Energy Management System

Optimizing resources can be a challenging task in any given environment. Putting the available tools in use to obtain the best results possible expending as little as you can is a full-time job and requires a lot of careful consideration. This is especially the case in the current state of technological development. Many options are constantly arising, evolving, and improving, and one must consider at least some of them with care since they can make a big difference.

This is the case when it comes to Energy Management. The technology involved in this field has evolved so much that it is now possible to cut down on costs and increase the efficiency of HVAC systems if a good solution to automation of variables such as temperature is properly implemented.

Today we are going to focus on the Energy Management of Schools and commercial buildings. Practically every industry, as well as end-users, can benefit from some kind of Energy Management System, both here in Toronto and around the world. We are focusing today on these two because their particular characteristics set them apart from other sectors and we will try to cover these differences in a certain amount of detail.

This is an area that can benefit greatly from proper HVAC controls, given the fact that it is very common to see, especially in Schools, that there is actually no system in place to manage the temperature remotely at all. Commercial buildings, on the other hand, display a very wide array of solutions, ranging from none to rather advanced systems in the higher end of the spectrum. Advanced is not always optimal, though. Since, as we have mentioned above, this field is constantly evolving it is always good to reassess periodically.

HVAC

First of all, we should unpack this term so that we are all on the same page. HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning. It refers to the technology used to control these environmental variables. It has come a long way in the last few years, and it is now possible to interact and command vast systems using practically any modern device with access to the internet. There are PC, Mac, Android, and iPhone solutions that provide an interface with which to manage these systems. When this is properly implemented a lot of time and money can be saved.

Currently available apps, such as A-TECH Engineering Ltd’s brand new iPhone and Android app are designed to provide detailed reporting and the ability to control a few key aspects of the machinery in place. They interact through industry-standard protocols and with all the best-known brands out there to ensure compatibility.

Schools

Schools are often big buildings, and the age of these buildings varies greatly. There are certainly newer buildings that have been constructed recently and there are quite a few older ones in use in our education system, too. Often the newer buildings benefit from being a bit more energy-efficient due to the construction techniques applied and the materials that were used during the process. Some may even be already equipped with HVAC systems that are compatible with remote management.

On the other hand, the older buildings will probably not benefit from all of these things or any at all.

Because of its size and the number of hours that a school is active every day throughout the year proper energy management is crucial. An effort to bring up-to-date the environment controls of schools is needed and would be very beneficial. It would ensure that temperature and other factors are kept at an optimal level using the least amount of energy possible.

Commercial Buildings

There are similarities between Schools and Commercial buildings when it comes to this issue. These kinds of buildings vary in size and construction features. Some of them may be very big, while others are rather small. The key difference here is that commercial buildings will probably have less access to aid from the government to put the kind of system that we have been discussing in place. Some of these businesses will be able to afford it, while others will not.

The other factor that comes into play is that, even though the business may be able to cover the costs of this investment, they may not deem it important enough to go through the process. They may reach the conclusion that it is better not to change something that is working properly.

Careful assessment is required here because even though it is in everyone’s best interest to be as energy-efficient as possible, we cannot achieve that at the cost of hurting the businesses involved. There are a few ways in which this problem can be solved, either by making incentives available to private businesses or by enforcing laws. There are examples of both of these approaches locally and internationally with varying degrees of success. If the goal of achieving efficiency with as little negative impact as possible is kept in mind a solution will surely arise that will benefit everyone involved. Let us talk a bit now about the implementation of the first steps in this process.

Initial Investment

Any sector looking to enter into the world of remote energy management will require an investment to get started. This cannot be avoided since regular HVAC equipment will not do, specific equipment that is built with connectivity is required.

This investment pays off in a very significant way as time goes on, it returns in the form of savings from energy bills and often in the fact that this new machinery will require less maintenance both because it is built with newer technology and because of its ability to report the way it is functioning, which improves the machine’s working condition and extends its lifetime.

The problem is that not everyone will be able to shoulder the initial costs of acquiring and setting the equipment up. Although many of these expenses have gone down significantly in the last decade or so, the expense is still a non-trivial amount.

Incentives from the Government

A way around this issue could be provided by the government of Ontario. There is currently an incentive program that is designed to improve energy efficiency across all sectors, including consumers. The way this has been implemented is by providing a discount on the acquisition of more efficient appliances, which spend less energy to perform the same tasks. This initiative could be expanded to include an even greater number of HVAC equipment that may be better suited for the needs of commercial buildings and Schools. There are other incentives that could take place alongside this to further simplify the task of updating or acquiring equipment.

No matter what form this aid takes, it is important to keep in mind that, since this change benefits everyone we should strive to improve energy management as much as we can in all fields. Both commercial buildings and Schools are big players when it comes to energy management and they should be part of this conversation.

