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Building Energy Management

Systems: the Basics

DLP 1

Written by Dr G J Levermore
ThirDistmzceLeanzingUnitisthefiistinaself-studyseriesdesignedtotakethestudent
through the theory, design and application of Building Energy Management Systems
(BEMS).

It has beenproduced by:


The BEMS Centre,which is manuged by:
The Building Services Research and Infonnationhochtion
Old Braknell Lane West
Braknell
Berkshire
RGI2 4AH
Tek (0344)426511,Teler 8482%8,Fax (0344)487575

A company limited by guarantee registemd in E n g W No. 632760

All rights reserved No part of thispublicQtion may be reproduced stored in a retn'eval


system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical,
photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the
pubtkhen.

Comght BSRU August I988


ISBN 0-86022-205-5
What this unit avers
The aim of this unit, 'Building Energy Maagement Systems:
the Basics', is to familiarise you with the basic concepts of a
Building Energy Management System (BEMS), its central
station and its outstation(s). The role of the microprocessor
is explained, showing how it can be used to control building
services plant. Although no reference is made to any
particular BEMS, many of the concepts discussed should be
common to systems offered by many different manufacturers.

The unit is written as a self-study or distance-learning


package. Questions are provided throughout, and answers are
given in an appendix at the back. You will be able to assess
your own understanding of what you have been studying if you
attempt the questions as they arise; they are self-assessed
questions, or SAQs.

Each of the three chapters in this unit begins with a brief


introductoryparagraph followed by the learningobjectivesfor
the chapter. These objectives indicate what you should have
achieved when you have read the text and done the questions.

The learning objectives for the unit as a whole are given below.

Obiectives

When you have completed this unit and'bone-the SAQs, you


should:
0 understand the role of the microprocessor in a
BEMS;
0 appreciate what an intelligent outstation is and
how it operates;
0 be familiar with the scope and purpose of the
central station of a BEMS.
Please note that this unit is not intended to be a rigorous text
book on Building Energy Management Systems. Indeed many
simplifications have been made to aid understanding.
However, it is hoped that some of the jargon which surrounds
BEMS will be made clearer and that intending purchasers,
after reading this document, will feel confident enough to
approach manufacturers and gain first-hand experience of
BEMS.

G J Lmermore I987
Contents
Page
Numbers

Before starting 1

Chapter 1 Microprocessor basics 2

(1.1) A building energy management system (BEMS) 2

(1.2) The microprocessor 5

(13) Memories 8

(1.4 ) Addresses 10

Chapter 2 The outstation 13

(2.1 ) The intelligent outstation 13

(22) The contents of the outstation 15

(23 ) Passwords 19

(2.4 ) Maintenance 19

(2.5) Interfacable controllers 20

(2.6 ) Inputs to the outstation 21

(2.7 ) Sensors 25

(2.8 ) Digital inputs 26

(2.9 ) Outputs from the outstation 27

(2.10) Interference 29

Chapter 3 The central station 32

(3.1 ) The central station:


the headquarters of the system 32

(32) software 36

(33) Communication 39
Page
Numbers

(3.4) Compatability 41

Summary 42

Appendix 43

Assignment 49
1 Notes

Before starting
0 This unit does not depend on any other textbook
or material.
0 It does not explain some control terms, such as
compensator, optimiser or thermostat. These
are dealt with in another unit.
0 You are not expected to have a deep
understanding of mathematics but some
examples have simple calculations which may
require a calculator.
0 Work at your own pace, but attempt the
questions in each chapter before going on to the
next.
0 There is a summary at the end of the unit,
followed by an assignment. Set aside some time,
perhaps an hour, to refresh your memory by
reading the summary and then doing the
assignment. The assignment answers are
provided and help can be sought from The
BEMS Centre if you experience difficulties.
0 There are wide margins on each page so that you
can write notes or comments to help you. A
'highlight' pen may also help to emphasise
certain points for you.
0 Modem SI units, such as kW, kg, m, are used,
and it is assumed that you are faxgjliar-with these
UnitS.
2 Notes

chapter 1
Microprocessor basics
In this chapter the use of a Building Energy Management
System (BEMS) in a boiler house is compared with the use of
older individual controls. The role of the microprocessor in a
BEMS is considered and microelectronic memories are
explained.

Objectives: When you have read this chapter and done the
SAQs you should:
0 appreciate how a BEMS can be used in a boiler
house;
0 understand the role of the microprocessor in a
BEMS;
0 h o w what 'ROW aud 'RAMS' are and
understand the importance of addresses.

(1.1) A Building Energy Management System (BEMS)

Explained in simple tenns, a BEMS is a computer which


controls and monitors a building and its plant in order to give
maximum comfort as efficiently as possible. We tend to think
of computers as being very useful for doing calculations
quickly. But they do have other abilities: they are able to
follow programs of instructions (simply called programs), to
make logical decisions and to store information; and we can
make use of these abilities to help to control our buildings.
However, if computers are to do this properly, they must be
given the correct instructions, ie they must be properly
programmed.

Let us consider a boiler house containing two or three boilers.


If the boiler house has conventional (or older) controls, a
boiler selector switch will be used to select the lead
(first-fired) boiler. The switch will be altered manually to
change the lead boiler regularly (probably once a week): this
will give all the boilers equal firing times and make sure that
each one is kept working properly. A conventional boiler
house will also have a time switch to start up the boilers in the
morning. Sometimes an optimiser is used to do the samejob:
it will have sensors inside the building and also, possibly,
outside. In many conventional boiler houses additional
boilers are brought into operation using a boiler sequencer.
Notes 3

This has a temperature sensor in the pipe taking water from


the boilers, and sometimes an outside-air-temperaturesensor
as well.
A fourth control commonly found is a compensator with its
own water-temperature and outside-&-temperature sensors.
This varies the output from the heating system in a building
according to the weather, and is fully described in Unit 2 of
this series. As an additional precaution, some boiler houses
contain a frost 'stat (or thermostat), with its own external
sensor. This switches on the boilers during very cold nights or
weekends to avoid frozen pipes and, possibly, excess
condensation.

