Kele Blog

Kele, Inc. Completes Acquisition of MIControls, Inc.

Acquisition strengthens both companies’ service to the Western United States

MEMPHIS, Tenn. and SEATTLE – Kele, Inc. today announced the acquisition of MIContols, Inc. The acquisition expands Kele’s footprint and enhances its ability to serve customers in the Western United States. MIControls, which is co-located in Seattle and Portland, Ore., will increase its service offering through new products, customer programs, and technology capabilities.

Kele President and CEO Richard Campbell says the move benefits both Kele and MIControls customers, and accomplishes another goal within Kele’s strategic growth plan.

“This strategic combination brings together two value-added distributors,” says Campbell. “It highlights both Kele’s and MIControls’ commitments to providing industry leading products and solutions to our customers.”

MIControls distributes building automation controls, industrial process controls, and instrumentation. The company is Kele’s second acquisition in the past nine months. Last October, Kele acquired Boston-based Control Cosultants, Inc. (CCI).

“With the CCI acquisition, Kele has seen success getting products closer to our customers in the Northeast from our Boston location,” says Campbell. “We look forward to accelerating our delivery and strengthening our ability to serve customers in the Western United States.”

The new entity will operate as separate brands. Campbell will serve as president and CEO of the combined company. Steve Roe will remain as president of MIControls and lead the Seattle location. Dave Innocenti will continue as vice president and lead the Portland office.

“MIControls is excited to join Kele,” says Roe. “Our customers will enjoy the same quality service they’ve experienced for nearly 100 years in this region. Aligning with Kele will provide them access to thousands more products, along with enhanced tools to help them win jobs. This enables us to continue delivering on our mantra, ‘We Sell Confidence.’”

Kele’s acquisition of MIControls was effective June 29, 2018. Blank Rome, LLP acted as legal counsel to Kele. Carney Badley Spellman, P.S. acted as legal counsel to MIControls, and Bernston Porter & Company, PLLC served as its financial advisor.

About Kele, Inc.

Kele, Inc. is a leading distributor of building automation products and controls solutions globally. Kele serves the $50+ billion building automation systems (BAS) market with more than 400 brands and 1.8 million parts in stock, including sensors, transmitters, switches, gauges, valves, actuators, relays, and more. Kele’s products can be integrated into existing buildings or new construction. Value-added services include custom panel assembly, specialized sourcing, and technical support. Strategically headquartered in America’s logistics hub, Memphis, Tenn., and with a regional location in Boston, Kele provides building automation and industrial customers with fast and reliable services. Kele is owned by private equity firm Snow Phipps, LLC. To learn more about Kele, visit

About MIControls, Inc.

MIControls, Inc. is the premier wholesale distributor serving the Pacific Northwest for building automation controls, industrial process controls, and instrumentation. MIControls traces its roots back to 1920 as the Therm Gas Generator Company of Seattle, which served the Washington State oil heat and the Alaska fishing fleet industries. A series of mergers and acquisitions between Therm Gas, Mortemp Company, and Portland-based Industrial Controls Company, led to the creation of MIControls, Inc. in 2001. For more information, visit

Achieving Energy Efficiency at Ted Glasrud Associates with Honeywell JADE Economizers

Ted Glasrud Associates (TGA) is a commercial and residential real estate development and property management firm with a wide variety of properties to manage. Because no two buildings are alike, the company and its maintenance team are continually challenged to optimize HVAC systems across a wide variety of building types. Continue reading “Achieving Energy Efficiency at Ted Glasrud Associates with Honeywell JADE Economizers”

Guidelines for Replacement of Old Fire and Smoke Actuators

For Belimo combination fire/smoke damper actuators intended for installation in accordance with National Protection Association Standard for Installation of Air Conditioning and Ventilating Systems, NFPA 90A, damper actuators must meet the construction and performance requirements in UL555: Standard for Fire Dampers and UL555S: Standard for Smoke Dampers. Often, customers replace damper actuators for varying reasons such as rusted, aged or damaged parts. Only an individual with field experience should replace these types of damper actuators. Continue reading “Guidelines for Replacement of Old Fire and Smoke Actuators”

Application Tips: Determining Air Flow in Cubic Ft./ Min

To calculate Air Flow in Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM), determine the Flow Velocity in feet per minute, then multiply this figure by the Duct Cross Sectional Area.

Air Flow in CFM (Q) = Flow Velocity in Feet Per Minute (V) x Duct Cross Sectional Area (A)

Continue reading “Application Tips: Determining Air Flow in Cubic Ft./ Min”

Selecting the Appropriate Pressure Transmitter

With so many choices, selecting a pressure transmitter can be a frustrating endeavor, but it doesn’t have to be. With a few simple steps, finding the right transmitter for your application can be considerably easier. Continue reading “Selecting the Appropriate Pressure Transmitter”

School’s almost out! Time for Kele to help you get in.