Benefits

After the first step is taken things get a lot easier. As soon as the equipment is in place and doing its job the efficiency starts to rise, which translates into significant energy savings. This means cheaper energy bills and operational standards that are a lot friendlier to our environment. Because of all of the features that current equipment provides maintaining this kind of hardware and avoiding malfunctions is much easier, it takes less effort and time to keep operational levels optimal. Personnel will be freed to handle other tasks and no longer burdened with things that can now be done from a smartphone, this is another added benefit of connectivity and automation.

Conclusion

It can be hard to take a leap and jump into such investments at times. It is often hard to justify them when considering the costs and efforts involved. In every one of the cases we have covered here today, there are already solutions in place to handle temperature and other ambient factors. That makes this decision even harder. Why invest in something that is already resolved and performing its tasks? As we have seen the reasons are compelling and the benefits are great in the long run. It takes a bit of foresight and calculation to realize that moving into a smarter HVAC control scheme is the better option, and we should be trying to help and incentivize as much as we can to ensure that everyone involved makes the required changes as soon as the possible can without hurting their operation. This can be especially challenging in the private sector and should be considered carefully. Schools may not suffer from this challenge, but they have a set of their own to deal with.

Both of these two cases are a substantial part of the energy pie, they should be one of the main focuses of efforts to make both our city and the rest of the world more efficient when it comes to energy management.

IP based system using POE Technology

Building Automation Design Services with IP network

In every building, the bigger and more complex the system, the more it’s necessary for it to have Building Automation Systems(BAS) installed.

Automation plays an important role in the Building System. It can provide secure, trouble-less and comfortable management of facilities. It is the creation of technology and its application in order to control and monitor the production and delivery of various goods and services, with the use of wired buses or wireless broad networks, which connect to high-level controllers. It is implemented through the combination of hardware and software-based solutions that automatically execute and manage repetitive network environment processes. Each controller automatically provides a Internet Protocol (IP) address that communicates to other systems and devices. It allows BAS to cross industry boundaries and interface with a wide variety of other systems. Allowing separate systems and groups of components to share the same set of wires. This reduces the overall cost of installing and maintaining several systems

Advantages of IP Based System

  • IP-based control does not tie you to an individual supplier. It is flexible in nature. It can communicate to other systems regardless of its brand. Devices connected to an IP network are capable of being interoperable with other IP-connected devices. It does not require the elimination of existing controls throughout a building. A good IP-based system can talk to backward compatible, or previous-generation, equipment – regardless of any protocols it was used.
  • Real Time Notification. Because they’re connected to the network, IP-based systems can send you alerts, when it detects potential problems, changes, etc. Using the Mass Notification System/MNS thru different notification devices such as speakers, digital signage and sirens. It can also be connected to the internet or any cellular devices sending alert thru text messages, calls or emails.
  • Easy Maintenance. When an IP-based device goes down, it’s easy to perform troubleshooting or maintenance on that device without needing to take the entire system offline or waiting until off hours. In most cases, there’s no need for a middleware device; connections are created directly between the field device and the enterprise network.
  • Cost Optimization. IP-based controllers are able to use multiple protocols – such as BACnet, LonTalk, N2 – to connect to other devices at the field bus level or at the enterprise level. This interoperability preserves the investment that has been made in the control system. Expenses are further reduced because no middleware or gateways are required to communicate across the network.

In this article we will give you guides and ideas on what to include in your building, either it’s for an initial plan or an upgrade after you’ve installed your BAS using an IP network.

IP using BACNET protocols

Building Automation and Control Networks(BACNET) is the control industry’s new pre

IP based system using POE Technology

ferred communications protocols, allowing systems to talk to each other over a network, like Internet of Things (IoT) technology. It is a collection of one or more IP subnetworks (IP domains) that are assigned a single BACn

et network number. Connecting to an Ethernet running the IP protocol is more convenient. IP network is the quickest way to gain access to the Internet which is the world’s wide-area-network (WAN).

IP based system using POE Technology

Power over Ethernet (POE) is a technology that lets network cables carry electrical power. It can help you make the most of IP-based systems and devices. Allows you to use one cable to transport data and power instead of two separate wires/cables: one for electricity and one for data transmission. Carrying both through one cable offers many benefits for digital buildings that utilize IP-based systems.

 

Building system that  can be an IP-based

 

  • Mechanical and Electrical
    • Heating Ventilation and Air conditioning systems
    • Electronic Access Control
    • Lightning
  • Safety Systems
  • Audio Visual Systems

Conclusion

It is important to understand IP networks and its implication in Building Automation systems, it can give comfort through means of accessibility, cost efficiency and reliance. It is indeed an era of information technology. IP is everywhere, considered as universal standards and opens up possibilities that will attract not only the interests of the building manager but the facilities manager as well. Making the most out of the Internet of Things in Building Automation.

We value your comments and suggestions. Feel free to write up in our comment section. For any  inquiries about the Building Automation Design Services with IP network, please contact us or click to connect, we are glad to assist you.

