Boilers have been used in commercial and office buildings for more than 100 years to provide heat and hot water for the building's occupants. They are a key component to making the building safe and comfortable. They are also a major energy consumer in the building. The benefits of integrating boiler controls with the building automation systems are:
- Reduced energy costs
- Improved safety and comfort for building occutpants
- Accommodate building use by enabling unique functions
- Reduced equipment maintenance costs
- Information sharing to reduce installed costs
Boiler controls in the past utilized proprietary or industrial protocols. To interface to BAS it is necessary for them to have BACnet or LonWorks capability. ProtoCessor gives the boiler manufacturer the flexibility to meet end-user requirements.
Lighting is the largest energy user in a commercial or office building, often accounting for 30-50% of all energy costs. Thus for a Building Automation System to achieve energy management goals it is necessary to have access to the lighting control systems. As lighting systems become more complex with occupancy detection, variable lighting levels, multiple lighting types and more, it is even more important that the lighting controls interface with the Building Automation System since much of the data effecting lighting is often easily accessed via the BAS such as occupancy, facility use, heating loads, energy costs, demand response and more. Industrial plants often need the lighting controls to interface with the plant wide controls for operation efficiency, facility effectiveness and energy management.
Lighting controls often utilize proprietary communications protocols or one BAS open protocol such as BACnet MS/TP or LonWorks. However, they need the flexibility to also interface with other BAS protocols or industrial protocols to meet the needs of their customers. ProtoCessor provides that flexibility and breadth of offerings.
Roof-top Air Conditioners
Roof-top Air Conditioners are important to any commercial or industrial building. However, they are often out-of-sight, not easily accessible, and when they need to be serviced it is often under unpleasant conditions. As the roof-top units become more complex with extensive diagnostic information, energy management choices, sophisticated operation schemes and less frequent maintenance schedules, it is even more important that the valuable information from these roof-top air conditioners be accessible by the common building or plant automation controls to keep them operating at maximum efficiency on a continuous basis. ProtoCessor protocol converters give the roof-top air conditioner manufacture the flexibility to meet their user's needs while expanding into new markets.
Window Blind/Shade Controllers
As energy costs increase, building owners are constantly searching to reduce these costs via effective building management. Today's energy efficient buildings strive to make use of the various resources already available to achieve the most efficient operation. Commercial buildings often have a vast expanse of windows need window blinds to help keep in the heat at night and let in the light during the day. But in most cases this window blind operation is controlled manually by the occupant of the room. If the window blind operation was included as part of the building management system then they can work in conjunction with the HVAC controls, lighting controls and occupancy controls to gain the most efficiency in harvesting daylight while reducing energy costs. ProtoCessors enable window blind/shade controller manufacturers to interface to the BAS.
Fire Alarm Control Panels
Every commercial and industrial building needs a fire alarm control panel that monitors the fire alarms, notifies the fire authorities and initiates suppression when a fire is detected. While strict regulations with in the U.S. and most countries restrict notification and suppression to UL864 approved fire alarm control panels, it is necessary for the building automation system and plant control system to know the status of the fire alarm system for the safety and efficient operation of the facility. Thus, this secondary and tertiary fire alarm status information needs to be transmitted to the building and plant automation system to keep the plant operators informed. Fire alarm control panels utilize proprietary protocols and thus it is necessary to incorporate a ProtoCessor to translate that proprietary protocol to a common open protocol that is understandable to the building/plant control system such as BACnet, LonWorks, EtherNet/IP, Modbus, etc.
VAV (Variable Air Volume) Controllers are use in building design to control the amount of air flowing from the AHU (Air Handling Unit) in an air conditioning system. The actions of a VAV Controller depends upon a wide variety of inputs since the air volume requirement depends upon occupancy, temperature, gas levels, energy conservation steps, facility use requirements, and even fire status in terms of smoke control. All of this important data is routed via the building automation system so it is extremely important that the VAV Controller can communicate with that BAS over the protocol network designed in the system. ProtoCessor enables VAV Controllers to communicate via BACnet, LonWorks, Modbus, Metasys N2 by JCI or any other protocol needed.
Commercial Chillers are closed-loop systems that remove heat from liquid using vapor-compression or absorption cycle technology. The resulting chilled water is then circulated to AHU (Air Handling Units) for air conditioning in HVAC systems in commercial and industrial buildings. In industrial plants specialty chillers are used to cool a process fluid or dehumidify air. To maintain efficient and reliable operation of the chiller, it needs to be on the same communication network as the AHU, VAV and HVAC systems. ProtoCessor provides the chiller manufacturer with the interoperability communication capability necessary to meet their customers' needs.
Electric Power Meters
Electric power meters measure and indicate the amount of electric power consumed by the load to which the power meter is connected. As commercial and industrial plants strive to improve energy efficiencies it is necessary to measure the consumption and relay that information to the building and industrial automation system. As companies enroll in demand-response agreements, this information becomes vital in decision making processes. The wide range of automation system networks means that the electric power meter manufacturer must be prepared to interface to BACnet, LonWorks, Modbus, Metasys N2 by JCI, EtherNet/IP, ControlNet and more. ProtoCessor provides the OEM manufacturer with that flexibility.
BTU Energy Flow Meter
BTU (British Thermal Units) meters provide the energy management system with full energy, flow and temperature data necessary to determine energy efficiency for such items as heat exchangers. Typical applications include commercial office building, central plant monitoring, university campus, institutional energy cost allocation, performance/efficiency evaluations and performance contracting energy monitoring. Due to the wide range of devices that the BTU meter must interface with, it is necessary to have the ability to BACnet, Modbus, LonWorks, Metasys N2 by JCI and more.
Variable frequency drives
Variable frequency drives (VFD) are key to energy conservation for many devices including pumps, fans and compressors. They operate by varying the frequency of the AC voltage supplied to the motor using solid state electronic devices allowing precise speed control, resulting in energy savings and improved control. As an example with fix speed drive on fans in AHU (Air Handler Units) energy is not only wasted on the fan, but also requires extra energy use by the VAV (Variable Air Volume) controller to regulate damper. As an essential part of the control system, it is necessary for VFDs to include the communication protocol necessary to interface to the automation system.
Energy Management Controllers
Energy Management Controllers are key to energy management for commercial buildings and industrial plants. They are designed to process, apply, communicate, and carry out all the operations necessary for customized and smooth management of the building's energy. By drawing on the operational data from a wide range of devices, including lighting, HVAC, and industrial processes, the system can take the necessary steps to manage energy use. Energy management controllers must be capable of interfacing to devices and systems utilizing different protocols including BACnet, LonWorks, Metasys N2 by JCI, Modbus, and proprietary networks.