Frequently Asked Questions

Technical Q&A

Q. When I register my gateway I get the message “Invalid serial number or unreachable Gateway.” How do I fix this?

A. This usually means that the Gateway is unable to connect to the Internet through your Firewall. In this case you will need to contact your IT department and provide the following information.

The Pelican Wireless Gateway requires the ability to make outbound TCP connections from the local network to the Internet. By default the Gateway will request a local IP address using DHCP. This is identical to any standard computer or laptop which is attached to the local network. Alternatively the Gateway can be given a static IP address (Contact Pelican Technical Support for assistance in setting a static address). The Gateway does not require a public IP address and does not require any inbound ports to be opened on the Firewall. The Gateway will need to initiate 2 outbound TCP connections through the Firewall. The first one is on port 9742. The second one will be assigned to the Gateway once it makes its first connection to the Pelican Servers. This second port will be in the range of 9800-11000.

Pelican recommends modifying the firewall configuration to allow unrestricted outbound connections based on the MAC address of the Wireless Gateway. The MAC address is printed on the front of the Gateway.

If network security policy is more restricted, the firewall configuration can be modified to either allow outbound connections on the range of ports listed above or to restrict the connections to ports 9742 and the assigned port. Once port 9742 has been opened contact Pelican Technical support at to find out the unique port which has been defined for your site.

Q.  How do I access my installed thermostats?

A.  Using the Pelican Web App in any compatible browser, each customer creates a name for each site. If your site were named “Pelican”, you would access https://pelican.officeclimatecontrol.net where you log into your site in the cloud. This Web App can then be saved as an Icon on your smartphone, tablet, P.C. etc. From this point you simply click on the icon just like an App and it takes you to your site.

Q. Do your wireless thermostats have to be configured to work on my Wi-Fi network?

A. No. Pelican Wireless Systems utilizes the 802.15.4 wireless standard. The standard was designed to be compatible and coexist with the Wi-Fi standard 802.11. Because of their design, they can coexist in the same frequency channels. However, the 802.15.4 standard allows for 2 extra narrow channels which are normally not utilized by Wi-Fi. While Pelican products are capable of operating in any of the defined channels, by default they operate in channel 26 (2.480 MHZ) which means that they are completely unnoticed in standard Wi-Fi installations.

Q.  I would like to run the Fan during the day and switch it to Auto at night. How do I set the thermostat to do this?

A.  Each ?set time in the thermostat schedule can be independently set to adjust the Fan setting. To enable this: Go to Admin->Thermostat Setup and change the “Multiple Fan Settings” to “Yes”. Then when you go to your schedule settings the Fan choice will be settable for each schedule set time.

Q.  How can I tell if I have conventional system or heat pump?

A.  It is best to consult the documentation from your equipment manufacturer, however if your heat is either gas or oil then your system is typically conventional and if your system is all electric then it is usually heat pump.

Q.  We have heat pumps and your color coding numbers match up with the wiring in the existing thermostats. They have a small jumper wire between Y and W1 do I need this jumper with your thermostat?

A.  No, do not install a jumper between “Y” and “W1”. Generally thermostats with “Y” and “W1” jumper also have a separate “O” or “B” connection.  In this case, the wire from the “Y” terminal on the old thermostat should be connected to the “Y” terminal on the Pelican thermostat and the wire from the “O” or “B” terminal should be connected to the “W” terminal on the Pelican thermostat.

Q. Does my Internet connection need to be always connected?

A.  Internet connectivity is not required at all times. It is used for 3 things:

1. To store historical temperature and usage data on the Pelican Site Manager servers.
2. To gain access remotely from your smartphone or web browser.
3. Initially on power up to retrieve the current date and time.

The thermostat will continue to operate normally even without Internet Connectivity.

Q.  Is there a back-up default built into the thermostats and if so is this programmable?

A.  All settings are stored in the thermostat and a backup of those settings is stored automatically in our server’s database.

Q.  Our current thermostats have a battery back-up. Following a power outage do the Pelican thermostats automatically reset or do they have an internal brain?

A.  They have an internal brain and remember all settings. They also automatically retrieve the current day and time from the Internet once they start up.

Q.  Will thermostats create their own identity within the system and can they have unique names i.e. front office, conference room, etc.?

A.  Yes, initially they will be identified by serial number (which can be found on a label on the bottom edge of each thermostat).  The first thing you will be asked to do when a new thermostat is detected is configure the new thermostat.  Then you will be able to assign them easy to remember names.