Show Citations

  1. https://www.techopedia.com/
  2. https://www.automatedbuildings.com/
  3. http://www.bacnet.org/
  4. http://www.steves-internet-guide.com/
  5. https://www.belden.com/
  6. https://www.achrnews.com/
  7. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/261987811_IP_in_Commercial_Buildings
  8. https://books.google.com.ph/ -Smart Buildings Systems for Architects, Owners and Builders by James M Sinopoli

BACnet and IOT, Cloud based Monitoring/Alerting/Controls

The internet has brought us a great deal of power. We are currently able to control so many things from the comfort of our couches that we can often take this for granted. It is incredible to see technology grow to facilitate our lives at such a staggering rate and yet, there may be a lot of things that we could do more efficiently.

Even though we are now accustomed to simplify our lives through the use of technology there may be areas that we overlook. Maybe we think that technology is not there yet, or too expensive for us to afford in a particular field. That is still true, but more often than not a few minutes of searching can yield great results that can make your life a little (or a lot) better.

This is clearly the case when it comes to HVAC and other related controls, and we will discuss why in a bit of detail as we explore the topic in this article.

Perhaps you are a newcomer to this world of remote administration of Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning systems (HVAC for short), or maybe you are a veteran looking to improve your current setup. You will find useful information here regardless.

We have started to see many options recently that are able to bring these kinds of useful features to consumers as well as big and small businesses, but it is always a plus to leave your concerns in any given field in the hands of experienced professionals instead of going with an untested option. A-TECH Engineering Ltd is a company that is focused on providing the best in terms of user experience, working with well-known providers of equipment that is sure to work as intended.

The main objective here is to put systems in place that will enable a user to receive alerts and monitor the way in which a given set of devices is operating, to ensure that energy efficiency is at peak levels at all times.

With a good HVAC monitoring system on your side, you can be sure that machines spend as little as they possibly can to maintain the optimal range of conditions in your given working environment, which helps lower energy costs by a lot and can simplify a few crucial tasks. All of this is, of course, at the tip of your fingers nowadays. A-TECH Engineering Ltd has worked hard to produce a top-of-the-line HVAC Monitoring App to ensure that you can get all the benefits of this technique. It has been built from the ground up to interact well with the most popular providers of equipment and many other BACnet-compliant pieces of hardware.

The process of setting this kind of thing up can be cumbersome at times, but A-TECH Engineering Ltd makes sure that there is no pain in it. An HVAC Control App such as the one that is provided will enable you to control as well as monitor, the amount of control you have depends on your hardware setup, but it is often enough to make a big difference and save you from an emergency car trip to turn a physical nob or flip a switch.

But what is it exactly that enables us to control these devices from afar with precision? This technology is built around two main components: Sensors and Connectivity. Much of what is available today in this field would not have been possible ten years ago. Much of the technology involved was either too expensive or non-existent. Let us break down these two so that we can better understand what is happening when we operate these machines in such a convenient way.

Sensors

These are the way in which a particular piece of equipment is capable of measuring certain aspects of its surroundings and report its own operation. It is possible today to acquire very accurate and reliable sensor equipment for almost any piece of hardware, we can even rely on the ones that are present in our own cellphones. That is the case because the cost of quality digital sensors has dropped significantly in the last few years and they are now cheaper to make. They are also smaller, more reliable, and packed with a lot more reporting features than ever before. Current HVAC equipment is capable of reading its environment and use that data to adjust its operation according to preset parameters. That means that we are now able to establish our desired outcome and let the machine do its work.

The equipment will also periodically inform a lot of useful data, such as how much energy it is consuming and many other operational details. This can help to quickly diagnose any malfunction remotely, which can then can either be addressed in the same way or in person. This enables companies and consumers to always be able to operate at peak efficiency, spending as little as possible to achieve the necessary conditions.

The most common sensors that come with this kind of equipment are Temperature, Pressure, and Humidity. There are other options available and different combinations depending on the equipment and manufacturer.

Armed with these, the machinery can be instructed to maintain a certain range of conditions. This is very useful when trying to control the temperature in a Hotel or office, for instance. But it is also very important in an industrial environment to make sure that the equipment is operating at nominal conditions. Many such places have come to rely on this kind of technology to operate, and the technology itself is more reliable than ever.

All of this reporting is only useful as long as it can be communicated in real-time to wherever it needs to get to. That is where the other aspect of this technological advancement comes into place.

Connectivity

We have come to expect that each of our gadgets is connected to the internet and can talk to each other in some form or another. Our phones talk to our computers, TVs and even refrigerators. The number of so-called “smart” devices continues to grow and is a trend that is expected to continue to rise in the future.

Most current equipment offers a connectivity solution and many are well-designed to interact even with similar equipment of different brands and third parties through what is known as BACnet.

BACnet

Building Automation and Control networks are a form of standard protocol that is designed exactly with the purpose that we have been discussing in mind. It enables devices that have different functions and may even be from different brands to interact in a compatible way to provide the user with the ability to control their function. Such protocol is used for controlling all the sensor-related features that we have been discussing, as well as controlling lights, locks, and other features. Our brand new BACnet app interacts with many devices that support this protocol in a flawless way, providing a simple way to control many of these in a streamlined fashion.

