August 2004
  
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Open Systems Standards

Pick-a-BUS: Open Systems Standard Direct Digital Control using Object-Orientated Code for Building Automation, commercial & home automation

 Paul D.J. Mason, C.E.O.

Paul D.J. Mason, C.E.O. 
BWP plc

Contributing Editor


This is the fifth of 9 articles where we are introducing the cost benefit for interoperability and that gained from the procurement technique achievable with open systems and choice.  This article sets out some of my opinions, a collection of web-based technical data and then a current market summary opinion.

July's article LonMark International and the LonMark System
June's article More Intelligent Building and save money, VBHQ part 2

May's article Intelligent Intelligent Building, VBHQ Part 1
April's introductory article Cost Comparison Model Open vs Proprietary

my Basis of Argument:

as this contributing editor is a building services consultant these things are known from experience to be true

this is clearly a generally held belief, industrial or automotive BUS have not crossed over to construction and probably will not crossover “Web-services” have crossed over and will do so more and more

The contributing editor acknowledges the following extract from a recent Automated Logic white paper as a useful contribution to the object-orientated programming point:

Since BACnet and EIB objects and LonMark functional profiles are information models and XML is a modelling language, we could express these high level information models in XML and in so doing make them compatible with the emerging Web services architecture. Because of the flexibility of XML and the web services architecture, these high level models could be expanded to include other types of facility-related (but not necessarily building automation-related) information. If each building automation protocol developed its own XML model, however, we would have similar but incompatible system models. Today’s problems of translating from one protocol to another at the building controller level would become tomorrow’s translation problems at the Web services level. What’s needed is a unified system model, in XML, that can be used by any building automation protocol.

The contributing editor suggests the oBIX initiative at OASIS is a good thing to support but the editor also acknowledges the BACnet work in their extension of their objects to XML ( and to KNX). What is needed is a unified model, oBIX can achieve this task the quickest and especially with help from BACnet such that unification at XML schema level is the best option for the end-user and supply chain.

new proprietary developments with the very latest bleeding edge technology in fact generate fear, uncertainty and doubt, prove to be mostly ineffectual in the marketplace and reduce the market size due to the FUD. Innovation on the agreed international standards is the better way forward;  that is to say take the best open system source codes we have and improve them – together as a community;  this could be LonMark System with oBIX-OASIS or it could be the Konnex Association with BACnet and of course if the XML schema at the web service level are easily / directly translatable then Client investments are well made.

this issue is a system selection unique selling point; openness must be the ability to buy from a range of products for all building automation functions and from a large choice of manufacturers and be supported now and in the future by those manufacturers and the contracting business, the products need to provide seamless systems with interoperation between all companies and it must work commercially for all buyers and users.

internet / enterprise technologies on the upper tier [ Ethernet, TCP/IP, XML – SOAP]
lower tier needs to be a cost effective completely interoperable open system which can be procured in competition from numerous sources

NOTE : Ethernet, TCP/IP, XML–SOAP maybe considered ubiquitous by some or they assert it will be (everywhere, ever present) but the question is what is an available safe-purchase building automation solution now? Ethernet, TCP/IP, XML–SOAP does not exist for a building contractor to go and buy as a solution from a “wholesaler”, especially based on  the arguments proposed here.

NOTE: 3-tier maybe a legacy situation where a transition technology is useful, BACnet as the replacement third tier (uppermost) is a solution.

This last argument suggests LON is preferable over KNX for the larger buildings;  in simpler or medium to small buildings KNX trained installation electricians can be appropriate. LON trained system integrators provide the intellectual resource for LON projects. The fundamentally different basis of installation between KNX and LON is electrician or system integrator.  BACnet is inappropriate at the lower tier; a system integrator is always necessary for a BACnet implementation at the management layer over the stack.  BWP tend to major in new installations of larger buildings therefore the LonMark System is a natural choice, BWP recommend “Web Services” in its simplest form at the head end of fully integrated systems.

the Technical Standards:

It should also be mentioned that this push toward Web services architecture should not be interpreted as an end to “standard” protocols. Web Services are useful as a computer-to-computer or software-application-to-software-application interface, but they will remain an “overkill” for some time to come as a device-to-device interface. While it might be possible to expose information as XML at a building-controller level, it would not be practical / cost effective to do so at a zone or unitary-controller level. Web services should be viewed more as a successor to OPC than a replacement for BACnet, KNX, or LON.

