Control & Automation
I see virtualization as the next big thing. Through integrated connected virtualization, the world of large buildings will soon view everything connected differently. New web-based services architected in the cloud are the new business models evolving in the many articles and interviews in our AutomatedBuildings.com website.
Carlo Gavazzi’s newest addition to its Energy Management product lineup—the WM30-96 smart modular power analyzer—is a three-phase power analyzer that offers an upgraded LCD display, which is capable of showing four electrical variables, an energy counter and a power demand indicator at the same time. The WM30-96 is particularly recommended for utility metering, says the company, for both imported and exported energy, providing accurate electrical parameter measurements with 0.2% accuracy (current/voltage) and basic power quality analysis, up to the 32nd harmonic. Additionally, the analyzer can be provided with digital outputs that can be utilized for pulse (proportional to the active or reactive energy) and/or alarm outputs. The WM30-96 offers four communication options: RS485, RS232, Ethernet and BACNet-IP; as well as relay, transistor and analogue outputs.   For further information, go to www.GavazziOnline.com.
Honeywell released a new version of its Enterprise Buildings Integrator (EBI R410), a facility management platform that reduces operating costs by integrating core building technologies—HVAC, security, life safety, lighting and energy systems.   The latest release includes support for Honeywell's new EasyMobileT client interface that allows building operators to view and control building systems using a variety of compatible mobile devices including Blackberry, Apple iPhone, and Palm Pre. Users can remotely view system alarms and trend information, and make changes like shifting HVAC system temperature settings. The company says this improves productivity and allows building operators to have more insight and control over their facility without being tethered to a desktop computer or console.          The new version also brings smartcard technology to the EBI platform through support of Honeywell's IdentIPointT IP-based access control system. The platform eliminates the need for centralized access controllers, says Honeywell, resulting in a more secure, flexible and scalable system that is less expensive to deploy and maintain.   EBI R410 adds support for a variety of Microsoft operating systems, software and databases, including Microsoft Windows 7, Internet Explorer 8, Windows Server 2008, and SQLT Server 2008. It also provides enhanced reporting capabilities through Microsoft Reporting Services for better decision support, including access control reports that help support Sarbanes-Oxley compliance.   “EBI delivers building operators more control through enhanced mobility,” said Paul Orzeske, president of Honeywell Building Solutions. “Combined with other leading features and functionality on an open, standards-based platform, EBI helps facility managers maximize the bottom line through improved operational and energy savings.”   EBI includes a facility model that organizes and presents information on all systems and control points in a hierarchy. Facility managers can view information at a campus-wide level or drill down to an individual HVAC component. They can also view and investigate historical trend information associated with various locations and events.   In addition EBI consolidates all building systems onto a common IT backbone, which Honeywell says allows for enhanced service support through automated delivery of software patches and upgrades to ensure systems are kept up-to-date and running optimally. EBI makes integrating additional applications simple because all system components reside on a single network, enabling a consistent framework for standards and support.   EBI R410 will be available in the third quarter of 2010. To learn more about Honeywell Enterprise Buildings Integrator, visit www.honeywell.com/EBI.
CA Technologies announced the general availability of CA ecoSoftware 2.0, the latest version of its energy, carbon and sustainability management solution designed to help organizations reduce carbon emissions, manage natural resource consumption, and cut energy costs.   CA ecoSoftware's enhanced reporting and forecasting capabilities can help organizations manage increasingly complex sustainability programs and meet stringent reporting requirements, says the company. With technology designed to streamline the integration between CA ecoSoftware and other systems, CA Technologies says this latest sustainability management solution version can help organizations reduce costs and improve overall energy efficiency.   “Organizations around the world are under increasing pressure to gain control over their energy consumption and waste—to cut costs, comply with regulations and communicate their progress with stakeholders,” said Terrence Clark, senior vice president and general manager of the CA ecoSoftware business unit. “CA Technologies helps customers assess their effects, align sustainability programs with their business goals and automate this process to accelerate their sustainability efforts.”   CA ecoSoftware 2.0 includes enhancements to CA ecoGovernance, CA Technologies SaaS-based sustainability and carbon management solution, and CA ecoMeter, its operational energy management solution.   “Logicalis has chosen CA ecoSoftware to further improve our governance and operational management of energy and carbon related business issues as we expand our services in the Cloud,” said Chris Gabriel, director of marketing for Logicalis. “We recognize that many of our customers see environmental performance as a core business issue and that the effective management of these issues is now seen as good business, making sound commercial sense.”   The CA ecoMeter helps customers to achieve real-time bi-directional integration with a variety of devices and systems, and can access energy-related information across geographically dispersed facilities. The CA ecoMeter Gateway permits access to these heterogeneous systems using different protocols such as Modbus TCP, BACnet and SNMP. CA ecoMeter is also designed to integrate with traditional building management systems.   Using visual dashboards, data centre and facilities managers can monitor energy-efficiency trends, including historical PUE and DCiE metrics, for insight into how these calculated metrics vary over time, such as days, weeks or months. This insight can facilitate better decision-making, says the company, and lead to improvements in overall energy efficiency and waste reduction. The CA ecoMeter calculation engine can be used by customers to create new formula-based attributes and metrics which can then be monitored, based on evolving business needs.   To learn more about CA Technologies’ solutions, visit www.ca.com/ecoSoftware.