Q.  Will each thermostat log itself on as I install them?

A.  Yes, thermostats are automatically added to your site as you install them.

Q.  How does the Cycles per Hour work?

A.  The “Cycles per Hour” setting only applies to Heat and Cool.  It does not apply to the Fan.  This setting is a target “maximum”.  If the Heat or Cool are not needed there will be no system cycles during an hour. The “Cycles per Hour” is designed to limit systems from turning on and off too many times per hour and it should generally be set to the manufacturers recommendations.  For example, some manufacturers recommend not cycling the system more than 3 times per hour.  To keep the temperature near the thermostat set point the thermostat may prefer to run the system for a shorter duration more often.  The thermostat learns over time how the installed system runs and automatically increases the duration it runs (and thereby decrease the number of times it needs to run) in order to achieve the target “Cycles per Hour”.  Of course this means that the actual temperature range the thermostat maintains will be wider.  If there is no limit on the number of cycles per hour, setting it to the maximum of 6 will allow the thermostat to maintain the temperature within the narrowest margin.

Q.  What is the range of the wireless signal?

A.  The average installed range of the wireless signal between products is 150 feet. Because, each thermostat operates as a wireless repeater, range usually becomes a non-issue. Since thermostats are typically spread evenly throughout a building they will automatically form a mesh network and forward wireless messages to distant thermostats. This allows successful communication over thousands of feet without problems. In the event that a thermostat is unable to communicate with the wireless network because of distance, Pelican Wireless Systems offers Wireless Repeaters which can be installed to bridge long distances.

Q.  How do I use the Group Name in the thermostat configuration?

A.  Group Names are a simple way to group multiple thermostats together.  When Group Names are used, the Site Manager main menu will show each Group.  Selecting that group will bring up all of the thermostats sharing that group name on the next page.  If the Group Name is left blank, the default menu item shown on the main page will be “Climate Control”.  For sites with less than 5 thermostats we recommend leaving the Group Name’s blank for all thermostats.  Then all of the thermostats will be viewable under the heading “Climate Control”. NOTE: When adding or deleting group names, the main site manager menu will not show the correct list of group names until you Reload the Site Manager display.

Q. What management equipment do I need on my site to make all of this work?

A. Absolutely nothing. All of the servers sit in the Cloud, and are accessed via yourcustomername.officeclimatecontrol.net Previous systems that allowed similar types of control offered by Pelican Wireless have required dedicated servers to be purchased for these applications and exist at the customer premise. On site staff needed to be trained on these dedicated systems and servers with software needed to be purchased and maintained by the customer. With the leverage of cloud based computing, all of the servers needed to enable these high end tasks now sit in the cloud. They are accessed by an easy to use, simple to understand web browser interface. This web browser can be run on any smart device such as a smartphone, tablet, or desktop computer. Data is accessed by these devices anywhere the customer has an internet connection and by any smart device. “Push” notifications of alarm conditions can be sent to any contact deemed appropriate by property staff via text or email. This functionality typically allows maintenance staff to react proactively to a condition rather than re-actively improving customer satisfaction by having proactive actionable information.

Q. How does your system automatically shut itself off based on customer checkout?

A.  One critical component of our system is our plug based PMS interface computer. This small form factor computer interfaces directly to the hotel PMS (property management system), and detects the status of room change from “occupied” to “vacant”. When room status changes to vacant, the HVAC is turned off automatically, or to a property standard set back temperature or “comfort setting”. Most customers have the system turn to “off” immediately upon customer checkout. Upon new customer check-in, the system can be configured to come on to a comfort setting such as 68 degrees for heat and 72 degrees for cool. This assures the room is in a comfort zone desirable to a typical customer when the customer gets to the room.

Q.  How do I use the Group Name in the thermostat configuration?

A.  Group Names are a simple way to group multiple thermostats together. When Group Names are used, the Site Manager main menu will show each Group. Selecting that group will bring up all of the thermostats sharing that group name on the next page. If the Group Name is left blank, the default menu item shown on the main page will be “Climate Control”.  For sites with less than 5 thermostats we recommend leaving the Group Name’s blank for all thermostats.  Then all of the thermostats will be viewable under the heading “Climate Control”. NOTE: When adding or deleting group names, the main site manager menu will not show the correct list of group names until you Reload the Site Manager display.

