Optimizing Building Automation with Rugged Controller Gateway

Background

The concept of green architecture has been a widespread phenomenon to mitigate negative environmental impacts. Indeed, buildings are not just a shelter, but also come with diverse energy systems including lighting, HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning), and electrical systems such as elevators, parking facility and entrance security. The maintenance expenses can often exceed the expected budgets. Besides the financial concerns, residents may also demand transparency of the energy consumption data about the buildings they live in, particularly towards incidents such as room temperature discomfort, system failure, and energy waste.

Building automation has been introduced to respond to these demands, and this technology is anticipated to optimize energy efficiency, maintenance budgeting, and thus building values. In fact, building automation is the nuclear core of the whole Smart City. Network plays a critical role in realizing this technological centralization, often referred as BAS (Building Automation System), by enabling all the controllers, sensors and meters to be connected to the network. Under the centralized BAS infrastructure, all the data regarding energy consumption and equipment conditions can be remotely visible and monitored for future maintenance scheduling. It is anticipated that 5G will realize the true potential of BAS technology.

Requirements

A leading automation expert in Europe worked with Lanner to develop a rugged integrated computer gateway, to build next-generation Automation Systems for safer, smarter BAS platform. The gateway will integrate BACnet network protocols to collect and format confidential data from PLC, as well as other sensor devices, for instance, all the microprocessor-powered sensors, devices, and subsystems, such as HVAC and smart detection, in the building. The following technological requirements must be met:

High Availability

All the devices and subsystem for the building, such as lighting, HVAC, and alarming systems, have to run 24/7 without interruption, and thus the redundant power supply is necessary to assure uninterrupted availability.

Openness and flexibility

Building automation may require more than one single operating system, and therefore multiple OS support, from general purpose OS to real-time OS, is critical for compatibility reasons. Below are supposedly compatible operating systems:

  • Microsoft Windows (all current versions) / Windows Embedded Compact
  • Wind River VxWorks / QNX Neutrino RTOS /On Time RTOS-32
  • Linux, Real-Time Linux / Yocto / T-Kernel
  • Proprietary OS upon request / All operating

Rich PCIe Expansion slots

PCI-Express expansion slots are essential for connections with external peripherals.

Serial Ports

Many of the building equipments and subsystems are connected through serial ports (COM), and since buildings may experience power surge, isolated protection are necessary.

Multiple screen output capability

Multiple display interfaces enables monitoring from the control room.

Dual swappable HDD/SSD drive bays support RAID0/1 for data mirroring.

Lanner Solutions

Throughout the joint development, Lanner adopted LEC-3340, a rugged industrial gateway designed to realize centralized remote monitoring and control of modern buildings.

The rugged LEC-3340 is optimal for consolidated workload in remote monitoring and integration. Powered by server-grade Intel® Xeon® processor, LEC-3340 packs the high-performance computing capability, multiple COM I/Os, expandable PCI Express slots in PCIe x 16 & PCIe x 4, various display output in DisplayPort & DVI-D, redundant power supply option and extreme wide operating temperature. With all the technological functionality, LEC-3340 is the capable gateway to integrate and connect all the devices for modern buildings and to enable remote monitoring for the equipment status and meter reading visibility.

Optimizing Building Automation with Rugged Controller Gateway was last modified: July 15th, 2020 by Jorge Peregrina