This time of year was always exciting when I was a kid. School would soon be out! The invitation of summer proved difficult to resist—time to recharge, hang out with friends, and pursue interests in ways not possible between September and June.  The only problem? It flew by much too quickly. (I know many of you can relate.) What I did not know, however, was all the activity going on at the school building while I was away. Three decades in the BAS industry have taught me a few things about that. And it’s why I still get excited this time of year! School may be out for students, but it is definitely in session for BAS contractors. Summertime is the time for retrofits, renovations, and upgrades. Opportunities for contractors abound inside facilities across K12 and university campuses. But just like my childhood summers, time flies. A significant amount of work must be completed in a narrow window of approximately 12 weeks. This short time frame presents a unique set of challenges. The wrong approach may compress profitability and prevent on-time completion. Don’t worry. Kele can help you across the entire process—from bidding and preparation, to pre-work offsite, to technical support, to product delivery. We can help you do it all in an easier way.  Here are some recommendations that will optimize your time and Continue reading “School’s almost out! Time for Kele to help you get in.”

Field Economizer Retrofit Guide

Is your economizer really working?

Did you know, according to our market research, that as many as 70% of economizer systems installed may not be functioning at optimum efficiency today? Conditions such as faulty control setting, incorrect wiring, installation, or commissioning, or rusted or jammed air dampers could be restricting the ability to experience “free cooling” in your customer’s building. A properly functioning economizer system means greater potential for energy savings.  The following principles, practices, troubleshooting tips, and suggested replacement options when servicing economizer systems are intended to help you provide a sellable solution that will save money for your customer. Continue reading “Field Economizer Retrofit Guide”

Outside Air Temperature Sensor Location

Typical OSA Temperature or RH Transmitters Mounting with Weather Shields:

Outside Air (OSA) sensor placement is critical to good HVAC performance. The OSA sensor must be mounted in the shade and never above building windows, doors, vents or dampers. Sensors should not be placed in direct sunlight as temperature readings can be altered by as much as +30%. The ideal shaded location in the Northern Hemisphere is on the north side of the building. Note that in the Southern Hemisphere the south side of the building is ideal. Never mount over a sun-drenched wall, roof or parking lot because the heat rises and gives a false temperature reading.

The sensor weather shield and probe should always point down or horizontal per the manufacturer’s recommendation. The probe should not point upward as water and debris could collect resulting in long-term issues. This shield is not a sun shield because when hit by the sun it will heat up and through heat radiation will affect the temperature probe.  The OSA sensor should be mounted between four feet above the ground and one-foot minimum below the eave. (Note: Four feet keeps the sensor above ground radiation and one foot under the eave prevents measurement of trapped heat from under the eave.)

Summary of Do’s & Don’ts:


  • Always mount in the shade on the north side of the building, minimizing sun exposure.
  • Mount a minimum of four feet above the ground surface to prevent thermal radiation from rising up and impacting performance.
  • Mount at least one foot below the eave, preventing trapped heat at the top of the eave from affecting performance.
  • Point the weather shield down or horizontal to prevent debris from altering the performance.


  • Never mount in direct sunlight.
  • Never mount above building windows, doors, vents or dampers.
  • Never mount above a sun-drenched parking lot.
  • Never mount within 1 foot of the eave.

Sun Exposed Mounting: Not recommended if possible. 

There are some shields made for mounting in the sun.  The most popular is a “Gill-style” that uses stacked plates (like a pagoda) tilted to take the wind and direct the air up in a sucking effect to bring fresh air in from the bottom of the assembly to the sensor within and expel the air out the top.  If there is no wind, the plates heat up and provide a lifting effect of the hot air thus bringing in fresh air from the bottom of the structure.  In full sun, this works OK in high winds >5.6 MPH (2.5 m/s) with a temperature gain of about +5.4⁰F (+3⁰C).  In higher winds, this drops to +3.6⁰F (+2⁰ C).  Lower winds experience an unacceptable rise of +9⁰F (+5⁰C) or more due to simple heat radiation from the plates impacting the sensor within.

Economizer controls require a very good reading of the true OSA temperature/humidity to function properly.  A temperature rise of 2⁰F is not acceptable. It is not recommended to use a sensor located in the direct sun using a non-aspirated enclosure for any HVAC control operation.

Some aspirated shields perform very well in any wind or sunlight condition. If an OSA temperature or humidity transmitter must be mounted in direct sunlight ensure an aspirated-style enclosure is used.  These will require power to operate a fan.  An aspirated enclosure mounted in the direct sun has a temperature gain of between 0⁰-.9⁰F (0⁰-.5⁰C).  The higher the fan speed the less solar effect is realized.


The optimal location to mount an OSA sensor is on the north side of the building regardless of the OSA enclosure used.

Questions about this month’s Tech Talk? We have experts ready to assist! Contact us today! 

DENT Helps University Claim 6.5 Million Rebate




When the local electric company said, “turn off your lights,” the University of Washington listened. Seattle City Light recently required the major university to reduce its overall energy consumption, and it offered big rewards for doing so.

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Panels 101: Designing and Building Control Panels

The most critical element that shapes a panel design project must be addressed at the very beginning of a project: where is the completed unit going to be installed? This very basic question dictates the type of protection the enclosure must provide to the equipment. The switchgear inside the enclosure must be protected from the environment, and the plant and people around it must be protected from electrical dangers.

Continue reading “Panels 101: Designing and Building Control Panels”