So we can see that a conventional boiler house may have as


many as five control boxes on its wall, with wires to up to seven
separate sensors (Fig 1). Three of these measure the outside
air temperature and two measure the temperature of the
water flowing from the boilers. In addition, there must be
someone to move the boiler selector switch once a week.
boiler
seauencer compensator frost 'stat

time
switch E
a T 3 o p t i m i s . r

Fig1 A conventional boiler house

A modem boiler house where a BEMS has been installed


would contain only one, sometimes large, control box (Fig 2).
This would need only one outside air temperature sensor, one
water temperature sensor and one inside air temperature
sensor, three sensors in all. As well as carrying out all the
conventional control procedures automatically, including the
regular selection of a different lead boiler, the BEMS controls
could monitor the plant continuously and control its
performance: they could also monitor inside air temperatures
in case there are any complaints of cold. Another important
4 Notes

bonus is that a BEMS could send all this information to you


in your office, perhaps miles horn the boiler house! The
potential of a BEMS is thus very great.

outside air temp


' A BEMS
inside air temp

water flow temp

I boiler flow temp


boiler

Fig2 A new boiler house with a BEMS

We must, however, remember two things. First of all, BEMS


are not given away free with control valves! They can be quite
expensive to buy. Secondly, the building senrices industry
does not understand BEMS very well: some BEMS have not
been wisely used and there have been a few problems, not
always of the manufacturers' making.
Notes 5

(1.2) The microprocessor

Two things may have struck you while reading the section
above. First of all, the box on the wall containing the BEMS
controls did not look like a computer: it had no screen,
keyboard or printer. Secondly, how could one control box
perform so many functions?

To answer the first point, we need to understand what a


microcomputer consists of. The basic elements of a
microcomputer or personal computer (PC) are the
microprocessor chip (often called the central processing unit
or CPU),a memory section and input/output sections.
The memory section stores instructions (programs) for
operating the microcomputer together with information or
data.

The inputloutput section connects the microcomputer to the


outside world via the keyboard, the screen and the printer.

Fig3 Dual-in-line pack containing the microprocessor chip

The microprocessor chip, however, is the brains of the


computer - the conductor of this electronic orchestra. This
silicon chip is housed in a &pin dual-in-line (DIL)pack as
shown in Fig 3 (salesmen love the jargon, so you need to
understand it!). The actual chip is only 5 mm x 5 mm in size
but is packaged in a plastic or ceramic case both to make it
more rugged to handle and to dissipate the heat generated by
up to 100,000 transistors packed into the tiny silicon wafer.
These transistors form complex logic, control, counting or
6 Notes

arithmetic circuits. Many different CPUs or microprocessor


chips are manufactured: they are very versatile and differ
widely in their application As well as computers, they are
used to control washing machines, telephone exchanges and
even car engines (Fig 4). It is thus fairly easy for a
microprocessor to cope with a boilerhouse.

air ternpemture inputs

accelemtor positioni--

cmnkshaft position
1
coolant ternpemture

didbutor

Fig4 A microprocessor controlling - engine


_ -a car

In a modem boiler house containing a BEMS, the control box


on the wall is a microcomputer of the type outlined above. It
has a microprocessor chip, a memory section and input/output
sections. Although, as we shall see later, a BEMS located in
a boiler house may have a printer, screen and keyboard, the
input/output section often only acts via sensors and valves,
recording the temperatures and controlling the boilers
accordingly.

A more complex BEMS will have more than one control box.
In such an instance, the control box in each plant room will be
known as an 'outstation'. The overall control and information
centre for the system is known as the 'central station' and is
located on the energy manager's desk: the energy manager can
'talk to' or 'interrogate' the various outstations via the
keyboard and can receive information from them via the
Notes 7

screen and the printer (Fig 5). In this way he can find out not
only what is happening in a plant room at a particular time but
alsowhat happened earlier. The data insuch a system is stored
in the central station computer.

distant or
close outstations

central station

Fig3 Central station and outstations of a BEMS

Unfortunately, central stations and outstations can vary a lot


in what is or is not connected to the CPU, and this depends on
the manufacturer. Some outstations have their own small
keyboards or keypads; others do not. Some central stations
have large capacity hard disk memories (see below), while in
others the memory capacity is smaller.

We asked earlier how a BEMS could perform so many


functions in a boiler house. The answer is that the CPU
operates very quickly. To continue with the analogy we were
using before, it could be described as a very fast conductor for
a lightning quick orchestra. Signals are sent between the
microprocessor and the other silicon chips which make up the
memory and the inpudoutput sections. These signals take
much less than one millionth of a second to arrive at their
destination and be processed by the chip. Often the speed of
a CPU chip can be judged by the electronic 'clock' speed: this
clock sends coiitrol signals to ensure that all our 'orchestra'
8 Notes

stays in time and in tune. A typical clock speed would operate


at 4 MHz (4 million Hen or 4 million pulses per second!). At
this speed of operation, the control box should be able to keep
its 'eye' on many sensors and controls in the boiler house.

(13)Memories

The microprocessor or CPU needs a memory so that


- calculations, decisions and programs are not forgotten. It is
the size of this memory that determines how much a BEMS
can do.

Fig.6 A memory chip is like many lamps

T h e memory chips are often located beside the


microprocessor chip on the same circuit board and in the same
type of DILpack. Memories, or memory chips, can be thought
of as a number of tiny switches or lamps, some of them 'on'
and others 'off (Fig 6). This is because computers operate
with only two signals, 'on' or 'off. The 'on' voltage is typically
5 volts; the 'off voltage is lower, typically 0.5 volts. The
memory chip, although similar in size to the microprocessor
chip, contains thousands of these microscopic lamps or
switches.

Information has to be stored in the memory in binary form.


Binary numbers are made up of varying combinations of two
numbers (which is what the term binary means): these
numbers are '1' and '0'. They correspond to 'on' and 'off'
signals on our switches or lamps. We, however, work in
Notes 9

decimal numbers, or units of 10. The binary equivalents of


our numbers 0-10 are shown below.

Decimal Binary

0 0
1 1
2 10
3 11
4 100
5 101
6 110
7 111
8 loo0
9 1001
10 1010

Each 'on' or 'off signal or number is called a binary digit or


bit, from hinary dig&. Microcomputers usually handle eight
bits, ie they store bits in groups of eight: each group of eight
bits is called a byte. Microcomputers of this type are often
referred to as eight-bit machines: newer and larger computers
can be 12-bit, 16-bit or even 32-bit machines. This simply
means that they deal with larger groups of bits and are
therefore more powerful o r can d o a l o t more
number-crunching.

The size of a microcomputer memory is given by the number


of bytes it can hold. As the memory chips contain many
thousands of switches, they can hold many thousands of bytes
or many kilobytes. Just to confuse matters, 1kbyte is actually
10 Notes

1,024 rather than 1,OOO bytes. This is because 1 kbyte is


actually 21 or bytes. If memories are
even larger, they are referred to in Megabytes (Mbytes) or
millions of bytes.

The two types of memory chip most likely to be found in


BEMS are ROM and RAM memories. ROM stands for Read
Only Memory. Here the microelectronic switches or lamps
have been set permanently in one position by the
manufacturer of the chip and they cannot be altered. The
CPU can therefore only read the way the lamps are set: it
cannot alter them or write data or programmes to the ROM
memory. The ROM chip has, in fact, been designed by the
BEMS manufacturer to store important programmes and data
that are vital to the operation of the CPU.