After returning from a very successful ConnectivityWeek—with a record attendance of 1,300 energy and business leaders gathered in Santa Clara, CA—I am now convinced more than ever that building automation and the grid will be the first major demonstrations of a truly smart grid. You will see that this conclusion was the first of my Takeaways from ConnectivityWeek 2010. Even if your local electrical grid is not yet smart, it will soon be forced to change its ways and engage in the incredible opportunity that is smart grid. The easiest first step is to manipulate the large existing connected loads in automated buildings by offering incentives in the form of dynamic pricing to achieve a proven successful building-to-grid (B2G) relationship. Environmentally unsustainable policies, coupled with high loss transmission, can no longer be our growth model. Grid load management of existing building loads with new found connectivity to grid provides an almost immediate solution to load shape locally and on the complete grid. The linking of supply and demand is an obvious solution. Standards efforts have been united by the NIST. The NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technologies) is the US federal technology agency that works with industry to develop and apply technology, measurements and standards. The Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP) will support NIST in fulfilling its responsibilities under the 2007 US Energy Independence and Security Act. A ConnectivityWeek Wrap-Up can provide more insight into the complete smart grid movement The SGIP will identify, prioritize and address new and emerging requirements for Smart Grid standards. It will further develop the initial NIST Framework and Roadmap for Smart Grid Interoperability Standards, Release 1.0, which was released January 2010. Be sure to watch the YouTube video of Vinton G. Cerf vice president and Chief Internet Evangelist for Google the Opening Night Keynote. This video will provide broad insight into the part the Internet will play in all this B2G connectivity. Vint is a fantastic speaker with incredible insight into how this may all play out in the Internet of things. Cerf is responsible for identifying new enabling technologies and applications on the Internet and other platforms for Google. Widely known as a “Father of the Internet”, Vint is the co-designer with Robert Kahn of TCP/IP protocols and basic architecture of the Internet. In 1997 President Clinton recognized their work with the U.S. National Medal of Technology. In 2005 Vint and Bob received the highest civilian honour bestowed in the U.S., the Presidential Medal of Freedom. It states that their work on the software code used to transmit data across the Internet has put them “at the forefront of a digital revolution that has transformed global commerce, communication, and entertainment”. The real benefit of connectivity is not limited to grid. In the article, The Future of Cloud Connectivity for BAS by Nirosha Munasinghe, the following is noted: “The primary beneficiary of cloud computing architecture is the end customer. Facility managers can devote more time to enhancing the value of using the BAS by managing onsite mechanical and electrical assets and less on day-to-day challenges of networks and servers. The technology behind cloud computing is transparent to the user, making the cloud computing incredibly user friendly. The cloud concept greatly benefits multi-building/multi-national sites situated globally such as universities, department stores, fast food outlet chains, banks and hotels. In the current situation, such sites have multiple servers taking up real estate and databases with duplicate and redundant data. In a cloud environment, it can operate in one application instance and database accessed via the web browser from anywhere in the world. This yields significant cost savings in real estate, which translates into reduction in energy consumption for power and cooling costs of servers. The facility manager has access to global view of data collected from the control networks, which translates to better decision making process to improve issues such as energy management and carbon foot print reduction. Also, as the capacity of the valid data increases, more opportunities arise to use the data as intelligence for BAS to provide proactive solutions to the challenges of managing a building.” And he leaves us with this thought: “As BAS converges with the IT networks, web and cloud model integrating with many other applications, it is very important for the integrators to continually educate the support staff.” Building Connectivity is our future. Ken Sinclair is the editor/owner of AutomatedBuildings.com.
