Facility Management in the Cloud

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Keeping buildings and construction fully functional is the core concept of facility management. It is important to collect system data from scattered locations into one central location and present it in an understandable form.
Keeping buildings and construction fully functional is the core concept of facility management. It is important to collect system data from scattered locations into one central location and present it in an understandable form.
The data loggers can be used for data backup and data transfer for effective remote monitoring.
The data loggers can be used for data backup and data transfer for effective remote monitoring.
Overall concept for energy data acquisition relies on the Data Station. With a system that is easily adaptable to existing structures, energy consumption data can be determined, visualized, and passed to higher-level systems.
Overall concept for energy data acquisition relies on the Data Station. With a system that is easily adaptable to existing structures, energy consumption data can be determined, visualized, and passed to higher-level systems.

The goal of building management is to manage properties and the corresponding technical equipment efficiently. For this, it is necessary to collect the site data at a central location, evaluate it and put it in an understandable form. Optimization potentials are then also seen as real or potential sources of error that result in less efficient management. The practical utility of such an approach is clear, but the implementation - especially in older buildings - is by no means trivial. In the meantime, however, there are more practical solutions that rely on proven industrial hardware and take advantage of visualization, i.e. the "cloud". To operate a tailored and specific visualization solution itself and to keep it technically up to date can be very expensive and ultimately reduces the overall efficiency quickly.

 

Much has been accomplished in building technology in the last few years. Building technology is being simplified in new buildings using intelligent, networked systems. The situation is different for those who want to upgrade older buildings accordingly to detect and evaluate, for example, the consumption at municipal facilities or residential facilities, etc. at a central location. Only then can you identify any potential for optimization in existing buildings, and then either intervene from afar or a central location if necessary (for example with alarms). Someone from the town hall could obtain, for example, data from kindergartens, schools, swimming pools and sports venues, evaluate it, and intervene if errors occur. The same is true for property managers who have to care for scattered locations, or similar mounted applications. To find workable and above all economically sensible solutions is easy in hindsight, but is not easy in reality.

Collecting data and transmitting it wirelessly
Welotec is an automation expert who has now taken up this issue and provides efficient building management in an overall package that consists of a wide selection of matching, easily upgradable hardware and a cloud-based portal solution. The latter was developed by narz systems based on years of practical experience and can be easily adapted to individual needs. There are several advantages for the user: If he uses it for visualizing the cloud, he does not have to invest in software and its maintenance; equipment also runs must faster.

The hardware is also easy to install, easy to operate and easy to retrofit. You can choose from different telemetry solutions based on GSM, GPRS, UMTS and LTE wireless technologies. The data loggers are ideal for data backup and data transfer for effective remote monitoring and technically have a lot to offer, such as numerous binary and analog inputs and control outputs. Internal flash memory allows you to save many thousands of entries. The measured data are each provided with a precise timestamp. Transfer of the data, for example, to a central control room or directly to the remote administrative headquarters as well as sending SMS messages is also provided.

Acquisition and transfer of measurement data can be dependent on the application to set time or event-controlled. Thus, data can only be measured and transmitted when it is really necessary. This reduces energy consumption and increases the service life of battery-operated versions by up to ten years. Programming the devices can be done locally via a USB port. As an option, there is an RS232, RS485 or M-BUS interface.

Thanks to robust IP67 or optional IP68 enclosures, the units can also be mounted in a harsh environment directly at the measuring point.

Wide range of applications
Thanks to numerous other options such as GPS receiver, internal temperature and humidity measurement or graphic LCD display with touch panel keys the data logger can be flexibly linked to various applications, since they allow communication with a variety of sensors, controllers, and measuring devices. Typical applications in building services are, for example, the alarm communication in elevators, remote monitoring of elevator control systems or HVAC systems, the acquisition and transmission of the data of water, heat, gas and electricity meters, monitoring of gas detectors, efficiency monitoring in photovoltaic panels or boilers and fire protection duties. Access controls to parking lots or parking garages can also take advantage of the wide range of telemetry modules.

Even for buildings in which different controls are in use, they do not necessarily communicate smoothly with each other, e.g. for air conditioning systems and water treatment; however, there is a suitable solution. A new system for energy and machine data acquisition in which the different automation components are "brought under one roof" by the many proprietary protocols. For this purpose, the new Data Station Plus uses the ever-growing and very extensive protocol library of Red Lion Controls (with about 300 drivers already installed) to connect incompatible devices to wired or wireless networks. The compact DSP has all the interfaces for the connection of different control systems. Also digital and analog I /O's can be connected with the help of additional modules. After configuration, let the energy or machine data log to an adjustable sampling rate and query the Embedded Web Server from a distance.

Convenient analysis and visualization with low investment
It is irrelevant where operators or administrators display the collected data in the buildings for evaluation and analysis etc. All measured values and data are transmitted wirelessly via mobile to headquarters. Here then comes the cloud-based visualization solution, with whose aid all properties are viewable at any time. my-M2M consolidates all data and messages on a platform and creates the basis for an energy management system according to ISO 50001. The hardware requirements for this are easy to fulfill: The visualization can be used on any PC with a (reasonably modern) browser, as no plug-ins or programs such as Flash are required. Tablets (e.g. iPad) and smartphones are therefore also suitable.

The cloud-based portal solution also includes a complete alarm management. The user can centrally configure all property alarm cascades and standby times of individual employees. Acknowledgement management and an archive are naturally available as well, so one can see at all times, who does what, when, where, and why. However, collected data only bring benefits if it is accessible. In addition to the built-in my-M2M visualizations and reports, numerous interfaces (e.g. SQL, CSV, Webservices, OPC) enable the integration in external systems from Excel up to SCADA systems.

Additional use
Normally, the data collected by the data loggers on site, is transmitted at a rather slow pace to the visualization portal to optimize the data volume. However, the transmission rate can be increased so that the data are available almost without delay when needed. In practice, this function is used in the local on-site operation: Then one employee is standing with a tablet or smartphone on the spot while controlling the result of his settings.

On request, the required mobile phone cards are included. The data volume is charged in this case as a flat monthly fee, without risk to users. And otherwise security is very important in this whole package for efficient building management: my-M2M is hosted redundant in certified data centers in Germany. Upon request, one version can be operated in the premises of the user or on its own servers.

Posted on February 26, 2014 - (582 views)
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WELOTEC GmbH
Zum Hagenbach 7
48366 Laer - Germany
+49-2554-913000
+49-2554-913010
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