IoT

Although BACnet is a dedicated protocol there are other alternatives to having devices connect with each other and a controlling user. The IoT or Internet of Things is the network of intelligent devices that surrounds us. It is comprised of every single piece of equipment that has the ability to connect to the Internet and is an alternative to dedicated protocols such as BACnet. There are advantages and disadvantages to this alternative. It is is very easy to set up and compatibility is also very high. If security is a concern we would recommend that you either take steps to secure these devices or consider other options. The IoT has been growing strongly because it is the main method by which consumer products are connected. It is used in home appliances of all kinds.

Both the networking and sensor solutions available to you will depend on the equipment you are working with. The good thing to keep in mind is that you will be able to use our BMS Monitoring App in most cases due to our high compatibility and support. We work well with the biggest brands in the market and also with smaller vendors that comply with some of the protocols that we have mentioned above.

We highly encourage you to look into this matter further if you have not done so yet. It will make a big difference and simplify a lot of tasks. Once you adopt a remote management solution for your HVAC concerns you will not look back.

If, on the other hand, you are already connected and experienced you will find that A-TECH Engineering Ltd’s brand new App will offer a great improvement, you will benefit from an interface that is designed specially to handle in a simple way the most common concerns when it comes to Monitoring your equipment. You will be able to configure not only the machinery, but also the alerts that you receive. Everything in a single app on your phone.

COVID-19, Cloud HVAC BMS Monitoring Solution

It has been just under a week since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. In the time since that has happened, we have all witnessed the uncertainty and urgency unfolding around us. Precautionary measures to #Flattenthecurve are being taken throughout Canada and all around the globe. Schools and businesses are being closed, and mass gatherings have been cancelled, in an effort to reduce potential exposure.

In awake of global crisis and Covid-19, building and businesses are closing temporary with no staff to monitor HVAC Equipment, commercial buildings need to maintain HVAC equipment and operators might not be available for extended period of time, with our app, you can monitor, receive alert and also control setpoints remotely.

We were initially charging a fees of $2,999 for setup etc, to help and assist communities (business owner, schools, office building) we are WAIVING the fees for setting up the app (www.atecheng.ca/iot) to monitor, alarm/alert and control your building from the cloud, for more information you can email appsupport@atecheng.ca  and advise of which system or brand you currently have such as Tridium, Siemens, Honeywell, Alerton, Distech our protocol, Lon, BACnet, modbus.

We are doing the best that we can to support you and your local community, while at the same time, doing our part to reduce the spread of COVID-19. With all of us working together, and supporting one another, we will get through this.

Sincerely,

Adeel Choudhry, P.Eng., MCPM, CPEng.
Managing Director
A-TECH Engineering Ltd.
Toll Free: 1-866-448-TECH (8324)
Fax: 1-866-449-TECH (8324)

HVAC Monitoring and Alerting

The Ultimate Guide to Building Automation | Toronto

Building Automation is the automatic, systematic monitoring and centralized control of a building’s infrastructure. Building Automation System (BAS), also known as Building Management System(BMS) are the ways that use the advancement of Information Technology (hardware & software) in aspects of building operations. Such functions are, Mechanical, Electrical, Heating & Ventilation and Air conditioning (HVAC), Security, Life Safety, Lighting, Utilities, Telecom, and Energy Management of the building. These are independent entities, however, they are related to each other to operate. The objective of building automation is to create Smart and Intelligent building that will improve occupants comfort, efficient operation of building systems, reduction in energy consumption and operating costs, and improved life cycle of utilities.

 

For easy understanding, here are examples of common Building Automation,

  • In the hotel industry. Empty rooms usually are not ventilated or lit so as to reduce energy usage. When the occupants enter the rooms using the hotel key cards light automatically opens.
  • The use of Smoke detectors that are placed along with ceilings or high on walls which has the ability to identify a fire while it is still in its incipient. Alarms & later the sprinklers may be activated automatically.
  • Installation of Programmable thermostat in different parts of the building. It can automatically control to switch on air in rooms that are occupied, switch off during off-peak hours as well as to program desired setpoints.

To provide anything you need to know, whether your planning into the transition of your traditional building into an automated building or eyeing maintenance and upgrades for your smart or an Intelligent buildings, Here are the ULTIMATE GUIDE in Building Automation.

How Building Automation works

Components of Building Automation

  1. Communications Bus

 A contraction of the Latin omnibus [1] is a series of wires connecting field controllers to one another and to the supervisory device. This is a pathway for digital signals to rapidly move data.

Most building automation networks consist of a primary and secondary bus which connect high-level controllers with lower-level controllers.

  • 1. Primary Bus

Connects sensors and actors (up to 64 devices on the bus) with a central control unit.

  • 2. Secondary Bus

This is optional, connects up to 8 central control units, a GSM unit or  a unit of

Logical functions. TCP/ IP modules or other high-end devices.