XML, TCP/IP, or even Web services alone cannot provide interoperability between vendors. In order for interoperability to occur, vendors must not only agree on HOW they will communicate, but also on WHAT they will communicate. Because they include a high-level abstraction of what information is to be communicated, BACnet, KNX, and LonMark all provide the WHAT component of interoperability. By combining these information models with XML, and expanding the objective to include other non-HVAC related aspects of the facility, Web services can provide an information platform that is high-level, cross-platform, cross-discipline, and multi-vendor.

BACnet

entitled BACnet Web Services Initiative Goes to Public Review. (6/04) Nashville, TN. After months of intense effort by the Web Services Task Team of the BACnet/XML Working Group, SSPC 135 has unanimously voted to recommend public review of an addendum to BACnet-2004 that specifies the use of "web services" to provide a means to integrate building automation and control systems with other enterprise computing applications. Web services provide for computer-to-computer applications many of the same advantages that the World Wide Web provides for human-to-computer information access. Potential uses of the technology include simplifying access to building energy and performance data for inclusion in spreadsheets and other management reports; accessing equipment run-time data for use by maintenance management systems; allowing tenant access to, and control of, space temperature setpoints; coupling of room scheduling with ventilation and comfort control; and many more.

the new addendum is in two parts.

The first proposes an Annex M to BACnet that defines the BACnet Web Services interface, BACnet/WS. This interface is intended to be "protocol neutral" in that the defined web services can be used with any underlying protocol including BACnet, Konnex, MODBUS, LON or legacy proprietary protocols. This has been accomplished by defining an application program interface (API) to read and write the common elements of all building automation and control systems such as values, schedules, trend logs, and alarm information using services such as 'getValue' and 'setValue' that use a simple "path" to define the intended data source. An example of such a path would be: "/ABC HQ/Conference Room A/Space Temperature". The proposed standard also provides powerful mechanisms for "localization" where certain types of data such as time, date and numbers can be formatted according to local custom and language. Text names and descriptions may also be accessed according to the local language. Several manufacturers have already indicated their intention to display Annex M gateway products at the AHR show in January in Orlando, 2005.

The second part of the addendum contains an addition to BACnet's Annex H, Combining BACnet Networks with Non-BACnet Networks that prescribes the gateway mapping specifically to and from BACnet messages.

 the combined effect of the BACnet/WS annexes will be to provide a set of generic web services that can potentially interface to any building automation protocol as well as to describe exactly how this interface would work with underlying BACnet systems.

Addendum 135a changes the way schedules are represented and maintained in BACnet systems.
Addendum 135c contains eight new features that include enhancements to the life safety objects and services and the ability to represent utility meters and other measuring devices that provide pulsed outputs.
Addendum 135d contains information on how to interconnect BACnet devices with devices that use the EIB/Konnex protocol.

LON

http://www.cenorm.be/CENORM/BusinessDomains/TechnicalCommitteesWorkshops/CENTechnicalCommittees/WP.asp?param=6228&title=CEN/TC%20247

http://www.oasis-open.org/committees/tc_home.php?wg_abbrev=obix

http://www.lonmark.org/news/in0404_world_planner.htm

CONTACT Dr. J Hertel, LonMark International European Executive for more information.

Open Systems Standards

a Marketplace Appraisal; LON – KNX - BACnet

LON

From last month’s article by this contributing editor, LonMark International, the “new organisation” launched at the ASHRAE show in Anaheim this year 2004, prospective LonMark members from Europe are distributed as listed here, 669 No. (June 2004); all groups are continuing to expand such that the 1,000 LonMark member target is quite possible; the 669 members are mostly separate to the 300 person old LonMark Interoperability Association membership and as well there are a number of LonUsers/LonMarkers around the world, including organisations in Japan, Australia/NZ, Korea, Singapore and China. This is a major worldwide association, for example in comparison Profibus, the industrial control network bus, has 1,200 members. Please note the following European membership:

 

Representive

User Group

 

Peter Albrecht

LNO Austria 

25

Geert Janssens

BeLON (Belgium)

11

Edwin Sanggaard

LonUsers Denmark

85

Dr. Jürgen Hertel

LNO (Germany)

162

Veijo Piikkila

LonUsers Finland

16

Serge LE MEN

LonUsers France

36

Paolo Laganà

LonUsers Italia

31

Ferry Cserep

LonUsers Netherlands

32

Staale Killie

LonUsers Norway

8

Pawel Kwasnowski

Polish LonUsers Group

17

Aturo Garcia

LonUser Spain

9

Henrik Ebeklint

LonUser Sweden

142

Christoph Broennimann

LonTech (Switzerland)

47

Chris Butchart

LonUsers UK

48

Please note the twelve sponsor members (June 2004) of LonMark International are:

Circon Systems Corp

Philips Lighting B.V.

