Building control system uses LonWorks | Automation.com

Building control system uses LonWorks

Building control system uses LonWorks
February 11, 2008 - Corporations active in the pension and long term investment markets are constantly growing, merging, and taking new, innovative approaches to providing investment services. AEGON Scottish Equitable is one of the top pension, protection, investment, and annuities providers in the UK market. Headquartered in Edinburgh, Scotland, AEGON Scottish Equitable decided to update its main building to provide a more modern working environment, which would flexibly meet the changing office space requirements. AEGON believes an evolving market requires a dynamic company to meet its demand.

The headquarters’ building control system was originally installed in the early 1990s and needed a facelift. The initial automation package was extensive, with several bespoke, non-integrated systems to manage different areas of the building, making it difficult to fully support or expand. AEGON required a modern control solution which would provide the same degree of customization for the structure’s different functions without necessitating extensive engineering. These requirements were met by a LON based control system that is easy for the client to maintain in the future due to its open, interoperable standards as well as manageable through AEGON’s chosen front-end management interface, Apogee from Siemens.

The design solution called for the floor controls to be linked via a LonWorks network, installed and managed using LNS, while offering a seamless data integration via Siemens LMEC gateways onto a BACnet system which handles the interaction with the central AHU, boilers and chillers.

A unique challenge of the renovation project was that all work needed to be done while the offices were occupied, meaning the new system had to be installed mostly at night to avoid disturbing staff or disrupting the business.

Fast integration was achieved with Newron System’s LNS based management tool, NL-Facilities, which provides a systematic means of building LonWorks networks.

NL-Facilities uses a Modeller Database concept. In the planning stage, a LON expert creates a rules database, with models that define how specific LON devices should be bound and configured for different types of space (open plan area, meeting room, private office, etc.) within a building.

Using this database, the system integrator, Building Automation Solutions Ltd., could then design the control solution to meet the particular needs of each area of the building and use NL-Facilities to set up the network. This ensures that the system is set up correctly and consistently, because the software follows the previously defined network rules. NL-Facilities also automates the binding and device configuration steps, helping the system integrator work more effectively. In the end, AEGON Scottish Equitable receives a specialized building control solution that is expertly installed and operating as quickly as possible.

During the refurbishment project new lighting controls with modern equipment were installed throughout the headquarters. LONMARK certified InfraLIGHT 200 Series lighting controllers and the InfraLIGHT 100 Series, developed by Infranet Partners, were deployed throughout AEGON House. These products were chosen particularly for their use of open LonMark standards and Fast Connect modular cable adapters, which permitted the system integrator to mount the controllers quickly using existing sensors and luminaire installations. This also reduced the renovation costs for AEGON Scottish Equitable, because existing fixtures could remain intact.

Another important contribution to the modernisation of the building are Siemens’ LONMARK certified Desigo RXC31 fan box controllers. These modules provide tight control of both airflow and temperature to create the most comfortable working environment. In addition, Loytec L-IP and L-Switch infrastructure products integrate the system to a site-wide IP backbone. Operations and maintenance engineers can then quickly access information from the system via the Internet in order to efficiently handle any faults or repairs.

Even the various specialized HVAC systems, including underfloor heating and customized air conditioning units in the building’s IT data center were updated with LON based control modules. InfraTROL 100S programmable controllers from Infranet Partners were programmed using STRATOSPHERE, the company’s new Visio and LNS - based graphical programming software. The software enabled the system integrator to rapidly develop a complex program for the control and management of the specialized HVAC systems in a straightforward graphical format which adheres to the 61131-3 block programming standard and which is easy to maintain in the future. Should the engineer lose the tailor-made program from his PC, it can be directly downloaded from the individual devices, delivering a fail-safe solution.

STRATOSPHERE uses design templates to aid the fast implementation or change of control strategies throughout the building. The system is also future-proof because STRATOSPHERE uses LONMARK-compliant function blocks to define the entire control strategy and network connectivity used by the controllers, ensuring a fully interoperable, flexible system to meet the evolving needs of the building.

The LON based system designed with professional software provides a cost-effective, customized solution for AEGON Scottish Equitable. “We knew a project of this magnitude and complexity would represent a challenge” said David Blyth, Technical Manager, Calon Associates (Infranet Partners UK). “Fortunately, STRATOSPHERE hides much of the complexity behind a familiar user interface, making it easy to create and deploy bespoke applications. Similarly, NL-Facilities provides a user-friendly platform for large-scale integration, ensuring an expertly integrated system.”

The concurrent use of software to help program and configure the network devices and especially the use of design templates, results in a reliable system which permits future changes to be made quickly and easy, translating into reduced maintenance and lifetime costs. With a total of 1,500 LON nodes and products from four different manufacturers, the solution is a testament to the value of LON Open Systems.

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