2. Communications Protocol

           

Sets of Rules for how messages are formed and transmitted across the wire. These are needed to facilitate the control functions to specify control system capabilities on data collection, archiving, networking, remote annunciation. These mainly used for the automation process.

  • 2.1. BACnet ( Building Automation & Control Network)

 

[2]A Data Communication Protocol for Building Automation and Control Networks.

Developed under the auspices of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), BACnet is an American national standard, a European standard, a national standard in more than 30 countries, and an ISO global standard. [3]It was designed to allow communication of building automation and control systems for applications such as heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning control (HVAC), lighting control, access control, and fire detection systems and their associated equipment. The BACnet protocol provides mechanisms for computerized building automation devices to exchange information, regardless of the particular building service they perform.

 

  • 2.2. Modbus

 

A network protocol best used for industrial automation systems specifically for connecting electronic equipment. Developed under Modicon Inc. and standard maintained by Modbus Organization, Inc [4] It is an application-layer messaging protocol to provide client/server communication between devices connected on different types of buses or networks.

 

  • 2.3. LonWorks (Local operating netWorks)

 [5]An open platform for connecting building systems to each other and the Internet.

The system consists of the LonTalk communication protocol, a dedicated controller (Neuron Chip) and a network management tool.

It was designed on low bandwidth, for networking devices through power lines, fibre optics, and other media. Developed by Echelon Corporation(Motorola).

 Systems Architecture of BACnet [6]

 

3. Controllers

 BAS Controllers are purpose-built computers with input and output capabilities, it was considered as the “brain” of Building Automation System. It has two main processes, the Input, which takes the data from the sensors and decide how the system will respond. The outputs, that allow the controller to send command and control signals to slave devices, and to other parts of the system.

Categories of Controllers

 

  • 1. Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs)

[6]A digital computer used for industrial automation to automate different  electro-mechanical processes. These controllers are specially designed to survive in harsh situations and shielded from heat, cold, dust, and moisture etc. PLC consists of a microprocessor which is programmed using the computer language.

 

  • 2. System/Network controllers, and Terminal Unit controllers

It can be applied to control one or more mechanical systems such as an Air Handler Unit (AHU), boiler, chiller, etc., or they may supervise a sub-network of controllers.

 

  • 3. Terminal Unit controllers

Are suited for control of lighting and/or simpler devices such as a package rooftop unit, heat pump, VAV box, fan coil, etc. The installer typically selects one of the available pre-programmed personalities best suited to the device to be controlled, and does not have to create new control logic.

 4.Input and Output devices

4. 1. Sensors

Analog inputs are used to read a variable measurement. A digital input indicates if a device is turned on or not – however it was detected. They capture the measurements that are sent to the controllers to be processed by the system.

 

Examples of Sensors

  • Room temperature sensors
  • Outdoor temperature sensors
  • Immersion temperature sensors
  • Brightness sensors
  • Air quality sensors
  • Pressure sensors

4.2. Controls

Analog outputs control the speed or position of a device. Digital outputs are used to open and close relays and switches as well as drive a load upon command.

Examples of Controls

  • Variable frequency drive
  • I-P (current to pneumatics) transducer
  • Valve or damper actuator

Layers of Building Automation [7]

  1. Server/Application Layer

It consolidate data from multiple different supervisory devices. It then delivers this data to the end user through the user interface (UI), often known as clients.  Also store trend, alarm, and schedule data in a database.

  1. Supervisory Layer

This is where the supervisory devices sit. Supervisory devices collect all of the traffic from the field controllers and consolidate this traffic.These devices serve to manage your communication trunks. Communication trunks allow your field controllers to connect to one another and allow your supervisory devices to collect information from the field controllers.

  1. Field Controller Layer

Look at data from inputs (temperature sensors, switches, etc) and then control outputs (actuators, relays, etc). BAS companies will use programming tools (usually developed by the BAS vendor) to program these field controllers.

  1. Input/Output Layer

This is where the sensors and control devices exist. There isn’t a ton to add here except that you are starting to see IP-enabled sensors that use Ethernet or Wi-Fi for their communications.

Systems, Networks & Integration[8]

On this section, we will discuss the ways in which components are linked together to form a complete Building Management System (BMS).

  1. BMS Architecture

[9]High-level organizational description of the elements that make up a building management system. These elements vary greatly from building to building, depending on the business objectives of the property managers or building owners.

  • 1. Conventional Controls

Controllers are based on analogue inputs & outputs, usually used in smaller buildings. Each controller are based on operational amplifiers (now replaced by microprocessors) and linked by direct connection to the controlled output device and perform single function. Several independent control systems may coexist within the building.

  • 2. Centralised Intelligence

From the use of microprocessors, it was developed to Direct Digital Control (DDC) Systems. The controller function is carried by software program, which can be program to execute to any desired control characteristic. Many control loops can be handled by the same processor. Control function can be made by changes to software alone.Without any change in the hardware.

  • 2.1. Dumb outstation

Separate wiring for each sensor and actuator is expensive and this has led to introduction of  local outstations ( Data Gathering Panels). Sensors are connected in to the outstation which performs signal processing and communications functions.