Q. Why are my thermostats shown in red on the Network Map?

A. The color shown on the Network Map for each thermostat identifies it’s reach ability. If the Icon is white then the thermostat is able to communicate over the wireless network.  If it is red, then the thermostat appears unreachable.  Statistics about the network are accumulated over several hours. Therefore, newly installed thermostats may appear red even though they are functioning correctly. The network statistics just haven’t had enough time to update. Please allow several hours for these statistics to properly reflect the status of a new thermostat.

Q. How do I request an After Hours Usage Report for my tenants?

A. For customers who need to bill tenants for After Hours HVAC Usage, Pelican Technical Support provides automatic delivery of an After Hours Usage Report on a monthly basis. There is no charge for this service. The report will be emailed monthly to the customer’s designated email addresses. A sample of the report can be found on the Pelican Website under Technical Briefs and is titled: “Tenant Billing: After Hour Usage Reports”. To request this service please send email to support@pelicanwireless.com. Please include the following information so we can set up the system to generate the report:

1. Name of the site (ie. yoursite.officeclimatecontrol.net).
2. List of email addresses to receive the report.
3. List of thermostats at the site which should be included on the report.
4. For each thermostat, the normal business hours (including Saturday business hours if applicable).
5. For each thermostat, the hourly after hours tenant billing rate.

You must configure the thermostat Input Power Consumption in the Thermostat Setup of your Pelican Site Manager. In addition, the Cost/Kwh and Cost/Therm must be entered in the Site Configuration. These parameters allow the system to properly report operating costs during after hours usage.

The report is provided as an Excel Spreadsheet. For the report to display properly the emailed spreadsheet must be downloaded and then opened using a spreadsheet application. By providing a spreadsheet report customers can review the report and make any necessary adjustments prior to billing their tenants.

Sales Q&A

Q. I have lots of remote sites that I would like to control from one location. Can Pelican Wireless help with this?

A. Absolutely. Whether you are a chain of hotels, a bank with hundreds of locations, a fast food chain, a medical practice with lots of remote locations, or a distributed building college campus, Pelican allows for all of your remote sites to be accessed from whatever logical configuration you might prefer. For example you could have regional sites only accessible to sites within their region, while national headquarters might want access to all sites. It is limitless as to how flexible access to the cloud based information can be set up. All you need is internet connectivity.

Q. In addition to traditional thermostat functionality, what is special about the Pelican thermostat?

A. Our thermostats have four operational functions. 1. They function as a simple to use thermostat for the customer. 2. The gather real time information regarding the installed environment and upload that data to our cloud based servers. 3. They function as wireless routers. 4. They function as network repeaters.

Q. What are some other benefits of your system besides automated shutoff or turn on for hotels.

A. We have found that while our primary automated features enabled by interfacing directly to a hotel’s PMS drive HVAC savings of between 30% and 35%. There are equal and sometimes larger savings to be derived by our real time energy audit capabilities. Hotel rooms are unique in that they are of similar size and most have identical HVAC systems installed whether it is PTACs, 2 pipe, or 4 pipe systems. This commonality allows us to analyze data from like rooms and assign performance metrics to like systems. As an example a room rated a 1 or poor take ten times as long to do the same job as a room rated a 10. We often find that a significant percentage of rooms are operating below a level 6 and are in need of immediate maintenance. Until now, there hasn’t been a way to identify what systems are working well and don’t need service and systems that are operating below reasonable efficiency and require service. These systems often will run non-stop as long as a customer is occupying a room completely incapable of achieving the customer’s desired set point. This audit capability also enables a level of knowledge for maintenance staff that simply hasn’t been available until now. Typically servicing units that rate at a 6 or below once discovered nets cost savings of another 20% to 30% for an average hotel environment. In addition, equipment life is extended as poorly performing units will get repaired when necessary. The additional customer service benefit is that hotel guests won’t be the first to recognize when a system isn’t working properly.

Q. Your solution seems like it might be ideal for the University housing market?

A. Absolutely. Students are infamous for turning on heating or cooling and leaving the windows open. They also leave for long breaks and leave temperatures set as they were still on premise. This is fine if mom and dad are paying the utility bill, but in dorm rooms and university managed rooms HVAC cost is usually included in the monthly bill. We have both scheduling, and proactive notifications that alert university staff that these always on conditions exist as well as give them the tools to take action without having to go on site. During scheduled shutdowns such as spring break, administrative staff can setup “vacation mode” in their schedule which shuts down all resources when unoccupied.

