Uber Control are several weeks in to a demanding project, implementing a cutting edge Building Analytics solution across an estate of three NHS hospitals. In this blog, Wayne Smith (Development Director) describes the process so far, the challenges overcome and the plan for the remainder of the project.
Stage 1 – Defining the system
The client has a large Building Management System (BMS) which has grown over the last twenty years. With several providers, and individual engineers, having contributed to separate areas, the system lacked consistency. Uber Controls first task was to define the major elements of the system and create a list of standards. For example, we took an Air Handling Unit (AHU) and applied a standard naming convention. This gave us the opportunity to uniquely identify each unit, whilst applying standard element types. Whereas, previously we could expect to find five AHU1s, each with a different name for the Supply Air Temperature, the new system definition gave us PR1_AHU1_SAT, PR4_AHU1_SAT, etc. This gives the double edged benefit of smooth integration with the analytics engine and also a coherent labelling system, which easily understood by key site personnel.
Stage 2 – Integration of systems
The existing Building Management System was based on a closed protocol platform, which was non-compatible with the CopperTree building analytics infrastructure. Uber Control therefore had to implement integration between the two systems. The integration is achieved by installing designated gateways on the site. These are physical, hardware devices, sat on the clients’ IT network. The gateways are populated with the new Bacnet open protocol, naming standardized data points. These total approximately NINE THOUSAND. The gateways are programmed to transfer data between the existing BMS and the analytics hardware devices. Special consideration has been made to manage the flow of communication, so as to prevent a system comms overload on the networks involved.
Stage 3 – Off Site Data Transfer
Uber Control are working closely with the client and other NHS enabling agents to facilitate the sending of the BMS data to the, cloud based, analytics servers. This client demands a high standard of data security, therefore implanting this stage has brought about a few interesting challenges. However, the trust established between the clients network management department, along with the comprehensive CopperTree network implantation and security documentation, has allowed us to move forward with the required work.
Stage 4 – Configuring the Analytics Engine
The next stage will involve preparing the analytics server for the live data stream from site. This task is to be completed by the Building Analytics experts at CopperTree HQ. The engineers will be applying around THREE HUNDRED, standard fault detection rules. These will mean that the entire Building Management System is being continually monitored for control issues. The detection and diagnostic function will find previously undetected plant control issues, which may range from uncalibrated sensors to faulty plant items. Configuration will also include KPI monitoring, Gold Standard checking (recording user parameter changes), energy monitoring, creation of virtual metering and the setup of automated alerting and reporting.
Stage 4 – Roll Out
Once online, Uber control will work with the client to ensure maximum benefit is received. This will include various levels of training, from the casual user to executive manager. We will instruct all stakeholders in order that they use this valuable tool to better operate the building and systems that they interact with. The system will be made available from any location. Whether on or off site, users will be able to access all of the features over a secure internet connection. The interface is browser based, meaning that users can access the system from a wide variety of desktop, hand held and mobile devices. Possibly the most important aspect of using the system will be regular reviews. These will take place between the clients’ estates department, relevant department heads and Uber Control engineers. Together we will take action on the insights presented by the analytics engine and ensure that remedial fault corrections and improvement measures are undertaken. This will give us the opportunity to make continual improvements to energy efficiency, comfort control, occupant satisfaction, targeted maintenance and equipment life span.
Ubercontrol Blackburn Business Centre 88 Blackburn Road Sheffield, S61 2DR Tel0800 058 2460