 

  • 3. Programmable Controllers

While the use of dumb outstations reduces the wiring requirement for the large BMS, it is vulnerable for CPU failure. The programmable controllers or intelligent outstations are developed, which incorporate their own microprocessor and carry out local control functions which will operate in the event of CPU problem. Devices communicate via a local area network or bus.

  • 4. Bus Systems

Decentralisation is carried further, where the intelligent devices in the control system incorporate in their own microprocessor and communications ability. Devices are connected to a bus which allows communication between all devices using well-defined protocol. Each device is individually addressable and programmable.

  • 5. Modular system

The system uses a range of modular units, each of which is programmed to control specific item. There is a range of zone controllers which perform the function of local user interface. All the modules communicate thru twisted-pair bus system using the Lontalk protocol.

  • 6. Package system

A package unit complete with factory installed unitary control system. It is set directly to the local controller then to the main BMS for the purpose of time scheduling and transmitting of alarm system. Each unit will control itself independently. This is often considered as economical.

 [11] Hierarchical structure of communication level

Field Level

This is the bottom part of the system, where the sensors and actuators are installed. It controls the devices in the building.

 Automation Level

 The mid part of the system, where the data from the field level are received and linked with each other via the application software of the components to enable the system to function.

 Management Level

 The top part of the system, where the data are processed and visualized. The user himself is able to step in and change operating parameters. Additionally, it is possible to record, protocol and configure data.

 Internet of Things(IOT) in Building Automation

 Is an advance building automation system which uses analytic software & services. The data sent between devices and to cloud, which is more secure, manageable & user friendly. It connects people with technology. This is a network of sensors, meters, appliances, and other devices that are capable of sending and receiving the data.

 [12]Four categories

 

  1. Energy

Includes popular applications like wireless energy consumption monitoring.

  1. Equipment

Those that optimize lighting and HVAC use.

  1. Environmental quality

Devices might measure particulate matter or CO2.

  1. People or spaces

Devices that can measure occupancy, space utilization or how many people have passed through a certain entrance.

Plan to jump in,  into IOT from traditional building? We’ll be glad to help, feel free to Contact us.

Resources:

  1. https://buildingautomationmonthly.com/what-is-a-communications-bus/
  2. http://www.bacnet.org/
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BACnet#cite_note-1
  4. http://modbus.org/
  5. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/281903357_Latest_trends_in_building_automation_and_control_systems
  6. https://www.engineersgarage.com/article_page/plc-an-overview/
  7. https://buildingautomationmonthly.com/building-automation-system/
  8. https://study.com/academy/lesson/building-management-system-architecture-trends.html
  9. https://www.slideshare.net/AYM1979/building-control-system-aplication-guide-cibse-guide
  10. http://iotbacnet.com/products/airtek/
  11. https://www.dial.de/en/blog/article/bus-systems-for-smart-buildings-a-comparison-of-open-systems/
  12. https://www.buildings.com/news/industry-news/articleid/21603/title/iot-smart-building-technology

6 Reasons Why Building Analytics Should be Top of Mind in 2020 in Toronto

Most buildings nowadays implement Building Management Systems that results in efficient day to day operations and reduce operational cost. Building administrators or facilities manager uses Building Analytics to have a better understanding of the building system and have a smart analysis that makes use of machine learning algorithms and innovative visualizations.

What is Building Analytics?

Building Analytics provides insightful data and converts into actionable intelligence that can be used to optimize your facility’s energy performance. It is a combination of creating a complex system that requires a control system that is capable of handling the complexity and creating and collecting relatively large amounts of data about the operation, which requires advanced analysis in order to identify faults to proactively address building inefficiencies, and enabling you to identify and prioritize cost-saving opportunities, threats to occupant comfort and mitigate environmental vulnerability.

As you plan and make the budget for 2020, making an upgrade or a change in your building into an intelligent building should be considered by building owners and facility managers. Here are a few reasons why building analytics should be top of mind:

  • Fault Detection

Fault Detection and Diagnostics, or FDD, is the process of identifying errors in physical systems while attempting to identify the source of the problem through crowdsourced data, as well as data from meters and sensors. Determining where in the system the fault occurs, isolating the error and classifying based on fault type, size and detection time thru rule-based algorithms and pattern recognition. Then asses and determine the fault’s impact on system performance based on different prioritization categories such as energy and water savings, occupants’ comfort levels, cost, and environmental impact.  Instead of relying on monthly checkups, building analytics automatically analyzes this information at periodic intervals based on desired needs. As a basic example, if the temperature outside is high and cooling is off and there are no hot complaints, then the occupancy of the building is zero.

Monitoring the building’s system data and easily detect any system fault, can result to quickly respond to any concerns before they become more serious. Rather than allowing small issues to go unnoticed and worsen over time, either via computer controls or by dispatching a technician.