A RAM or Read And write Memory (sometimes referred to


as a Random Access Memory) is one in which the switches or
lamps can be altered by the CPU or by us through the
keyboard to the CPU. We can write our instructions
(programs) and data on this type of memory. In other words,
our instructions for running the boiler house are stored here.

RAM chips need continual electrical power to maintain their


memories. If the power is interrupted, for instance if we
switch off the BEMS, then all the RAM 'lamps' go out and our
program of control is lost. To avoid such a catastrophe BEMS
manufacturers provide back-up batteries in the outstations to
keep the RAM memories safe. It is important to ask
manufacturers how long these batteries can keep the
outstation operating properly and also how long they last.
After all, someone - perhaps a maintenan& teanician - could
switch off the power to a BEMS outstation and forget to switch
it back on.

(1.4) Addresses

We have seen that the microprocessor or CPU needs a


memory to store programs and data. But it also needs to know
where it has stored them. Each part of the memory, or
memory location, therefore has its own address. We do not
need to know the various addresses (although we can find
them if we are keen enough), but it is worth remembering that
every piece of data, for instance from a temperature sensor,
must go to a location or memory position with an address.
There will be certain addresses for certain sensors, for
instance, and the BEMS outstation will have to be
Notes 11

programmed so that the right information goes to the right


place.

8 Bit
BUS

I I I I I I I,
,I DEVICES I) I I I I I I I,
DEVICES

Fig.7 A bus, consisting of parallel, plastic coated wires

The CPU communicates with the memory by means of a 'bus'


(short for busbar). In a microcomputer this consists either of
a number of parallel plastic-coated wires in the form of a wide,
flat ribbon, or of 'printed' wires on a circuit board (Fig 7). The
CPU finds the address it wants through the address bus: a
control bus then opens up this address to put its contents on
the data bus. The address and data bus are shown in Fig 8.
The memory contents are then relocated or put to a new
address, wherever required, using the control bus (not shown
in Fig 8) directed by the CPU. In some instances, the CPU
may itself want the contents to do a calculation. In Fig 8,
address 00000101 has the binary number 11010101, and
address 00000111 has the number 01101100.
12 Notes

bus
Fig.8 Simplified memory with buses

The overall structure of a microprocessor system - be it a


central station or an outstation of a BEMS - is shown in a very
simplified form in Fig 9. For clarity, the control bus has not
been shown. Can you see any difference between the ROM
chip and the RAM? The ROM (Read Only Memory) has data
flowing one way only. It cannot be written to.

ADDRESS BUS

sSECXION I
DATA BUS

I SECTION I
Fig9 Organisation of a microprocessor

For the central station, the input sectionwould be linked to a


keyboard and the output section to a screen or printer. Before
we consider the outstation in Chapter 2, try to suggest what
connections the outstation might have with the input and
output sections.
13 Notes

Chapter 2
The Outstation
This chapter examines the BEMS outstation and describes
briefly how it works. It explains how information from the
plant room or boiler house is input to the outstation and also
how the outstation outputs control signals. Consideration is
given to the problem of interference and to the question of the
size of outstation required.

Objectives: When you have read this chapter and completed


the SAQs you should
0 understand how an outstation operates;
0 appreciate the difference between digital and
analogue inputs and outputs in the control of
plant;
0 be aware of the problems caused by electrical
interference and of the factors to be considered
in sizing an outstation for a plant room.

(2.1) The intelligent outstation

The Building Energy Management System (BEMS)described


in Chapter 1 consisted of a single box on the wall. This box
controlled the boiler plant, cmhining the roles of optimiser,
compensator, boiler sequencer and lead boiler selector: it was
also capable of performing other roles as long as it had the
necessary memory and capability. Given a power supply or
battery back-up, the box could run the boiler house. On the
assumption that other plant on the site was also being
controlled by a BEMS, the boiler-house box was described as
an outstation, reporting back to the central station or
headquarters of the system.

Earlier BEMS outstationswere very dependent on the central


station and some of the older systems were wired into the
central station for constant communication.

However, the microelectronics revolution has enabled most


modem outstations to operate without constant reference
back to the central station for instructions and information.
Once they are programmed, they can operate on their own.
They will then only report back important alarms to the
central station - alarms such as the heating going off or a

Previous page
is blank
14

flooded boiler house. Otherwise they report back


information perhaps just once a day. In practice this means
that if the communication link between the outstation and the
central station were to break down - for instance if the
telephone line were broken - then the outstation could carry
on controlling the boiler house for quite some time. Some
outstations are, in fact, almost as intelligent as the central
station. They can even act as central stations if required, for
instance obtaining information from other outstations.

It is important to remember that BEMS do vary from one


manufacturer to another: some systems have more
independent and intelligent outstations than others. You
should therefore ensure that your BEMS manufacturer does
tell you the level of intelligence of his outstation before you
buy it. One useful pointer is the size of the memory as this
gives a guide to the amount of information that can be stored
in the outstation.

An outstation may well only have sufficient storage for one


days information. This does, of course, depend on how
frequently the information is recorded. If, for example, room
temperature is recorded every minute of the day, and if each
reading takes up two bytes of memory, then one complete day
will use up 2,880 bytes of memory. If, however, we program
the outstation to store the temperature reading at 15-minute
intervals, then we use only bytes of memory in one day.

Unless information is sent back to the central station for


storage once the outstation memory is full, new information
will be written over the old, and valuable data on fuel
consumption or room temperature may well be lost.
15

(2.2) The contents of the outstation

The contents of the box on the wall which comprises the


outstation varies from one manufacturer to another.

mains communication

RAM ROM CPU


chip chip chip
a
input output
connections connections
Fig.10 Single board outstation

Fig 10 represents a single-board outstation with its cover


removed to show the inside. Only the important components
have been included: these consist of one circuit board with
microelectronic chips, the electrical components and the
terminal blocks. The diagram is very similar to Fig 9 in
Chapter 1, but Fig 10 does not show the buses. It does,
however, show the screw-in connections of the terminal
blocks for the input and output sections.

Although the single-board outstation shown in Fig 10 is


connected to the mains,the 240-volt input is rectified to a
direct current voltage of about 24 volts by the power supply.
This supplies the appropriatevoltage for energising relays and
controls and also provides the 5 volt 'on' and 0.5 volt 'off
voltages for the microelectronic chips.
Notes 16

The communications connection to the BEMS central station


operates in one of two ways:
0 directly if the central station is located nearby;
0 via a telephone line if the central station is
located in another building.
Further detail on this will be given later.