Carlo Gavazzi has launched the REC Series of 3-phase solid state contactors and reversing contactors. The company says the REC Series is 20 times more durable than equivalent mechanical contactors and succeeds in handling high frequency switching. The REC Series is comprised of a 3-pole non-reversing version with three switched phases, or a 3-pole non-reversing and reversing versions with two switched phases. The first solution eliminates direct connection from the power supply to motor, while the second one maintains the same performance level while providing relevant cost reduction. The company says its product assures substantial savings, as it reduces system downtime and maintenance costs. The solid state contactors are provided with a 1,600 Vp blocking voltage option that enhances their surge current ratings. The REC is mechanically compatible with Carlo Gavazzi’s CGT-22 line of bimetallic overload modules by means of a plastic adapter.   For more information, go to www.GavazziOnline.com.
Carlo Gavazzi Automation, the international electronics group with activities in designing, manufacturing and marketing of electronic equipment, launches the CGES Series, a new range of sensors designed to measure various indoor environmental parameters, including CO2, humidity, temperature and air velocity. When CO2 levels rise to an unacceptable level, with poor air quality and stuffy rooms, the CGES sensors can be used to help increase the supply of fresh air into the building and, as a result, improve the indoor air quality. The CGES sensors can be a significant contributor to compliance with ASHRAE 62-1989, which recommends a maximum concentration of 1,000 ppm of CO2 indoors. Additionally, the auto-calibrating feature ensures that the CGES is properly tuned for continuous, worry-free operation. The CGES Series can also be used to control humidity levels in wet climates, thus elevating the comfort level of the occupants and discouraging the growth of mildew. Air velocity and temperature sensors can be used to keep indoor air temperatures at comfortable levels, and maximize energy efficiency. All of these new sensors operate on 24 VAC/DC for flexibility, and feature multiple output options, including 0-10V, 4-20mA, and switching. They can be mounted in walls or ducts. The CGES sensors are a complete and versatile solution with applications in office buildings, schools, pools, museums, greenhouses, incubators, and food storage rooms, among many others. www.GavazziOnline.com
Honeywell announces the newest version of its most widely-used smart pressure transmitters includes a software upgrade that allows industrial facilities to take a more-proactive approach to maintenance. The ST 3000 transmitter line now features enhanced and advanced on-board diagnostics that simplify maintenance by automatically telling plant personnel how the devices are functioning. The new software upgrade includes diagnostics, which require no configuration, for both Foundation Fieldbus and HART 5 and 6 users. The standard HART 6 diagnostics include time-tracking functions - such as install date, calibration date, time-in-service and stress monitoring - and point value, meter body temperature and general reading functions. These functions allow plant personnel to diagnose problems from remote locations, be more aware of potential issues with individual transmitters, view a device's history even after it has been removed from the process and conduct root-cause analysis. All diagnostics automatically run when the transmitter is powered and the information can be fed directly into the plant's distributed control system (DCS) and asset management solutions. The data also can be reviewed via hand-held device. Additionally, the information remains in the transmitter for use in troubleshooting activities, which means maintenance and reliability engineers no longer need to look for strip chart and historian data to begin failure review processes. The ST 3000 series includes absolute-pressure, differential-pressure, gauge-pressure, flange-mount, high-temperature gauge and in-line gauge pressure transmitters. Each provides pressure, level and flow measurement for applications ranging from hydrostatic tank gauging to measurement in boilers, fuel feeds and high-pressure reaction vessels. "With the need to save costs in manufacturing, industrial plants are rapidly shifting from reactive to proactive maintenance to ensure they see problems arising before processes are affected," said Anand Krishna, director of marketing for Honeywell Field Solutions. "Unplanned repairs can cost up to five times more than a scheduled repair outage. The ST 3000 software upgrade gives plants additional tools that can help them stay ahead of maintenance problems and improve overall asset management." www.honeywell.com/ps
SCHAUMBURG, IL — Omron Industrial Automation has introduced the space-saving NV3-Series cost-efficient HMIs to meet OEM and machine builders' needs for simple device connections to multi-vendor PLCs. They offer fast updates, large information capacity and high visibility for any application. The new HMIs are sized and priced for pairing with micro PLCs and compact AC drives or servo systems in small machines. Omron's NV3-Series HMIs enable machine builders to use their current choice of PLC model without redesigning an existing system.
