Babel Buster Network Gateways: Big Features. Small Price.
| Energy Management Initiative
Maryland Stadium Authority
Founder and Managing Partner
The S4 Group Inc
Building automation solutions are becoming more driven by the desire to decrease energy consumption of a building
or group of buildings. Building owners and facility managers are keenly aware that 40% of primary energy is consumed by
buildings; industrial buildings, which comprise 50% of
total buildings, consume 75% of the total electricity usage. Pressure
to reduce this consumption, coupled with the rising costs of
energy, has created a demand for a systemic integration solution that
addresses the need for real time energy usage monitoring and control.
The reality of aging control
systems, outdated dashboards, and older control systems with
proprietary protocols has made meeting the energy goals of
the customer more difficult.
In downtown Baltimore, near the Inner Harbor, there is a professional sports complex, sports museum, and mixed-use commercial office space operated by the Maryland Stadium Authority (MSA). The complex includes M&T Bank Stadium (home of the Baltimore Ravens), Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Camden Station sports museum, and a converted warehouse that runs along the right-field line of Oriole Park.
The Maryland Stadium Authority was very concerned about the amount of energy their complex consumed and the associated energy cost. Their solution began as an adoption of Energy Conservation Measures (ECM) which addresses different types of equipment and energy use. Large stadiums and athletic complexes are more difficult to create workable energy solutions for due to the large amount of open space, large crowds of people coming to the space during events, which contrast with periods of dormancy. They called in the team of engineers from Engineered Services, Inc. (www.engineeredservices.com) to create a plan to address the energy requirements and bring the corresponding building controls systems together into one unified network. Engineered Services, Inc. specializes in a variety of Building Automation Systems & Services such as digital facility automation, access control, systems integration, graphical user interfaces, design-build projects and much more.
The Energy Conservation Measures were designed to reduce energy consumption and free up revenue for current and future improvements in all four facilities. In addition, the customer wanted to provide a migration path from the existing proprietary legacy Siemens and Johnsons Controls Building Automation System (BAS) to an open protocol. This migration will allow the integration of any manufacturer’s hardware using the open protocol during future upgrades. The ideal scenario would have been to replace all of the Siemens and Johnson Controls controllers with current Continuum BACnet controllers, but that would have increased the cost enormously. The Maryland Stadium Authority plans to use the energy savings from this project to complete an orderly transition to BACnet over the next few years.
Engineered Services proposed to install Andover Controls CyberStation plus the Andover Controls BCX products that would function as the building’s new front end. Work on this project included installing Schneider Electric Buildings Business Andover Controls Continuum BACnet chiller plant controls, Continuum servers and workstations, and integrating the existing legacy Siemens and Johnson Controls controllers into the Continuum BAS. The existing Siemens BAS at Oriole Park and the Warehouse office complex consisted of 44 ALN (automation level network) controllers with an additional 24 FLN networks that contained 532 application controllers. The existing Johnson Controls systems consisted of 10 MetasysŪ N2 networks integrated with NCM supervisory controllers, representing 496 N2 Field controllers with 9,300 total points.
To meet the customer’s needs, Engineered Services had to identify the logic in the legacy MetasysŪ NCMs, and migrate it to the Andover Controls BCX to assume the supervisory control functions. Since neither the existing Siemens nor Johnson Controls equipment is native BACnet, a method of integrating these controllers into the Continuum BAS was necessary. Engineered Services, Inc. had previous experience using a software driver to integrate foreign devices into the Continuum environment, but found that it did not include interfaces for all of the Johnson Controls device types that were present in the BAS in large quantities. A search for a viable solution to integrate all of the Johnson Controls devices led Engineered Services to the S4 Group’s Open: BACnet-N2 router. www.thes4group.com
installation started, the initial approach was to turn off all
of the NCMS and their Metasys operator workstations at the same time
however, it was quickly determined that a pull-the-pug transition
from the existing Johnson Controls system to a fully integrated
Continuum environment would not be possible with a system of this
magnitude. The installation plan was amended by upgrading all of the
BACnet-N2 Routers to include the Upstream N2 Interface and doing the
project in phases. This change allowed the customer to keep the NCMs
and their MetasysŪ Operator Workstations active in parallel to the
development of their new head end, facilitating a smooth and
coordinated transition. Essentially, after a very short interruption to
install each S4 Open: BACnet-N2 Router, it was business as usual for
the MetasysŪ users. The new graphical user interface, system navigation
structure, trending strategies, and scheduling were developed and
tested without impacting ongoing operations. The NCMs and MetasysŪ
Operator Workstation were then removed in a phased manner.
The system consisted mostly of custom Johnson Controls configurations,
so the standard device type templates provided to define standard point
lists would not work. However, the flexibility built into the system
allowed ESI to customize the point lists to meet the installation
From the inception of the N2 router, we imagined
approaching the integration as a traditional communications gateway at
the N2 protocol level. Because of the lessons learned on this project,
our technology has evolved to look at the N2 Router as
encapsulating the entire MetasysŪ system, thus
creating a more complete emulation of the BACnet environment.
All nine of the S4 Open: BACnet-N2 Routers are installed and are
currently publishing BACnet data into the Andover Continuum system.
There is an average of 800 N2 points per router. The Maryland Stadium
Authority’s energy conservation requirements were met and
they are anticipating meeting the target savings that
will fund the next phase of the project.
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