May 2008
  
AutomatedBuildings.com

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Building automation and intelligent buildings
Using motion detection sensors or security sensors on doors you can receive an instant alert via SMS, telephone call, e-mail or SNMP trap of un-authorized access. Pictures captures by the cameras can be attached to the E-mail or an MMS message so you can instantly see who is entering your building or room without authorization. You could even automatically prevent further access.

Nicholas Barrowclough
Technical Support Manager
AKCP

Modern buildings are often equipped with a complex building management system. With ever increasing oil prices and concerns of the environmental impact buildings have on the world these building management systems can help to keep the building operating at an energy efficient level, and even for the less environmentally conscious of us there are benefits to be had from a purely economic point of view.

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So what type of system is automated in a building? Immediately springing to mind are HVAC systems, lighting systems etc. However, new so called “intelligent buildings” can learn about their occupancy, patterns of movement. They can ensure at 9am all the elevators are at the ground floor ready to carry workers to their relevant floors, they can automatically redistribute elevators to be spread evenly throughout the building at 5pm for people leaving work.

In short, there are many systems in place in buildings, old and new, that require some sort of monitoring. How can you protect your building assets and functions from costly downtime and maintenance fees? How can you make the building more “green” thus lowering environmental impact and saving you money? In this article we will address these issues and show how AKCP products can provide a variety of solutions.

Environmental and security monitoring
Monitoring your building environment and ensuring its security are of paramount importance to any building owner. Research into Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) has proven that control of the environment within a building has a direct affect on the occupant’s wellbeing. Therefore adequate controls over the buildings HVAC systems are important. Downtime in these systems can cause big problems for your occupants. With environmental monitoring products it is possible to monitor airflow, temperature and humidity throughout your building and you can receive advanced notification of possible failures or irregularities in your HVAC system. For example, place an  airflow sensor next to an air con outlet. If the airflow percentage begins to drop you can receive an alert. Maybe the vent is blocked, the filter needs replacing, or possibly the system is failing. Tie this into a relay and you can shutdown units that are failing, thus preventing them from becoming damaged, overworked and avoiding a catastrophic failure (See below section on “preventative maintenance”).

In an office building environment the occupants are likely to have expensive electrical installations that require protection from environmental extremes or water damage. A range of products can shutdown vulnerable equipment should the environmental conditions pose a risk. Water detectors can give advanced warning of leaking air conditioning units that could potentially damage electronic equipment. Almost any potential risk in your buildings environmental infrastructure can be monitored.

Security is also an important aspect of any building management system. Our products can tie into your existing CCTV and DVR system. By using motion detection sensors or security sensors on doors you can receive an instant alert via SMS, telephone call, e-mail or SNMP trap of un-authorized access. Pictures captures by the cameras can be attached to the E-mail or an MMS message so you can instantly see who is entering your building or room without authorization. You could even automatically prevent further access. For example, if during the hours of 7pm and 8am you wish to restrict access into a certain area you can configure the device to automatically lock down doors in a corridor should there be movement in that area.

Preventative maintenance
As already mentioned maintenance and downtime in building systems can be costly both in repair costs and loss of working hours. Available products can be used for advanced notice and preventative maintenance. It is far cheaper usually to provide ongoing preventative maintenance than it is to repair a catastrophic failure. An example of where these could provide preventative maintenance alerting could be on the brakes of an elevator.

Imagine your elevators brake pads are designed for 50,000 cycles. You can connect a sensorProbe2 device to a dry contact on your brake pads. It would count every application of the brakes. After 45,000 applications (or whatever you choose) your building maintenance manager can receive a notification warning that the brakes are approaching their recommended/designed lifecycle. They can then send an engineer to replace them during a scheduled maintenance time that causes the least disruption to the building. This automation can also save labor costs. No longer do you need to send an engineer to inspect the brakes every few months, let this device be your “eyes and ears” instead.

AKCP product range
Reliable Controls Our product is an intelligent 2 or 8 port sensor device for monitoring environmental variations, power, physical threats and security. The sensorProbe and securityProbe have a completely embedded host with a proprietary Linux like Operating System, including TCP/IP stack, Web server, email and full SNMP functionality. SMS notifications can be sent from sensorProbe devices via a 3rd party SMS gateway, or from the securityProbe by the addition of a GSM/GPRS modem.

We provide a wide range of products tailored for environmental and security monitoring. From a single room data centre to a complex building management system our products can integrate and provide you important advanced notification preventing catastrophic failure to your systems and protecting your assets.

All products are SNMP compliant meaning easy integration with current building management or network management software. They are platform independent with no software to install. Once setup and configured they can be left in hard to get to locations and provide reliable monitoring 24 x 7 365 days a year.

The line of intelligent sensors are specifically designed for use with securityProbe and sensorProbe units. The wide range of sensors will monitor temperature, humidity, water, airflow, AC voltage, DC voltage, power consumption, drive relays, temperature for industrial applications and more.

The securityProbe is a flagship unit. It incorporates 25 years experience as the leader in SNMP environmental and security monitoring products. It has a multitude of notification methods giving you control over how you are alerted to potential problems. It runs its own Linux type kernel operating system and has a built in web server allowing access to the unit from anywhere in the world via an internet connection. Available with 8 intelligent sensor ports and an optional 20 or 60 dry contacts. 20 virtual sensors are included for monitoring other SNMP or network enabled devices. Poll data on UPS battery status or ping your servers and be alerted when they are offline or use virtual sensors to integrate with your MODBUS enabled devices. Able to take up to 4 analogue cameras it provides an all in one environmental and security monitoring solution.

The sensorProbe devices provide a similar function to the securityProbe but without the host of notification methods or camera integration. These units are ideal for use in a situation where your alerting will be managed from your NMS software and all you require is environmental monitoring of temp, humidity etc, or security monitoring of door contacts. Alternatively, you can monitor your sensorProbe devices from a securityProbe by way of the virtual sensors feature.

The use of these units is only limited by your imagination. Our products are driven by innovation and also provide customization services for complex projects where maybe the standard product range doesn’t quite fit. For more information on the products please visit www.akcp.com  or contact the sales team on sales@akcp.com who would be more than happy to discuss with you any requirements or questions you may have.

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