An outstation would not simply be located on the wall with its


cover OIL It would be placed inside a protective metal cabinet
with a lockable door (Fig 11). Instructions and diagrams are
often printed or stuck on the inside of this door, and the
cabinet itself may contain additional equipment such as relays.
The cables linking the outstation with sensors and plant
equipment would be protected by trunking, protective
sleeving or conduit. This provides the protection necessary
not only for the cables themselves (the vital links which allow
the system to operate) but also for those who work in the plant
room. Good wiring and proper electrical installation is very
important: without it, plant room can be dangerous!

-power supply

B
Fig.11 Outstation in protective cabinet .
17 Notes

The wiring up of an outstation will often cost a lot more than


the outstation itself. . As microelectronics become cheaper,
the cost of outstations is tending to fall: the wages of
electricians and the cost of cable, however, is not falling. An
example of the relative costs involved in installing a BEMS in
a number of schools is shown in Fig 12*.

percent
30

20

10

Figl2 Costs for outstations from an ETSU study

A second type of outstation, with more than one circuit board,


is shown in Fig 13. The individual circuit boards are simply
plugged into a 'backplane' or 'motherboard'. This is a
computer chassis with slots for the various boards and
connecting circuitry between the boards. The circuitry may
well contain the buses (address bus, control bus and data bus).

The system may be designed so that one circuit board (or


'card' as it is sometimesknown) contains the CPU and related
circuitry, while another operates as the memory: separate
cards may deal with inputs to the outstation and outputs from
it. The great advantage of this type of outstation is that it can
be developed to suit the plant, and new cards can be added
when necessary. If, for instance, more plant is addeQata-later
stage, or if more control is required or more monitoring of
existing plant, then additional cards can be plugged in. The
addition of one card, for example, might allow us to use eight
more inputs from sensors: a further card might allow us to use,
say, 12 more outputs.

* Taken from ETSU Report U47/84/62.Copies of this report


are available from ETSU,Harwell, Didcot, Oxon OX11ORA
Notes 18

motherboard

PCBS

FigJ3 Motherboard with plug in circuit boards

An outstation of this type is therefore very versatile. It can be


used by a large building with air conditioning or by a small
building with limited plant. The only difference in the two
outstations would be in the number of cards in use.

Both the single-board and the multiple-board outstations


described above can only be questioned or have their data and
programs checked by the operator from the central station.
This can be rather inconvenient if the outstation is some
distance from the central station. It may be necessary for
those involved at the outstation to know, for example, what set
room temperature is being used as the basis for control.
Furthermore, maintenance personnel may need to check
whether ,theheating and the outstation are working properly.
Some manufacturers overcome this problem by providing
portable, hand-held microcomputers which plug into the
outstation and act as a smallversion of the central station. The
boiler or maintenance operative can then question or
interrogate the outstation on the spot and make any changes
that are necessary either to set points or to the control
program.

An alternative approach by other manufacturers is to provide


a small keyboard and display unit on the outstation itself as
shown in Fig 14. The keyboard in this case is often called a
keypad. It is much smaller than a typical microcomputer
keyboard, and abbreviations and codes must be used to
interrogate the outstation. In Fig 14, we might key in Al as
the code for the room temperature, then follow this with a ?
19 Notes

to find out its present value. This value would appear on the
display.

(I display F M P IS 20 C I

Fig.14 Outstation with keypad and display

(23) Passwords

If an outstation has its own keypad and display, we must make


sure that only genuine operators have access to it. We do not
want a situation to occur where anyone, however good their
intentions, can alter set-point temperatures or put the heating
on for 24 hours/day. Maintenance people and caretakers are
therefore given passwords to type in before they can
interrogate or alter the system. - -

Different levels of password may be used. For instance, a low-


level password such as #12 in the example given above (Fig
14) may be used to set temperatures. If, however, set points
need to be changed or control loops altered, then a
higher-level password should be used such as #12CD. The
low-level password might be given to the caretaker, and the
higher-level password to a maintenance technician.

(2.4) Maintenance

Although the existence of a BEMS outstation in a plant room


does not stop plant and equipment breaking down, we should
realise more quickly that this has happened! To allow
maintenance to be carried out, the maintenance technician
Notes 20

must understand how to operate the system, whether by


keypad or by portable microcomputer.

To simplify maintenance and to check whether plant is


working, some BEMS outstations have little switches on their
outputs (and sometimes on their inputs too) which allow
individual items of plant to be switched on and off manually
(Fig 15).

manual
relay overide switch

Off

Fig15 Manual and automatic control switch

IE,for instance,a pump needs to be checked, it can be switched


on manually by putting the Switch to the 'manual on' position
and then switched off by putting the switch to the 'manual off
position. This simple procedure saves time as there is no need
to interrogate the outstation through the keypad or keyboard.
When the switch is in the middle position ('auto') the pump is
automatically controlled by the outstation itself. If the
checking procedure shows that the pump is not working, then
its motor would need to be isolated from the mains and from
the outstation using a local isolation switch (Fig 16).

This would allow work to be carried out safely with no danger


of the motor suddenly starting up automatically. Similar
measures must also be taken with other items of plant such as
fans, valve motors, burners etc.

(2.5 ) Interfacable controllers

Many manufacturers of items such as compensators and


optimisers now make control boxes which can be interfaced
21 Notes

isolation

switch

Fig.16 Isolation switch for equipment

with or connected to computers. Thus ordinary individual


controllers can be linked, via telephone lines if necessary, to
a central microcomputer: the microcomputer can be used
both to examine the performance of the controllers and also
to change their settings. Such a system is a very low-level form
of BEMS and can be very useful: it is sometimes cheaper than
a BEMS but is rather more limited in its capabilities. Control
boxes which can be used in thisway can be distinguished from
standard controllers by their communicationsockets.

(2.6 ) Inputs to the outstation

We now need to examine how the BEMS outstation (the box


on the plant room wall) receives information from the
equipment and the sensors. Let us consider first of all a
single-board outstation. Fig 17shows the essential features of
such an outstation, including the buses which connect the
memory and CPU chips to the input and output sections as
before (Fig.9) but includes a temperature sensor connected
to the input section. When a temperature signal arrives from
the temperature sensor, the input section processes the signal
so that it is in computer-readable form - ie binary or
combinations of '1' and '0'.This signal is then put into a buffer
or small store until the CPU chip can deal with it (often a
microscopically short time!). When the CPU is ready to
analyse the data from the sensor, the signal is released from
the input buffer onto the data bus to the CPU. The CPU then
compares the temperature signalled with the set point
temperature we have programmed ifito the RAM memory. If
22

the temperature signalled is too low, the CPU sends a signal


to the output sectionwhich results, perhaps, in a voltage being
sent to a heating valve to open it up further. The CPU then
puts the sensor signal into the RAM chip in case we want to
find out how the temperature has varied during the day. This
is a simplified version of what is really quite a complexprocess.