E-Mon, LLC, an electric submetering market leader and manufacturer of the E-Mon D-Mon product line, announces the availability of a new LonWorks communication option (specify Option LTP) for converting electrical submeter data into the LonWorks communications format for building automation systems (BAS) and equipment control applications, including lighting and security systems, HVAC and more. Any E-Mon D-Mon Class 3000 or Class 5000 meter or Interval Data Recorder (IDR) equipped with Option LTP can communicate up to 40 meter data parameters to any BAS employing the widely used LonWorks protocol. Like E-Mon's other communication options, the LonWorks version provides similar electrical measurements, including:
Much is said these days of improving the energy use patterns of buildings, but patchwork improvements are not sufficient to create real and lasting change. In fact, change is not enough. We need to completely transform our buildings into smart grid interactions, with all functions within the building flowing and showing as active and visible assets of the corporate enterprise. The new true blue of an economical and environmental bottom line is supported with real, dynamic data, presented virtually, anywhere and at any time. This is the proof of our transformation.
MISSISSAUGA, ON — Fluke Corporation, a global leader in portable electronic test and measurement technology, has introduced the industry’s first digital multimeter with a detachable wireless display.   Designed by Fluke engineers and manufactured at the Fluke Worldwide headquarters in Everett, Wash., the Fluke 233 Digital Multimeter uses a 2.4 GHz ISM Band wireless transmitter to immediately send measurements to the detached display, improving safety and increasing productivity for today’s busy industrial and commercial electricians and electronic technicians.   In addition to functioning as a highly capable multimeter, the new Fluke 233 Remote Display Multimeter gives users ultimate flexibility in unusual test situations. By simply sliding the wireless display out of the meter body, the user can place the display where it is most easily seen — up to 10 meters (33 feet) from the point of measurement— while putting the meter in the best position to take measurements. There’s no more juggling of leads and the meter while stretching into tight spots. For a video demonstration, go to www.fluke.com/233_DMM.   Designed for both convenience and safety, the Fluke 233 makes it easier to take measurements in hard-to-reach places, or make measurements in machines or panels that are physically separated from a limit or isolator switch. It is ideal in areas where the operator can’t be close to the active measurement point, like clean rooms or hazardous areas. Making measurements without holding the meter can help users improve their visual focus on their test probes and work more safely.   The detachable wireless display lets the user: Find a comfortable position to view and record test data, even when the test location is hard to reach or in a dirty or noisy environment. View readings when the test point is across the room—or in the next room. See test results even when the meter is hidden behind an equipment enclosure. Run tests and read results at a safe distance from shock and arc flash hazards, moving machinery and other dangers. Separate the tasks of positioning your meter and reading test results, so you can devote full attention to each job—and work more safely.   The low-power, 2.4 GHz-ISM Band wireless signal that transmits measurement data is resistant to electromagnetic interference.  The radio transmitter automatically turns on when the display is removed from the meter and off when the display is reattached. The removable display is magnetic and has a flat bottom, so it can be conveniently mounted or placed on a flat surface where it can easily be seen. When the display is attached, the Fluke 233 operates as a conventional multimeter.   The Fluke 233 will measure up to 1000 V ac and dc and up to 10A. It features a 10,000 μF capacitance range, measures frequencies to 50 kHz and captures min/max and average readings automatically. It features a 6,000-count display and includes a built-in thermometer that enables users to take temperature readings easily without carrying a separate instrument.  The meter body is powered by three AA batteries; the display has two AA batteries. Average battery life is 400 hours.  An auto-off feature maximizes battery life.   The Fluke 233 is safety rated for use in CAT IV 600V/CAT III 1000 V working environments.   The Fluke 233 Remote Display Multimeter is available now. A specification sheet on the Fluke 233 is available for download at www.flukecanada.ca
