Saturday, 19 March 2011

Building Management System


The Building Management System (BMS) is a computer -based control system installed in buildings that controls and monitors the building’s mechanical and electrical equipment  etc. such as ventilation, lighting, power systems , fire systems, sprinkler systems , access control systems , energy management systems and security  systems. A BMS consists of hardware and software , the software program  usually configured in a hierarchical manner can be proprietary using such protocols as C-bus, Profibus and so on. Many vendors are also producing BMS that integrate using Internet Protocols open standards such as DeviceNet, SOAP, XMC , BACnet ,Lon Works , OPC , Advanced DDE and Modbus.

The BMS plays its part in optimizing building performance , improving building control , improving energy and operating efficiency  and lower lifecycle costs of the highly automated industrial and commercial buildings.
I have managed to compile some data from the Honeywell website which a leader in BMS technology and another company called Systems Control Limited.

 The  BMS description and features  :

  • Is an high end intelligent building controller
  • An essential tool in the fine tuning of internal operations of building of any size
  • Has an ability to automate buildings ‘ access control , air-conditioning ,lighting , survelliance and security.
  • It eliminates headache for the managers and personnels and creates a more comfortable , secure and energy efficient work place.
  • Building control technology make building more comfortable, safer , secure and efficient.
  • Control solutions are designed to solve unique challenges from communicating commercial thermostats that can be programmed and changed remotely to a full range of advanced HVAC , energy lighting , security , access , fire and life safety and industrial process controls.
  • HVAC controls provides convenient single - point monitoring and control the building’s HVAC , lighting , energy management and environmental controls.
  • High performance digital control  systems helps improve the facility’s indoor environment while cutting energy and equipment costs and features sequences of operations.
  • Provides centralized alarming and card holder management features including a fully integrated photo ID badging system.
  • Customizes graphic displays to improve critical information management 
  • Interfaces with third party CCTV controller  
  • Integrates with time and attendance files and human resources , financial and inventory management databases
  • Provides comprehensive standards and customized reports

The latest technology in the form of the Smart BMS and Intelligent Buildings will be easily integrated with the Smart Grid and mobile telecommunications.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Smart Meter

Smart Meter
In this post I would like to highlight the smart meter which is also an integral part of the Smart Grid infrastructure. The smart meters are making its way to all household in the near future. The UK government has unveiled its plans to equip all homes in Britian by 2020. It is estimated that 22 million gas meters and 26 million electric meters are to be fitted at £7 billion pounds.

The system architecture of a smart meter shall allow remote two way communications from head end systems to the local system through the WAN (Wide Area Network) via a local comms hub. This comms hub combines local and remote communicating technology. This system may also include an IHD (In Home Display) that may communicate with each meter and/or the comms hub. Such local communications are via a Home Area Network (HAN). The system shall support multiple gas and electricity meters (up to 4 supply meters) and shall also support a single fuel meter configurations. In the scenario where there are multiple meters, there will be one IHD.

The long term benefits of the smart meters are :

  • More modern approach 
  • No estimated reading
  • Accurate billing
  • No need for a meter reader to visit the home or for the customer to take their own reading.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

SIP for Smart Grid Communications

SIP for Smart Grid Communications

The are certain requirements for a communications systems for the Smart Grid like being flexible for both current and future Smart Grid equipment , to be based on open standards and designed with interoperability.
Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is a leading solution which fall within these requirements. It is an application -level communication protocol using internet concepts and it leverages much of the functionality provided by an IP network eg. TCP, UDP, QoS, routing

The advantages of the SIP as a application layer protocol for the Smart Grid are as follows :

1. Maturity
    SIP is a mature protocol and has proven to be reliable , secure and scalable.

2.Consistent with current standards
    It consistent with all the current standards and architecture requirements of the
    Smart Grid.

3. Broad device application support
    It can provide the communication semantics to support device to device , device to
    back office , back office to device .

4. Support for Mobile Metering
    Plug in Electric Vechicles (PEV) being a  key element of the Smart Grid and when
    the is charging the PEV away from home would want the cost to be debited to the
    user account and not the home owner. The SIP ‘s location register provides support
     for device and mobility.

5. Flexible Security Design
    SIP supports all modern security mechanism and its flexible security design allows
    it be implemented in a substation as well as data storage for a smart metering

6. Multimedia and advanced communication option
    SIP brings voice , text communication to the Smart Grid.
     As well as mobile telecommunications.

The development and evolution of the Smart Grid require the use of open standards-based technologies. It also require the use of protocols and solutions proven to be functional , scalable , secure and of high performance . The SIP brings all these to the Smart Grid infrastructure .The SIP for Smart Grid provides an opportunity for its deployment. It also allows the Smart Grid to enable a mobile workforce and automate many other businesses.