  • Improve occupant comfort

By increasing comfort levels, building analytics help in reducing complaints from occupants and help increase the productivity of the employees making them more productive. Occupant’s profiles are monitored and used to optimize schedules, making weather logs and comparing outdoor temperature. Ensuring a smooth transition from unoccupied to occupied rooms, making the system adaptable to occupant’s preferences and deliver more occupant settings. As an example, utilizing thermostats in individual offices, accompanied by an occupancy sensor in order to avoid excessive heating or cooling when the room is vacant.

  •  Increase energy performance and reducing energy consumption

Thru building analytics, historical data such as weather logs, number of guests, and buildings energy usage was gathered and studied to predict the amount of energy produced at a particular time and to reduce energy waste by identifying inefficiencies in real-time. Devices that causing the energy bills can be pinpointed and corrected.

Schneider Electric’s studies made an example, how building Analytics can save energy cost :

  • Create more environmentally friendly, high-performance buildings

The building sectors are considered as the largest single-energy use worldwide, it is also responsible for  19%  of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Energy efficiency improvements will result in greenhouse gas reductions and redefine the green building.

The green building industry generated $23.45 billion in GDP which represents 297,890 full-time jobs in 2014. This is more jobs than Canada’s oil and gas extraction, mining and forestry industries combined, which collectively employed approximately 270,450 workers in 2014.

Building analytics uses energy models to replicate the energy consumption of an existing building based on the building’s operation, utility bills, and normal weather data. This additional tool is used for conservation measures that can demonstrate potential energy savings by weighing actual energy and energy-cost values. It improves the performance of the building’s potential return on investments. 

  • Increase facility reliability and availability

Using historical data to describe how a piece of equipment normally operates and recognizing the pattern, continuously monitors its behavior in real-time and putting an alert when the operations differ from the historical norms, early detection of any abnormalities in the systems and avoiding worst defects. This allows your facilities to run more efficiently, they are less likely to break down and require repairs, which can be disruptive to a business’s day-to-day operations. Another advantage of data optimization through building analytics is automatic maintenance practices that improve operational efficiency and support capital planning through better visibility into equipment conditions and potential failure. For example, device-level monitoring can identify incorrect scheduling of a building automation system on specific devices, like lights, in order to avoid energy consumption off-hours.

  • Increase in safety and security

Security is one of the top concerns for building owners. Theft and unwanted intruders can cause threats to the safety of the tenants and, it is a must to protect and keep the tenants far from harm inside the premisses. Security guards are effective, however, it will be costly having an additional overhead cost and few guards are not enough.

Digital building technology provides several ways to improve building security without giving much cost and less hassle to tenants and employees. Most examples are widely visible and available to most of the buildings around the globe. Closed-circuit television video surveillance (CCTV), Installing access controls to all areas of your building and giving personal entry cards to authorized individuals are most effective, cost-efficient ways to improve building security. By using these tools, especially technological advancement such as IOT (internet of things), which are common trends nowadays, the building administrator can have a real time data analytics and can access anywhere, even on their smartphones. They can have monitoring of their camera feeds to identify specific behavior patterns or suspicious activity. By bringing the most relevant details to the forefront, analytics alerts keep security focused and responsive.

Conclusion

Building managers and operators, faced many challenges on how they can run their building efficiently. Such as reducing operational cost by means of maximizing it’s resources such as energy. They can’t control the price but they can control the consumption by using building analytics as a tool. This can help monitor the operation, measure the health of the building and address the over consumption issues by this, managing the building smartly will be possible.

Have more questions about building analytics, we can help you. Contact us now.

Resources:

Photo credits by alexandrugogan.com/unsplash
Building Analytics Improve the efficiency, occupant comfort, and financial well-being of your building- https://download.schneider-electric.com/
Sectoral Trends in Global Energy Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions  – https://www.osti.gov
AR5 Climate Change 2014 – https://www.ipcc.ch/report
Green building in Canada, 2016 – https://www.cagbc.org/
Building Energy Management and Data Analytics – https://www.researchgate.net
10 Benefits of Using Smart Buildings – https://www.facilitiesnet.com
Building Management System – https://www.sciencedirect.com
Building Analytics Managed Services – https://www.se.com
Smart Offices:How Intelligent Building Solutions are Changing the Occupant Experience by Navigant Research – https://info.switchautomation.com/
Smart Building:Combining IOT and Analytics to Improve Facilities Management Operations – https://www.ibm.com

Effective BUILDING AUTOMATION AND CONTROL

Effесtivе building аutоmаtiоn ѕуѕtеmѕ dеѕign саn оffеr a numbеr оf distinct аdvаntаgеѕ for building оwnеrѕ, occupants аnd fасilitiеѕ mаnаgеrѕ. The most common tуре оf аutоmаtiоn applications maintain lighting аnd соmfоrtаblе tеmреrаturе lеvеlѕ while rеduсing energy соѕtѕ, but аutоmаtiоn аnd controls саn hаndlе many оthеr sophisticated tаѕkѕ as wеll. Building соntrоl ѕуѕtеmѕ аrе only аѕ еffесtivе as thеir design, hоwеvеr, ѕо it’ѕ important to idеntifу аnd еngаgе a knоwlеdgеаblе and соmреtеnt engineering соnѕultаnt еаrlу in thе рlаnning ѕtаgеѕ of thе project.