BOSTON, MA — Just over one year ago, a prominent group of building controls manufacturers formed the EnOcean Alliance to promote interoperable wireless sensor networks based on the EnOcean wireless standard. Today 113 companies, including Leviton, Masco, Distech Controls, Philips Ledalite and Osram Sylvania, have engineered products that simplify BAS (Building Automation System) installations using wireless and energy harvesting sensors, switches and controls. Its widespread adoption within the building lighting controls segment was manifested this year at the industry's most prominent show, Lightfair. Eighty per cent of the companies demonstrating wireless lighting controls at Lightfair were based on the EnOcean Standard. "EnOcean's showing at Lightfair 2009 clearly illustrates the separation between the EnOcean wireless standard and standards that are dependent upon batteries or line-power," said Jim O`Callaghan, President of EnOcean operations in North America. "Lighting professionals welcome the simplicity and flexibility that comes standard with EnOcean-based controls. The combination of energy harvesting and radio technologies is creating an equally compelling story in the HVAC market." Today, more than 100,000 buildings worldwide are automated using EnOcean-based controls, according to the Alliance — more than any other wireless standard. EnOcean`s emergence as the wireless lighting leader is attributed to the unique behaviors of the controls — they operate without wires and without batteries. This frees integrators from the confines and invasiveness that has stalled widespread BAS integration. In addition to overcoming installation barriers, notorious maintenance issues are averted. Batteries are cheap but replacing them is not. The controls regenerate power for radio communications using ambient sources of energy such as light, temperature and motion. The EnOcean standard is anchored upon interoperability. EnOcean-based controls are interoperable, regardless of the manufacturer. Another important hallmark is the ability to self-power sensors and switches, based upon patented technology from EnOcean. No other standard has the energy-efficiency required by energy harvesting. All other standards require a battery or line power. Analysts anticipate that more than a billion wireless sensor nodes will penetrate the market within the next decade. For more information visit www.enocean.com.
AUSTIN, TX – Site Controls, a leading provider of enterprise energy management, facilities intelligence, and grid efficiency solutions, announced yesterday that Michaels Stores has successfully deployed its Site-Command Energy Management System (EMS) at more than 900 retail locations. To date, Michaels has seen energy usage drop by more than 25 percent at stores equipped with Site-Command. The solution helps chain retailers reduce energy and maintenance costs through equipment monitoring and control combined with web-based business intelligence. Site-Command lowers energy consumption and maintenance costs in retail and restaurant facilities through a sophisticated on-site EMS unit which monitors and controls Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems, interior and exterior lighting, store signage, refrigerators, trash compactors, solar panels and wind power.  In addition, enterprise-wide issue reporting and asset intelligence are provided through a hosted data center.  Besides lowering costs, Site-Command also improves customer comfort by ensuring corporate standards for temperature and lighting are consistently maintained across the chain.  Michaels initially deployed the Site-Command system in early 2006, achieving immediate energy reductions of 17 per cent through schedule and set point compliance. By utilizing the platform’s above-site visibility to identify and remedy HVAC and lighting equipment issues, Michaels further reduced energy use over time, with sustained reductions now exceeding 25 per cent. Besides lowering energy costs, Site Controls has helped significantly reduce Michaels’ carbon emissions.  By lowering electricity usage by 137 million kilowatt hours annually, Michaels has reduced CO2 emissions by approximately 192 million lbs. This is the equivalent of removing 17,400 cars from the road or powering over 12,900 households for a year. “We are extremely pleased with the results we’ve seen from Site Controls in controlling our store-level energy expenses,” said Rob McClay, VP of Store Development and Construction for Michaels.  “Their enterprise tools help ensure we maintain and increase our savings over time.  Most importantly, they serve as a true partner on our energy management journey.” “We are proud to count leading retailers such as Michaels among our partners,” said Dan Sharplin, CEO of Site Controls. “We look forward to working collaboratively to find additional ways to expand Michaels’ ROI from using the Site-Command platform.” The Site-Command system also features Intelligent Load Management capabilities which allow Michaels to participate in utility-sponsored Demand Response programs to reduce electricity usage during peak periods.  As the leading demand response aggregator for retailers, Site Controls intelligently manages electrical loads during critical grid situations, allowing Michaels to implement load reductions with minimal impact to the consumer shopping experience.  By grouping hundreds of facilities together for Demand Response events, Site Controls can maximize the incentive payments retailers receive from utilities, while maintaining the store environment according to pre-defined business rules.
There are clouds on the horizon and I am excited. The summation of my takeaways from ConnectivityWeek in Santa Clara, California, early in June was that Clouds are OK. In fact the power of data clouds and cloud computing to simplify the presentation and management of extreme amounts of data are truly amazing. We all already use these concepts every time we book air travel online or view Google Earth.
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