It is important to note that the temperature sensor must have


a certain address or location to allow the CPU to find it using
the address bus. Sensor 1, for instance, may be given the
address 'Sl'. If the CPU is to read the address, it must be

ternperature
sensor
Fig.17 Input to the outstation

available in binary form, and this conversion is done either by


a program in the ROM chip or by the central station when we
write our program.

Because we are human, we sometimes get muddled when


writing control programs, and we could frnd that we are
causing a light to come on when the temperature falls! So
when a new BEMS is commissioned or when major changes
are made to the control program of an existing system, it is
23 Notes

worthwhile checking in the plant room whether the control


program actuay works properly.

Most sensors (temperature, pressure, humidity etc) are


analogue devices. This means that they send out a continuous
current or voltage: in a temperature sensor, the current
increases as the temperature rises and decreases as the
temperature falls. This can be compared with an analogue
watch with hands that move continuously to show the time. In
contrast, the digital watch changes its display either once a
minute or once a second, depending on how sophisticated it
is. As the microcomputer is a digital device, the analogue
signal from the sensor has to be converted to a digital signal
at the input section using an analogue to digital converter or
ADC. A good ADC will do this conversion in about one
millionth of a second: if the signal comes from a temperature
sensor, then we are only likely to need to convert the signal,
or sample it, perhaps every five or 10 seconds. There is no
need for more frequent sampling as temperatures will not
change much in less than five seconds.

Let us consider the example of a sensor producing an analogue


signal with a maximum possible voltage of 8.75 volts. For
simplicity, we will assume that the ADC will convert this
analogue signal into a 3-bit-long binary signal (normally it will
be an 8-bit or 1byte signal, but 3 is a simpler number for an
example). The 3 bits can represent eight different binary
numbers: the first bit can be either 1or 0 (2 numbers) and so
can the second and the third, so we have 2 x 2 x 2, or 23,which
equals 8. These numbers are shown below (remember that 0
is a number). The analogue signal can thus be represented by
a series of 'on' or 'off signals of either 5 V or 0.5 V, the binary
'on' and 'off voltages.

Binary or digital Analogue signal


signal (volts)

0
1.25
2.50
3.75
5.00
6.25
7.50
8.75

With eight numbers and an analogue signal ranging from zero


to 8.75 volts, each binary number should represent a multiple
Notes 24

of 125 volts as shown above. The quality of the digital


conversion will be rather poor here as it will only be to the
nearest 1.25 volts. Accuracy is greatly increased normallywith
the use of 8- bit ADCs.
25 Notes

(2.n Sensors

Most BEMS manufacturers will incorporate ADCs which are


sufficiently accurate for normal buildings use. They will,
however, probably use different sensors. For the
measurement of temperature there are four common types of
sensor:
0 thermistors;
0 thermocouples;
0 platinum resistance thermometers;
0 small electronic circuits which vary their voltage
with temperature.
The thermistor is a semi-conductor device encapsulated in a
small ceramic bead, which varies its electrical resistance with
temperature as shown in Fig 18. The relationship between the
two is not a straight-line one and so the BEMS manufacturer
will either program the outstation to convert this curved line
to temperature or straighten up the line electronically.

electrical
resistance

0 100
temperature (degrees C)

Fig.18 Variation of a thermistors resistance with temp

The small electronic circuit, although a bulkier and much


more expensive sensor than the thermistor, produces a
straight-line signal as shown in Fig 19.

Sensors vary significantly and, as the type of sensor influences


the programming, we have to buy our sensors from the
manufacturer of the BEMS we have selected. It is not easy to
exchange temperature signals, and this is a source of
incompatibility between systems from different
manufacturers. Once we have purchased a BEMS,we have to
Notes 26

remain with that manufacturer ifwewish at any time to extend


our system!

I I

0 100
temperature (degrees C)

Fig.19 Small electronic circuit voltage variation with temp'

Sensors also vary according to their purpose. For example, a


sensor in a hot-air duct will measure temperatures ranging
from about 0C (no heat) to 40 or 50C (full heat). A
room-temperature sensor, however, will range from OC up
to only about 30Cwhile a sensor measuring the temperature
of water from a boiler will vary fiom 0C to 100C. Because
of these sensor variations, the BEMS outstation must be be
programmed to scale the voltages over different temperature
ranges. Care and checking are necessary to prevent mistakes
in the programming - and mistakes will give us silly
temperature readings. Even when manufacturers program
outstations for us, mistakes occasionally occur; so beware!

(2.8) Digital inputs

Not all the inputs to an outstation are analogue inputs. When


plant switches on or off, it sends signals - either high voltage
'on' signals or low voltage 'off signals (in other words digital
or binary signals). The BEMS outstation can count these
digital 'on' and 'offsignals or switching events, and this allows
us to examine how often the boiler is switching and whether
it is cycling due to low load (Unit 2 explains how this can be
inefficient and wasteful of fuel). The BEMS outstation can
also measure how long the equipment runs for. This is useful
information for maintenance purposes as, after perhaps 2,000
running hours, a pump or boiler burner might need servicing.
The outstation could alert us to this.
27 Notes

Gas and electricity meters with the correct attachments can


also send digital signals to the outstation. These may provide
us either with a count of the number of rotations of the disc or
with details of energy consumed (in therms or kwh).

(2.91 OntDnts from the outstation

So far we have only considered inputs to the outstation: but


the outstation also needs to send out signals to control plant
and equipment. It needs, for instance, to switch boilers,
pumps and fans on or off, and it needs to operate moving
valves.

To switch on a pump, the outstation only needs to send out an


electrical signal to operate a semi-conductor switch (solid
state relay) or a relay. A current flowing through the coil of
the relay magnetically attracts or pulls the switch closed (Fig
20).

outstation

s w i t . equipment
M
I
I
8

relay coil
~~

Fig20 Operation of a relay

The voltage from the outstation is small, often 24 V or less.


Relays are designed to control small loads of up to about 1
kW. If a pump has a large motor (and motors produce large
opposing voltages when switched on), then a heavier duty
switch, or contactor, will be required. The relay in Fig 20
might well operate a contactor as shown in Fig 21. Here the
outstation, with its low, direct-current voltage, is controlling
an alternating- current mains voltage of 240 volts which
operates the contactor on the motor being controlled. The
motor would also have a starter. The relay is used in this
Notes 28

instance to separate or isolate the electrical circuits so that


there is no chance of any mains voltage reaching the
outstation. If mains voltage were applied at the outstation
outputs,serious damage would occur.

mains

voltage
I
:contactor
I
from
outside relay
being
or controlIed
415V

Fig.21 Control of equipment

A semiconductor switch can be used to isolate the outstation


from the mains as an alternative to the relay and contactor.

