverters control the speed and direction of the power vents. They also function as a diagnostic display that can indicate a variety of faults that may arise during installation and operation.
The use of an inverter gives you much more control and technical information than other manufacturers that control their power vents with a general rheostat.
Using an internal inverter also allows us to use three phase power at the power vent. This is beneficial because three phase power runs at a lower amperage than single phase, limiting strain on a power vent motor, allowing longer power vent life. Lower amperage also means it is less expensive to operate, which can be important for a fireplace designed to run 24/7/365.
Relays & Trouble Lights
The control panel has a series of relays to display a variety of issues including pressure switch trips, purge timer failure, and issues with the power vent.
A mechanical room is best practice for the location of the control panel. Keep in mind visual contact with the fireplace while in front of the panel makes the repair process much easier.
A minimum 2″ clearance around the control panel is required for adequate ventilation. Never mount the control panel within a recessed enclosure. Surface mount the control panel to allow for heat dissipation.
Our control panels contain relays that generate an audible “chatter” sound. We recommend keeping the panels in a soundproof location away from living areas.
Example Control Panel
- Connections – Labelled connections for each fireplace component.
- Fuse Panel – Standard glass or ceramic fuses (6mm x 30mm). Amperage is labelled below each set of fuses.
- Power Vent Inverter – Controls the speed of the power vent. Inverter is programmed at the factory to the specific power vent assigned to each job, and is adjustable on-site.
- COOL-Pack Inverter – Adjustable speed controls for the cool-pack fans.
- Transformers – Easily replaceable transformers for 110v to 24v stepdown.
- Relays w/LED – When the fireplace is operating normally all of the led lights will be on. To assist in troubleshooting, the relays will shut off to indicate which fireplace safety has tripped, which part of the system is keeping the fireplace from lighting, or if the flame goes out. NOTE: The Heat Limit/Motor Overload relay does not contain an LED, if there is an issue, the red light at the end of the block of relays will illuminate instead.
- Pre-Purge Timer – When the fireplace wall switch is turned on, the pre-purge timer runs the power vent for 1 minute before the gas valve turns on to exhaust any latent gases in the fireplace/vent run.
- Post-Purge Timer – When the fireplace wall switch is turned off, the post-purge timer runs the power vent for 3 minutes to exhaust any residual gases from the fireplace/vent run.
- Power Vent Reversal Switch – Easily switch direction of the 3-phase power vent fan motor.
- The control panel generally ships attached to the side of the fireplace and it must be removed before installation.
- 50′ of control cable is included to mount the panel away from the unit. If additional distance is needed, then up to 150′ of cable can be specified on the order form.
- As a true custom fireplace manufacturer, we custom design each control panel, therefore it will differ from unit to unit.
- Refer to your specific manual for layout and startup sequence.
- Also controlled in the panel: dampers, pre and post purge, power vent output, and internal fan speed if equipped.
Montigo works closely with architects and designers to engineer, handcraft and install awe-inspiring, bespoke fireplaces for one-of-a-kind spaces. We collaborate with you to create a sense of space with our fireplaces.
For more information on working with Montigo’s Custom Commercial team to design the perfect fireplace for your project, visit the Professionals Resource Center.