Echelon Corporation

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd

Fuji Electric Systems Co Ltd

Siemens Building Technologies

Honeywell International Inc

TAC AB

Johnson Controls Inc

Trane

NTT Data Corporation

Yokogawa Electric Corporation

KNX

Members listed:

No.

Company

Country

No.

Company

Country

1

Abb Sace S.P.A.

Italy

50

Levy Fils Ag

Switzerland

2

Abb Stotz-Kontakt Gmbh

Germany

1

Lexel

Finland

3

Agilent Technologies

Singapore

2

LG Electronics

South Korea

4

Albrecht Jung Gmbh & Co. Kg

Germany

3

Lingg & Janke Ohg

Germany

5

Altenburger Electronic Gmbh

Germany

4

Luxmate Controls Gmbh

Austria

6

Apt Gmbh

Germany

5

Merten Gmbh & Co. Kg

Germany

7

Ave Spa

Italy

6

Miele & Cie Gmbh & Co.

Germany

8

Berker Gmbh & Co. Kg

Germany

7

Mingardi Magnetic Srl

Italy

9

Bertelli & Partners S.R.L.

Italy

8

Moeller Gebäudeautomation Kg

Austria

10

Bertoldo & C Srl

Italy

9

Motorola Ltd

  U. K.

1

Bischoff Eleketronik Gmbh

Germany

60

Oao "Research & Prod. Association Sem"

Russia

2

Bosch & Siemens Hausgeräte Gmbh

Germany

1

Ritto Werke

Germany

3

Brandt Industries

France

2

S. Siedle & Söhne Stiftung & Co.

Germany

4

Bticino Spa

Italy

3

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.

South Korea

5

Buderus Heiztechnik Gmbh

Germany

4

Schneider Electric B.V.

Netherlands

6

Busch-Jaeger Elektro Gmbh

Germany

5

Schneider Electric S.A.

France

7

CABA, Continental Auto’ Home & Build’ As.

Canada

6

Schupa Gmbh

Germany

8

Dätwyler Kabel + Systeme Gmbh

Germany

7

Shtrih-M

Russia

9

Dehn & Söhne Gmbh & Co. Kg

Germany

8

Siemens Ag

Germany

20

Delta Dore S.A.

France

9

Siemens Building Technologies Ltd.

Switzerland

1

Domologic Home Automation Technology

Germany

70

Simon S.A.

Spain

2

Dorma Gmbh & Co. Kg

Germany

1

Sipro Srl

Italy

3

Easyplug

France

2

Somfy S.A.

France

4

Eberle Controls Gmbh, [ Invensys ]

Germany

3

Stiebel Eltron Gmbh & Co. Kg

Germany

5

Electrak International Ltd

  U.K.

4

Stmicroelectronics

Germany

6

Electrolux Home Products Italy S.P.A.

Italy

5

Tapko Technologies Gmbh

Germany

7

Elero Gmbh Antriebstechnik

Germany

6

Techem Development Gmbh

Germany

8

Elka Eltektronik Gmbh

Germany

7

Theben Ag

Germany

9

Emness Technology Ag

Germany

8

Theodor Heimeier Metallwerk Gmbh & Co. Kg

Germany

30

F. Schlaps & Partner Gmbh

Germany

9

Trialog

France

1

Fagor Electrodomésticos, S. Coop.

Spain

80

Trilogie

France

2

Feller Ag

Switzerland

1

Viessmann Werke Gmbh & Co.

Germany

3

Ge Grässlin Gmbh & Co. Kg

Germany

2

Vimar S.P.A.

Italy

4

Gewiss S.P.A.

Italy

3

V-Zug Ag

Switzerland

5

Gira Giersiepen Gmbh & Co. Kg

Germany

4

Walther Werke Ferdinand Walther Gmbh

Germany

6

Gorenje D.D.