Valve motors can similarly be switched on for the period


necessary to move a valve to the correct position. They are
then switched off. Some valves need an analogue signal to
control them in which case the digital output signal can be
converted to an analogue signal by a digital-to-analogue
converter or DAC (Fig 22). This reverses the operation
described above for an ADC.
29 Notes

1 I

digital analogue
signal signal
in out

Fig22 Digital to analogue converter

If it is necessary for the control program in the outstation to


know the exact position of the valve, then a position sensor
can be put on the valve mechanism. This then sends an
analogue signal back to the input side of the outstation.
However, this additional sensor does use up a vital input
position or channel leaving less room for other sensors.

With modem BEMS systems the output can often be simply


switched from digital to analogue. No additional DAC is
necessary as it is already in the output section and can simply
be switched on and off.

(2.10 Interference

In our discussion of the output from the BEMS outstation,we


found that the relay and the contactor separated the outstation
from the mains and that this separation is essential if the
outstation is not to be severely damaged. However, input
signals to the outstation also need protection, not so much
from the mains but from electrical interference.

Electrical interference is very similar to radio or television


waves. Electric motors and large electric cables can easily
generate interference waves, and if our sensors and their
cables are near them they can act as radio aerials and pick up
small electrical signals as shown in Fig 23. The result is that
these electrical signals cause the binary 0 to become 1 in the
signal sent to the CPU. A negative interference voltage, on
the other hand, could make the binary 1become O!
Notes 30

Sensors, their cabling and the outstation itself must all


therefore be kept as far from the interference as possible - ie
away from motors and large cables.

Fig.23 EleCtrical interference

One way of reducing the effect of interference signals is to stop


the sensor wires acting as good aerials. This can be done by
twisting the wires together (making a 'twisted pair',) which
makes them less able to pick up signals. Another way of
reducing interference is to put a fine wire mesh around the
sensor cable to screen it. The mesh picks up the interference
and current and conducts it down 'to earth' (Fig 24).

bent TV aerial twisted pair

screened wiring

Fig.24 Screening of wiring


31 Notes

In general, screened, twisted wiring should eliminate


electrical interference: but this is sometimes difficult in plant
rooms with large motors and much large power cabling
around. We must continually beware ifwe are not to get siUy
sensor readings.
32 Notes

Chapter 3

The Central Station


The central station and its equipment are the main subjects of
this Chapter, together with a discussion of communication
between the central station and its outstations. The software
that is available is also briefly examined, and consideration is
given to system size and compatibility.

Objectives: When you have read through this chapter and


completed the SAQs, you should
0 appreciate what a central station is and what its
components are;
0 understand its key role in communcation in a
BEMS;
0 appreciate what a BEMS central station can do
with the software available, what size it needs to
be and how compatible systems are.

(3.1) The central station: the headauarters of the svstem

The central station or supervisor of a BEMS can be regarded


as the headquarters of the system and is often located in or
near the senior energy managers office. Perhaps surprisingly,
the central station is very similartoan outstation. It has a CPU
chip and memory chips (although these are often very much
larger than those in the outstations), but its input section is
connected to a keyboard, disc drive and communication link
from the outstation@)while its output is connected to a
screen,printer and disc drive, again with a communication link
to the outstation(s) (Fig 25). In appearance, the central
station far more closely matches our idea of a microcomputer.
And that is exactly what it is, except that most microcomputers
d o not have communication links to outstations.
Furthermore, most BEMS manufacturers use standard
microcomputers such as lBM, Hewlett Packard, Amstrad etc
- machines that we can easily buy for calculations or for games.

Previous page
is blank
Notes 33

~~

ADDRESS BUS
lor
RAM ROM CPU
chip chip chip

%I la1 181
DATA BUS I I I
J
INPUT

keyboard

I
1-
communications
link with
Drinter

Fig25 The central station

Instructions are given to the central station through the


'QWER'IY' keyboard (the name comes from the order of
letters on the keyboard which is similar to a standard
typewriter keyboard), and each key pressed sends a binary
number to the microcomputer. Every key has its own special
binary number as defined by the ASCII code (American
Standard Code for Information Interchange). For instance,
the A S a code for A is

which is the binary number for 65. The code for B is the binary
number for 66

01oooo10

The instructions we give to the microcomputer are received


by the CPU and then displayed on the screen or monitor. If
it is necessary to work for long periods in front of a monitor,
then it is worth while buying one of good quality which will
give less strain on the eyes. Good listing in the office is also
essential to avoid distracting reflections in the screen.
34 Notes

What is displayed on the screen can also be printed by the


printer so that we can keep a copy. More important, however,
is the fact that the printer can record messages from the
outstation when no-one is near the central station - for
example at night or during meal-breaks. With a printer, it is
not necessary for the central station to be manned all day
anyway.

Although the microcomputer of the central station has a much


larger memory, or more memory chips, than an outstation
(microcomputershave memories of up to hundreds of kbytes),
it is cheaper to store large amounts of data and information
on discs.

A 'floppy' disc is very similar to a 45 rpm record, but without


the grooves. It is made of flexible or 'floppy' plastic with a
magnetic coating like a cassette tape. A 'head' in the disc drive
reads or writes magnetic signals off or onto the disc, similar
again to a cassette tape. As the discs are easily damaged, and
greasy fingers can upset the surface, they are contained in thin
plastic cases. Slits in the cases allow the head to come close
to the disc surface to read from or write to it (Fig 26). Discs
can be 3.5,5.25 or 8 inches in diameter. When placed in the
disc drive of the microcomputer they are rotated at between
300 and 360 revolutions per minute. Discs can be either
single-sided or double-sided Double-sided discs can hold
data and programs on both sides. Also, confusingly, some
discs are referred to as double density and others as single
density. A single-sided, single density 5.25-inch disc would be
capable of storing 128 kbytes. So when there is a lot of
information to store, it is necessary to have a number of discs.

0
0
Fig26 A floppy disc
Notes 35

To get some idea of the storage capacity of discs and chips, it


is useful to remember that each letter of the alphabet and each
number and symbol on the QWERTY keyboard is
represented by a byte. If we were to type into the computer
memory a sheet of A4 paper in double-spaced typing, there
would be about 2,OOO letters, full-stops and spaces. This would
therefore occupy about 2,000 bytes or 2 kbytes of computer
memory.