Thе Advаntаgеѕ of Building Autоmаtiоn Tесhnоlоgу

Thе роwеr оf building аutоmаtiоn ѕуѕtеmѕ is ѕuсh thаt thе tесhnоlоgу has become аlmоѕt ubiԛuitоuѕ tоdау fоr mеdium-tо-lаrgе commercial fасilitiеѕ. Frоm аn есоnоmiс perspective, Building Autоmаtiоn Technology саn significantly reduce роwеr uѕе аnd the associated соѕtѕ. Eсоlоgiсаllу, building соntrоlѕ hаvе bееn рrоvеn to dесrеаѕе thе environmental fооtрrint of those соmраniеѕ thаt implement thеm – significantly in many cases. Thе frequency оf rерlасing соѕtlу HVAC аnd еlесtriсаl equipment iѕ rеduсеd as BAS сurtаilѕ wеаr аnd tеаr аnd аlеrtѕ уоu early to any роtеntiаl problems. Autоmаtiоn systems frее up key fасilitiеѕ personnel, аllоwing thеm to turn their аttеntiоn to less mundane tasks. Finally, building оссuраntѕ еnjоу a mоrе ѕесurе environment аnd an increased level оf соmfоrt, еvеn whilе uѕаgе, соѕtѕ аnd dоwntimе drор. Tоdау’ѕ building automation ѕуѕtеm intеrfасеѕ are easy tо uѕе. Whеthеr уоu hаvе a ѕinglе building оr an еntеrрriѕе-lеvеl portfolio оf рrореrtiеѕ, уоu can view status and соntrоl ѕуѕtеmѕ remotely, using a desktop, lарtор, tаblеt оr еvеn a smartphone.

A Powerful Sсоре оf Autоmаtiоn Sеrviсеѕ

Typically, BAS ѕеrviсеѕ соntrоl ѕоmе оr аll аѕресtѕ оf thе fасilitу’ѕ mесhаniсаl, еlесtriсаl аnd рlumbing systems. On thе mесhаniсаl ѕidе, this mау include boilers, chillers, air hаndlеrѕ, fаnѕ and hеаt рumрѕ. Electrical aspects may include security systems, lighting, CCTV, firе аlаrmѕ or building ассеѕѕ. Building Automation Technology can еvеn monitor and соntrоl рlumbing ѕуѕtеmѕ аnd the wаtеr rеѕоurсеѕ used in thе facility’s central рlаnt. Sеrviсеѕ саn аlѕо bе еxраndеd to inсоrроrаtе mаnу tуреѕ of specialized tесhnоlоgу, inсluding соmmuniсаtiоnѕ ѕуѕtеmѕ, ѕеrvеrѕ аnd clean rooms.

Effесtivе Building Automation Tесhnоlоgу Design fоr Aсhiеving Dеѕirеd Outсоmеѕ

Although nеw tесhnоlоgу hаѕ trаnѕfоrmеd аutоmаtiоn from thе соmрlеx, diffiсult-tо-undеrѕtаnd behemoths оf thе раѕt, today’s user-friendly ѕуѕtеmѕ аrе mоrе challenging thаn еvеr tо design and рlаn. For аnу сuѕtоmеr соnѕidеring оr рlаnning a remodel оr nеw facility construction project, a qualified Building Autоmаtiоn Technology еnginееr is critical fоr even the еаrliеѕt рhаѕеѕ оf thе project. Invоlving уоur еnginееr in the еаrlу ѕtаgеѕ of design can grеаtlу imрrоvе thе cost оf thе рrоjесt. Thiѕ proactive approach саn also cut timе frоm thе ѕсhеdulе аnd, реrhарѕ most imроrtаntlу, еnѕurе thаt аll aspects of the ѕуѕtеm meet your needs. Cоnѕidеr uѕing thе dеѕign-build аррrоасh with уоur еnginееr, whiсh delivers thе most benefit tо the сliеnt whilе rеduсing the рrоjесt cost аnd time tо соmрlеtiоn. Yоur BAS еnginееring consultant саn assist with drаfting соnѕtruсtiоn рlаnѕ аnd ѕресifiсаtiоnѕ and hеlр your gеnеrаl contractor ѕеlесt and mаnаgе thоѕе vеndоrѕ and subcontractors necessary to hаndlе thе inѕtаllаtiоn and рrоgrаmming.

When selecting a mесhаniсаl, еlесtriсаl оr automation ѕуѕtеmѕ еnginееr, look fоr a professional firm thаt is responsive and ѕееkѕ аbоvе all to understand уоur nееdѕ аnd goals. Conducting rеѕеаrсh to find the right еnginееr рriоr to launching your project will hеlр еnѕurе a successful building аutоmаtiоn ѕуѕtеmѕ dеѕign.