Slovenia

5

Weinzierl Engineering Gmbh

Germany

7

Griesser Electronic

Switzerland

6

Wieland Electric Gmbh

Germany

8

Grundig Ag

Germany

7

Wila Leuchtem Gmbh

Germany

9

Gustav Hensel Gmbh & Co. Kg

Germany

8

Wilhelm Huber + Söhne Gmbh & Co. Kg

Germany

40

Hager

France

9

Wilhelm Rutenbeck Gmbh & Co.

Germany

1

Heinrich Kopp Ag

Germany

90

Windowmaster A/S

Denmark

2

Hep Gmbh

Germany

91

Winkhaus Sicherheitssysteme Gmbh & Co. Kg

Germany

3

Honeywell Ag

Germany

92

Woertz

Switzerland

4

Hts High Technology Systems Ag

Switzerland

93

Zumtobel Ag

Austria

5

Insta Elektro Gmbh & Co. Kg

Germany

 

 

 

6

Ipas Gmbh

Germany

 

 

 

7

Jnet Systems

Switzerland

 

 

 

8

Jepaz Elektronika Spol

Czeck Rep.

 

 

 

9

Legrand S.A.

France

 

 

 

BACnet

Members listed:

 

Corporate Member, 24 No.

Individual, 9 No.

Associate, 4 No.

1

ABB

Ms. June Ballew
Wheelock, Inc.

Professor Peter Fischer
Fachhochschule Dortmund
GERMANY

2

Alerton, Inc.  

3

American Auto-Matrix, Inc.  

 

4

Andover Controls Corporation  

Boggard Setty
Setty & Associates

 

5

Automated Logic Corporation  

H. Michael Newman
Cornell University

6

Belimo Air Controls  

 

7

Cimetrics, Inc.

Dan Traill Comfort Systems
USA/UES Controls

 

8

Delta Controls

Steven T. Bushby
N.I.S.T.

9

Envenergy

 

10

Field Serve Technologies  

Grant Wichenko, P.E
Appin Associates

 

11

Honeywell

Ron Zimmer
President/CEO
Continental Automated Building Association (CABA)

12

Invensys Building Systems, Inc.

 

13

Johnson Controls

Winston Hetherington
B.A.S.S. Consulting Services

14

KMC Controls

15

Lithonia Lighting

 

 

16

McQuay International

Mark Hansen
Danfoss Graham

 

17

Reliable Controls

 

18

Siemens Building Technologies, Inc.

 

 

19

Teletrol Systems Inc

Ahmed Hirani
Base Controls, Ltd

 

20

TEPG-US

 

21

Trane/BASD

 

 

22

Tridium Inc.

Jonathan Fulton
BCI Building Control Integrators

 

23

Yamatake Corporation

 

24

York International

 

 

 

 

David Ella
Group 4 Technology Limited

 

 

 

 

 

PlantPROCORE Next month
Come back for advice on buying Open Systems, procurement of such a choice of solutions and products and not complicated is a “trick”.

The programme we have for you continues to run as follows:
1. April "Intro"
2. May "VBHQ part 1",  or go to www.LonMark.org follow the VBHQ motif
3. June "VBHQ part 2", or go to www.LonMark.org follow the VBHQ motif
4. July "LonMark International" and the "LonMark System" , or go to www.LonMark.org follow the VBHQ motif
5. August "Open Systems Standards”, or go to www.LonMark.org follow the VBHQ motif
6. September "Procurement Advice"
7. October "Everyone Wins"
8. November "Consultants Design Notes and Openness is Safer"
9. December "Case Study Notes for Consultants"


About the Author
Paul D.J. Mason B.Eng (Hons), C.E.O. at BWP plc who are based in London and the East Anglia region United Kingdom. BWP have an affiliate office, DWP, in Paris, France. BWP is a niche high quality building services consulting engineering design service company and specialist in "green" engineering. BWP currently employ 27 people. Paul (45) has a career encompassing Marine Engineering Royal Navy, the Property Services Agency of the UK Department of Environment, University as a mature student, and since 1989, with 2 private sector building services design companies "CJP" and since 1997 "BWP". Since 1999 BWP primarily specify the LonMark System.

BWP are members of LonUsers UK, Associate members of LonMark International, the Intelligent Building Group, the British Council of Offices, Building Services Research and Information Association, Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers and the Association of Consulting Engineers. Paul is an invited Contributing Editor through 2004 with www.automatedbuildings.com.

 

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