A lot of the more expensive microcomputers now have 'hard'


disc storage. This rigid disc, which rotates much faster than a
floppy disc, is located within the computer in a sealed
container with a special pressurised gas. It is not removable.
Although a hard disc system is more expensive than one using
floppy discs, it can store up to 26 Mbytes. Sometimes it is
referred to as a 'mini-Winnie' as it is a smaller version of the
IBM Winchester hard disc unit.
36 Notes

3.2 Software

So far we have considered the central station and outstation


in terms of their microprocessor chips which deal with the
binary signals and numbers. We have also seen that we can
communicate with these chips through 'the keyboard of the
central station which converts our letters etc to binary signals
according to the ASCII code. A program or set of instructions
which the chips would understand would look something like
this:

10101100

oooooooo
11100100

01000001

00000000

loo01100

It would be very tedious to write such instructions for the


outstation or central station - or for any computer for that
matter. However, computer programming languages have
been developed which makes it easier to give instructions to
computers. These are termed 'high-level languages' as they
are higher and more 'user-friendly' &Binary numbers.
Examples of high-level languages are BASIC, FORTRAN
and ALGOL

Fortunately, we do not have to learn these languages or learn


to be a computer programmer before we can use a BEMS.
This is because the BEMS manufacturer has already done the
programming for us and we use a 'menu' selection of the
programs to examine and adjust our outstations, often through
the central station. Obviously BEMS vary in the types of menu
system they use and in how user-friendly or easy they really
are. We can only check this by sitting at the BEMS central
station and trying it out for ourselves.

All these programs and languages are referred to as 'software'


to distinguish them from the 'hardware' (the screen, keyboard,
microcomputer and outstation). Although, as we have already
seen, BEMS manufacturers use standard microcomputers for
Notes 37

their central stations, they write their own software. This


results in wide variations in programmes and menus, and in
considerable choice for us, the users. Typically, when we
switch on the central station and put the appropriate discs into
the disc drives as instructed by the manufacturer, a menu will
appear on the screen: Fig 27 Sves an example.

Fig.27 A menu

Before this happens, we may have to type in our password to


show that we are allowed to use the system. The menu appears
at the bottom of the screen so that any information we request
can be shown on the blank part of the screen above. The menu
remains there as a prompt for us. Notice that, in the example
given, there is a capital letter in each word. When this is typed
in on the keyboard, it acts as a form of shorthand. For
instance, if we type in 02, it means that we want to look at
outstation 2 and the computer will select its data on this
outstation. If we then type in S1,the reading for sensor 1in
outstation 2 will appear on the screen, probably with other
sensor readings as well. After typing in each instruction, we
will probably have to press the RETURN key on the
keyboard: this tells the computer to carry out the instruction
it has been given. So, for our example, we type

02 RETURN
S1 RETURN
38 Notes

Fig 28 shows a typical result of giving the cornpiiter these


instructions. We &in see from this that sensor 1 is reading
19C. As this is probably the inside sensor, it might be more
useful to alter the screen wording so that it reads:

inside temperature: 19OC

Fig.zs The result on the screen


Notes 39

All BEMS manufacturers provide training for future


operators of their systems. We would need about one or two
days' training to check sensors and change temperatures.
However, to set up the control program for the outstation and
to decide loop types and sensor types etc, would require
further training as the programming is more detailed. You
may feel that such additional training is unnecessary as many
manufacturers supply standard control programs for boiler
plant or air-conditioning plant.

This more detailed and complex programming for setting up


the outstation is still menu-driven: sensor types have to be
selected (duct, water, outside air etc), control-loop set points
typed in and 'on' and 'off switching times set. Training for
this level of understanding and operation would, typically,
take two to three days for someone with no previous
knowledge of computing. So it is not too difficult - even
though the examples considered are greatly simplified. .

The range of software sold by BEMS manufacturers has


greatly increased in recent years. Plant diagrams can be
shown on the screen, with the various temperatures from the
sensors displayed at the relevant point on the diagram.
Consumption data can be displayed graphically, and statistics
can be calculated automatically from the data, for use in
target-setting. The scope of the software is increasing rapidly,
making BEMS increasingly powerful and at the same time,
more user friendly.

33 Communication

When we looked at the central station earlier, Fig 25 showed


a communications link to and from the outstations.

If the central station is in the same building and close to an


outstation (for instance next door or only a few rooms away),
then the two can be linked by a cable. This cable has plugs at
either end (male one end, female the other) which fit into
sockets in the central station and outstation. Sockets for male
plugs contain 25 holes, while those for female plugs contain
~ 25 pins. Both plugs and sockets comply with the RS232C
standard. As a result, the connecting points on the outstation
and central station are often called RS232C 'ports' (Fig 29).
The cable simply enables digital signals to pass between the
stations when needed. However, as many outstations are
intelligent and stand alone, there does not have to be a lot of
communication. Often it consists simply of alarms (the boiler
40

has gone to lock out, for instance), or of daily consumptions


and temperatures, transmitted at the end of each day. These
transmissionstake place automatically: they do not need us to
be sitting at the central station. Alarms can be printed for us
to see later on, and data can be stored so that graphs can be
made whenever we request them.

L
1
I

Fig.29 RS232C

If the outstation is in another building some distance away


fromthe central station, then the cable from'the RS232Cports
can be connected into an ordinary telephone line. A modem
is connected to the outstation end and the central station end
to convert the binary signals into modulations of an audio
signal suitable for the telephone syste-m to-transmit. The
modem Modulates the signal for transmitting and
DEModulates the signal at the receiving end (Fig 30), hence
the name, modem. To be fully automatic, the modem will
require an auto-dial unit, which 'dials' the correct telephone
number: if the number is engaged, it tries again, and again. If
contact is still not made, and if another number has been
programmed into the system, the auto-dial unit will then try
thisalternative number. The whole unit may be referred to as
an autodial modem.
Notes 41

c modem

modulated
audio
\ signal

telephone

Fig30 Transmission over telephone lines

The existence of such units means that a building in London


can have an outstation which reports to a central station in the
north of Scotland! In fact a number of bureaux have been set
up to run clients buildings many miles away from the bureau
headquarters. A further advantage is that one central station
can be responsible for many outstations - perhaps as many as
30 although this varies with the different makes of BEMS.

The rate or speed of transmission of data and instructions


between the central station and the outstation is referred to
as the baud rate. In simple terms, 1baud is 1bit per second.

3.4 Compatibility

As we have seen, different BEMS manufacturers use different


central station microcomputers, employ different sensors,
have different software and use different hardware in the
outstations. So it is hardly surprising that we cannot easily
connect one manufacturers sensors to anothers outstation
and then connect this to anothers central station. It is a sad
fact of life that once we have bought our BEMS, we are locked
into that make if we wish to expand it.

