The area of building automation and building automation systems (BAS) has been steadily evolving in the past years. A key factor for developing and extending services in a building has been the introduction of networked control systems. The concept of direct digital control (DDC) was augmented with networking concepts and posed as the starting point for a range of technologies and new services. The use of modern and flexible communication standards borrowed from the IT world has opened the field even further and makes seamless integration throughout the automation hierarchy possible.
The buildings that are equipped with a BAS can be divided into four different categories: commercial, institutional, residential, and industrial. Commercial buildings include offices and supermarkets, institutional buildings include libraries, schools and hospitals, residential buildings include apartment buildings or private houses, industrial buildings include plants or machine shops. Private homes today rarely have a BAS installed, although buildings that are equipped with renewable energy sources like solar thermal or photovoltaic systems require a control system. Such systems are, however, commonly provided by the manufacturer of the energy system and are all-in-one solutions for controls, which also monitor and display information for the user and are thus not in the scope of this IIoT solution.
|Climate Control||HVAC, humidity, air quality|
|Visual Comfort||Artificial lighting, daylighting (motorized blinds/shutters), constant light control|
|Personal Safety||Fire alarm, gas alarm, emergency sound system, emergency lighting, CCTV (closed circuit television)|
|Building Security||Intrusion alarm, access control, water leak detection, CCTV, audio surveillance|
|Transportation||Elevators, escalators, conveyor belts|
|One-Way Radio||Public address/audio distribution and sound reinforcement systems|
|Energy Management||Energy efficiency, peak avoidance, integration of renewable energy sources (RES)|
|Supply and Disposal||Power distribution, waste management, fresh water/domestic hot water, waste water|
|Communications and Information Exchange||IT Networks, PBX (Private Branch Exchange), Intercom, shared WAN access, wireless access (WLAN)|
|Other Special Domains||Clock systems, flextime systems, presentation equipment (e.g., video walls), medical gas, pneumatic structure support systems (for air hoses)|
The challenges of a building operator with regard to building automation are monitoring and maintenance of the building and its systems in order to keep the building functional and accessible for building users. Systems that control such building functions as heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC); security; refrigeration; and lighting have historically operated as standalone entities. Many buildings with existing systems are currently monitored through manual data collection or a complex series of siloed systems that don't share data or allow for a master view of all building systems. These systems are typically proprietary and separated from mainstream IT systems and standards. The interoperability problem is compounded by the need to interconnect both legacy equipment in buildings (such as roof-top chillers, electric meters, and lighting control panels) with next-generation "over the top" (OTT) devices such as sensors and switches.
Building operators recognize the growing need for the building automation industry to provide systems with multi-protocol, multi-function capabilities that can provide seamless and intelligent integration of BAS. Also, with technology changing almost daily, building operators are faced with BAS system obsolescence within a couple of years of the original installation.
Building owners are interested in improving customer experiences and processes, increasing a building's operational effectiveness, reducing energy consumption, and ultimately optimizing the financial performance of the building.
Zotera's comprehensive IIoT platform allows for seamless collection of advanced data related to power, security, occupancy, water and temperature, and the ability to connect it all to the cloud. Our solutions can enhance legacy building management systems (BMS), optimize efficiencies, help to lower costs, and provide insights and control through deployment of edge IoT gateways and the utilization of open protocol standards.
The Zotera™ solution employs embedded-analytics, extracting the most important information about how and where occupants are using the building. It's comprised of highly intelligent sensors and a cloud-based management system and provides embedded-analytics which normalize data across all subsystems and deliver it accurately and securely to cloud-based services or dashboards, controls, and reporting.