Q. Our hotel has PTAC’s installed with no thermostats. Do you have a solution for this application?

A.  Yes we do. We make a PTAC control module with hooks up directly to the PTAC, we then offer a wireless battery powered thermostat that can be mounted anywhere convenient in the hotel room. The wireless remote thermostat controls the PTAC control unit from the wall. This solution is ideal for someone wanting to add thermostat control and energy management, but doesn’t want the hassle or cost of installing new wiring in the walls. This bundle is Pelican Wireless part number BUN-PTAC1. We also have other configurations for wired remote thermostats etc. if your site requires.

Q. Do you make devices to control other items such as lighting or televisions?

A. In our research we have found that HVAC related energy consumption typically accounts for approximately 50% of energy consumption. While we have the ability to produce intelligent plugs that would provide this functionality, the cost to benefit ratio of savings is much harder to justify for these other appliances. A building or hotel owner would be better served to replace lights with CFLs (compact fluorescent), or even better for the environment LED bulbs. This would reduce consumption of lighting up to 75% immediately vs. the cost of plug based controllers. By reducing energy consumption of the HVAC system by 30% to 35% our system typically represents a return on investment of 10-11 months.

Q. What if I have multiple hotels or buildings? Can I manage them from a regional or corporate site?

A.  Yes, as long as you have internet access and are authorized to log in, you can gain full access to this information on a site by site basis.

Q.  Do I need to order a different thermostat depending on whether my system is conventional or heat pump?

A.  No, the same thermostat handles both conventional and heat pump systems.  The system type is selected during the thermostat setup.

Q. How can you possibly offer this solution as inexpensively as you do?

A. Through innovation what looks like a simple thermostat to a customer is really a very sophisticated endpoint device encompassing the following functionality. 1. It is a real time data gathering computer. 2. It functions as a TCP/IP router. 3. It functions as a repeater. With technological advancement we have been able to design all of this functionality into a small form factor and in a truly affordable device. We then utilize our cloud based computing model and leverage its cost savings by sharing data, application data bases, and historical data for many customers on that singular platform. This eliminates the need for the customer to have any equipment on site. All data, statistics, reporting etc. is available with our premium cloud based subscription for only $2.99 per thermostat per year. If you had a building, or hotel with 200 thermostats installed, your _yearly_ subscription rate would be 200 X 2.99 or $598 per year for the entire site.

Q. How many thermostats will one Gateway support?

A.  Generally only one Gateway will be needed for an entire site. A single gateway can support 2000 thermostats. For extremely large sites up to 16 Gateways may be installed and linked together under one site.

Q. How many thermostat can a Pelican Site Manager have in total?

A. Approximately 8,000. This would be sufficient capacity to equip even the largest hotels in the world.

Q. How does your system compare to motion sensor based systems?

A.  The major difference is that customer service is trusted to a motion sensor and the only way to verify it is working properly is that the customer doesn’t complain. We have heard many horror stories about customer going to bed in a hot climate with the temperature set to a comfortable setting to sleep, only to wake up with the room too hot to be comfortable. Typically they call the front desk angry and ask for repair. Most times they are told to wave their arms to get the system to recognize they are in the room. Recognizing the system will shut off again when they go back to sleep they typically ask if there is a way to “defeat” the system? The front desk staff are usually in the unenviable position of telling the customer sorry but no. In the hotel industry customer service drives everything. Motion sensor systems sound good on paper, but our philosophy is that when the customer is paying good money for the room, they should be in charge of the comfort of their room. To make matters worse, there is no type of management system that allows customers to see what is going on in guestrooms in real time, or give them the tools to truly take total control of HVAC resources without risking customer satisfaction. That was until Pelican Wireless Systems re-imagined what state of the art HVAC energy management could and should be!

Q.  How many internet gateways do I need for my site?

A. Typically only one. Since our intelligent thermostats function as both routers and repeaters, the more of them you install, the stronger your network will get. We recommend installing an entire site before doing configuration as the devices will not only build a stronger network, but navigate automatically around weak signal spots such as elevator shafts or metal walls.

Q.  How do I place an Icon on my android based smartphone home page for using the Site Manager App?

A.  Start by adding a bookmark to the Pelican Site Manager. This is done by pressing the “Menu” button on your smartphone while viewing the main Pelican Site Manager screen. Select “Add bookmark”. Once you have created the bookmark, go to you phone’s desktop. Long press on the desktop. Click “Shortcut”, Click “Bookmark” and then select the bookmark you created.

Q. How do I download the App for my iPhone/smartphone?

A. The App for managing your thermostats loads automatically by accessing your site using the browser on your iPhone. The Web-App is written in JavaScript and therefore can be used on most new smartphones.