One of the aims of the BEMS centre is that systems should


become more compatible.
42 Notes

At the heart of a BEMS is a microprocessor chip


which provides the brains of the system.
The microprocessor needs a memory, composed
of ROM and RAM chips.
AU memory locations and sources of information
and data for the microprocessor must have
addresses.
The intelligent outstation has its own
microprocessor chip and memory chips, and can
'stand alone'.
Passwords are needed to examine and alter the
outstation.
Maintenance technicians must be able to isolate
equipment when carrying out work. (Do they
have to contact the central station?)
Most sensors send analogue signals which have
to be converted to digital signals for the
microprocessor.
Outstation outputs control plant via relays or
semi-conductor switches (solid state relays).
These relays isolate the outstation from harmful,
large AC voltages
Electrical interference can be reduced by using
screened, twisted- pair cables for sensors.
The central station is effectively a normal
microcomputer with a communication link to the
outstations.
Communication between outstation and central
station is by modems connected to RS232C ports.
43 Notes

AppendixAnswers to SAQs
SAQl ANSWER

Two additional sensors will be needed, an internal


temperature sensor will be required to work with an
optimum start for the zone. A mixed flow temperature
sensor will be required for compensation using the 3-port
valve.

An additional outside air sensor will not be required as one


is already available to the BEMS.
44

SAQ2 ANSWER

When we count in decimal, we start at 0 and after we reach


9 we have to start another column, the 10s column. After
99 we have to start a 100s column (or Id,which is simply 10
x 10). After 999 we need a lOOOs column (Id).

Binary counting is similar, although we start our first new


column after 1. We therefore have columns representing

Where2' = 1, 2l = 2, 22 = 4, Z3 = 8, Z4 = 16

So the decimal number 12 is made up of a 1in the Z3 or 8


column, and a 1in the 22 or 4 column.

1 1 0 0

Similarly the decimal number 17 is

1 0 0 0 1

Likewise, the binary number

25 24 23 22 21 20

1 0 0 0 0 0 =25=32

and

25 24 23 22 21 20

1 o 1 o 1 =24+22+20

= 1 6 + 4 + 1 =21
45 Notes

SAQ3 ANSWER

Our energy manager wishes to record:

outside temperature (x 1) every half hour;

room temperature (x 2) every half hour;

gas consumption (x 1) every day.

So in one day there will be 3 x 48 = 144 temperature


readings

1 gas meter reading.

using up 145 bytes.

This means that there will be

1Ox 1024
--------- = 70.6days
145

or almost 71 days.
46

SAWANSWER

If we use an 8-bit ADC then we can have binary numbers


from 0-255

27 26 25 24 23 2 2 1 2 0

decimal 128 64 32 16 8 4 2 1

This number is 128 + 64 + 32 + .......


or simply one less than 28 = 256 - 1 = 255.

We shall therefore have 255 levels of digital signal to


represent 100'~ of temperature, or

100
- = 0 . 3 9 " ~per level
255

This is an accuracy of 1 in 255 or 0.39%, quite accurate


enough for our BEMS.
47 Notes

SAQS ANSWER

26 Mbytes is 26 x 106 bytes or 26 million bytes.

One typed A4 sheet uses ZOO0 bytes, so therefore we could


store

But,with storage devices, a certain amount of space is


needed for an index so that the microprocessor can locate
the information. This can take up quite a few kbytes,
varying with the disc- operating system and the computer.

The difference between a central station and an outstation


is well illustrated by comparing Fig 25 of a central station
with Fig 17 of an outstation. Missing from Fig 17 are the
outputs to control equipment.
Note that the central station has a much larger memory
size: it has many RAM and ROM chips, but also uses disc
storage. The central station is more of a traditional
microcomputer, whereas the outstation is not much like one
at all.
Notes 48

SAQC ANSWER

a) If S1 RETURN produces the temperature reading of


sensor 1,then we would expect

GS1 RETURN

to produce a graph. Just pressing G may bring up a


question such as

Sensor Number?

and then we would type in

1 RETURN

Notice that the RETURN key is pressed to start the


computer operating. In programming, this key brings us or
returns us to the next line, ready for putting in the next
instruction. The RETURN button or key may have a
different symbol on some computer keyboards, for instance
ENTER
b) To check set point 3 we would expect

T3 RETURN
to produce it. Pressing C would probably bring up the
question

Change?

to which we would respond

T3, R E I "
To?

to which we would respond

30 RETURN
49 Notes

Assignment
If more than one answer appears correct, try and pick the best
one. There is not just one correct answer, but some answers
are better than others. So pick which you thinkis the best one.

(1) Most BEMS are built around

(A) a microprocessor and input se&n

(B) a ROM,a RAMand a akc drive

(C) a microprocessor, ROM,RAM, input and output sections

(D) an addrm bus, keyboard andprinter


(2) Data from an input sensor of an outstation is stored every
15 minutes. Each data input occupies 1byte of memory space
and the outstation has 1 kbyte of memory available. How
many hours of data can be stored?
(A) 1,024 hours

(B) 256hours

(0)IOOhours

(3) What are the advantages of an outstation with a


backplane?

(A) It is a cheaperfonn of o u t s t h n
(B) It can contain more buses and is thedore rnorejkible

(C)The cards can befIeribly manged on it


Cards can be added on to suit requirements
(0)
Notes 50

(4) A relay, or solid state relay, when used for outstation


outputs,
(A) isolates the outstation from harmfulAC voltages

(B) isolQtes the outstationfiom harmful DC voltages

(C)prevents ekctrical inte~erencegetting into the outstation


(0) isolates the outstation from hannfid DC voltages and
prevents e k c h a l i n t e ~ ~ e

(5) Different BEMS are often incompatible because

(A) they use dfferent sensors and cables

(B) they use dflerent sojlware and voltages

(C) they use d@erentsojlwm,sensors and cables

they use werent sojlware, sensors and central stations.


(0)

(6)Electrical interference can

(A) CCuLTe spurious digital signals and is stopped by using


rwisted screened cables

(B) causehannful;1argeACvoltageswhich can dunuzgesenson


(C) cause s p ~ u analogue
s sign& which can be stopped by
using low-passfiltersat the central Station

(0) cause hurmjid dijjtalsignalswhich can be stopped by using


screened cables and r e w

Finally if you have any comments or suggestions which we at


the BEMS Centre may find useful please write to the Head of
the BEMS Centre. If you have got this far and completed the
unit, congratulations!
The Building Energy Management Systems Centre, BSRIA
Old Bracknell Lane West, Bracknell, Berkshire RG12 4AH. Tel. (0344) 426511. Telex 848288 BSR
Fax No. (0344) 487575