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SCADA Improves Hospital Building Management System
New SCADA system meets stringent requirements of Moscow hospital, including Cyrillic alphabet displays.
SCADA system meets stringent requirements of Moscow hospital, including
Cyrillic alphabet displays.
Figure 1: Temperature set points are found
in one central display, and
are adjusted by zones based on staff and patient occupancy. Individual
heating subsystem control screens were also created.
is the quality of a building automation system more important
than in a hospital. Many think of a hospital as just another building,
but a hospital has unique and strict requirements not associated with
other buildings. Patients, doctors, nurses, hospital workers and
visitors all need to be protected by a highly reliable building
and redundant systems must always be able to keep the hospital
running in the event of a power outage or other emergency. However, few
people realize how important climate control is in a hospital. Comfort
must be maintained for hospital staff and patients, and a certain
temperature range must be maintained at all times to keep critically
injured patients safe as well as to minimize the risk of spreading
viruses and bacteria.
of infectious and communicable diseases begins with air
quality, making the building management system one of the most vital
automated processes in the building. Proper operation of functions such
as temperature regulation, air filtration, fire prevention and security
systems can literally be the difference between life and death. Failure
to properly control and monitor these systems, or at the very least
warnings about problems, can be disastrous for a medical facility.
addition to maintaining temperatures to protect hospital workers and
patients from infection, precise climate control is needed for testing.
Hospitals require very specific and constant temperatures to conduct
lab tests and maintain the integrity of medical results. Failure to
properly control variables like temperature or air flow can compromise
the results of testing or damage sensitive and expensive equipment.
Extensive Upgrades and Unusual Challenges
The Central Clinical Hospital of the Federal Custom Service, located in Moscow, needed extensive upgrades of its monitoring system. The clinical hospital needed supervisory control for nearly all of the engineering systems in the facility. Upgrades included the HVAC system for heating, cooling and air regulation—as well as the security system and the fire detection system. As with any medical facility, the Central Clinical Hospital had strict requirements that had to be met.
Figure 2: An individual screen shows one of the 60 different HVAC systems in a graphical layout, complete with temperature trend and alarm panel.
hospital selected the engineering and system integration firm First
Mile to develop a building management system that would meet the strict
requirements of this modern medical facility. In addition to meeting
these requirements, First Mile also needed to provide a SCADA solution
that would easily handle the Cyrillic alphabet used in Russia, the most
widely used European alphabet after standard English.
In order for operators to clearly read and understand the information displayed by the software, the program needed to be written in a Cyrillic font. The ability to handle this unique alphabet is a challenge for most SCADA providers. After reviewing several providers for the ability to handle this requirement, First Mile selected InduSoft Web Studio because it supports Unicode and has a one-click translation feature that translates the application while letting users easily tweak the translation of specific words. As a result, First Mile was easily able to create a full building management system SCADA project using the Cyrillic alphabet.
99 percent of First Mile’s Russian clients prefer this
format, the ability to develop in any language without additional
plug-ins or modules was also important. Often, internationally-based
clients want the ability to use both Cyrillic and Latin characters, as
well as instructions in both in English and other languages for in what
is increasingly a multi-lingual world.
water supply was also a major aspect of the design of the
system. The water, distributed by the largest supplier in Moscow,
Monsenergo, required quick changes in temperature and pressure. This
vital function was very hard to control and monitor with the old
system, and substantial improvements were expected and made with the
Figure 3: Trending shows at a glance the
air temperatures over days,
months or even years—and users can easily check values at any point in
Better Monitoring & Efficiency
the new system was a smooth transition for the hospital.
First Mile constructed an application with a minimal number of screens
by using key technology and VBScripting, both native to InduSoft Web
Studio. The result was a SCADA system installed on desktop computers
running the Windows 7 operating system. Because InduSoft includes a
built-in Modbus/TCP driver, interfacing to the hospital’s WAGO
controllers was straightforward.
The SCADA system monitors each of the engineering functions and collects information on temperatures, the ventilation system, the air supply system, and the air chiller and HVAC systems. The SDADA system allows hospital maintenance and operations personnel to schedule temperatures for different zones within the hospital. This saves energy because not all areas of the facility are in use on weekends or after office hours, and these areas don’t require precise temperature control.
the temperatures of some areas are also determined by
occupancy, with more occupants requiring cooler temperatures or less
heat. This means the system must be able to accommodate a great deal of
flexibility in order to maintain a certain temperature where and when
Security functions such as the fire and gas security systems are also monitored by the SDADA system. For example, in the event of a fire, operators immediately receive an alert informing them of the location of the fire, so that they can immediately investigate further or alert fire response authorities.
Ensuring Future Development
the success of the hospital project, First Mile continues to use
InduSoft Web Studio for additional building automation projects. First
Mile found that developing in InduSoft Web Studio was much easier and
faster than with other SCADA software.
InduSoft is a truly independent SCADA provider, it can
communicate with virtually any vendor’s controller via its 240 native
drivers, an important feature to accommodate interface to the variety
of building automation controllers and systems. InduSoft Web Studio is
also highly customizable, which enables First Mile to continue to add
functionality as hospital needs change such as support for web thin
InduSoft develops new releases to work seamlessly with previous
ones, all of First Mile’s hospital and building management clients have
a SCADA system that can be enhanced and improved well into the future.
InduSoft Web Studio is also highly scalable system for easy expansion,
as the software provides tools and functions to enable the addition of
new I/O points.
combination of needed functionality to meet present requirements,
and low cost scalability and feature addition to meet future needs,
were key factors in First Mile’s selection of InduSoft’s SCADA
software—and are also important factors for their hospital clients.
Figure 4: In addition to real time alarms,
historical alarms can be
called up to troubleshoot issues in a systematic manner.
5: HVAC screens show data such as an animated chiller depicting
flow direction and more.
About the Author
Fabio Terezinho, vice president of consulting services and product manager at InduSoft, Inc. He has over 16 years' experience in the automation industry, 13 of them with InduSoft. Fabio has equal experience in designing/developing software and application deployment. He holds an electronics engineering degree from Escola de Engenharia Maua as well as an MBA from Baylor University.
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