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Oct 1, 2013 - Building

Light And Protection From The Sun, On Demand

The WAGO-I/O-SYSTEM 750 takes on lighting and blinds control in a research building used by the pharmaceutical industry.

Flexible, functional, efficient: The WAGO-I/O-SYSTEM guarantees a high level of functionality and flexibility in the lighting and blinds control for a research building used by the pharmaceutical industry. The standardized design of the automated solution reduces both investment and operating costs as well as the time required for planning, assembly, and start up, and – not least – forms the foundation for maximum energy efficiency.

120 colleagues work across numerous disciplines in the 9,000 m2 of multi-functional building space; their efforts are highly interconnected as they investigate and develop innovative medications for patients around the world. The pharmaceutical firm is consciously betting on highly automated, innovative solutions to enable safe and flexible building operations that are energy efficient and reduce the consumption of finite resources. Therefore, the lighting and blinds controls were conceived from the start with the following functions:

  • Each light and each blind can be individually controlled.
  • Depending on the amount of outside light and the position of the blinds, the lights are dimmed to minimize energy consumption.
  • The blinds are controlled to minimize energy consumption; their movement depends on the position of the sun, the intensity of the outside light, and external temperatures.
  • Standard switches are used in all rooms. At all times, the users have the option of using the switch to shut off the automatic control of the lighting and/or blinds for a definable period of time.
  • Any function can be locally or globally carried out at a higher level (e.g., time-dependent on/off switching of lights)

All components for the DALI light controls and the blind controls for the SMI drives come from WAGO. The choice was based on good past experiences with products and services delivered by the Minden-based company. In recent years, the pharmaceutical company carried out some joint projects with WAGO, in which a test system was designed to verify the functionality, usability, and system limits for using automated controls for lighting and blinds.

Flexibility and economic efficiency through standardization

A total of 13 programmable 750-881 ETHERNET Controllers from WAGO control the lighting and sun protection for the research building. The high-performance controllers, with PLC functionality, manage more than 24,000 data points. They communicate with a system control PC via a CODESYS-OPC server.

A high degree of standardization is important to the operator, as it guarantees transparency, limits the costs for maintenance and replacement parts, utilizes the repetition effect, and, in particular, uniformly applies only one software program to all controllers. In addition to lowering investment costs, this type of high standardization reduces the time requirements for planning, installation, and start up, as well as operating costs. Therefore, each 750-881 Controller is identically designed: all have a module with 8 outputs and 16 inputs, as well as three DALI and two SMI modules. This means that each PLC can control three times 64 DALI lights, two times 16 SMI blinds, and the assigned switches. Data point specific settings for the controllers are not implemented by changing the software, but instead by changing the parameters.

Each controller can regulate up to 50 rooms in the facility. The parameter data for DALI and SMI, and also the behavior patterns (rules) for the lights or blinds respectively, are stored for each room. A total of 255 rules is possible. A WAGO 758 Series IPC serves to detect and distribute weather data, such as brightness, wind speed, temperature, and humidity, to all controllers. This PC also calculates the position of the sun and functions as a master controller, distributing weather data and solar position to the 750-881 Controllers. Based on information from the master controller and input values from switches and buttons, the controllers calculate the set values for the lights and blinds.

Hermann GmbH & Co. KG, specialists in building automation and climate control technology, developed the algorithms for controlling the lights and blinds as standard modules based on functional parameters. In addition, the WAGO Solution Provider programmed the controllers and brought them online, developed the web-based workplace visualization, and created the floor plan visualization for the building operating system.

Web-based operating software for users

A web-based operating software was developed for users in laboratories and offices. This software enables all users to set the lighting and blinds in their space according to their preferences, and to store and call up these set values. In addition, the software displays current energy use for room lighting and the energy savings achieved over a defined period of time. The assignment of users and rooms takes place automatically by importing the master data base for the communication system via the operating system.

A floor plan-related operating system was implemented to operate the system. It is also used by maintenance and repair personnel, who can obtain an overview of the entire system, which they then use to carry out interventions as needed. The operating system, which is equipped with the Herrmann’s proprietary “hercon” automation module, takes on central functions, such as automatic on/off switching of lights, and additionally manages the parameter data for all PLCs.

Conclusion

By using the highly standardized WAGO-I/O-SYSTEM 750 in connection with software for optimizing energy consumption along with a higher level operating system, the system represents an optimal solution for operating lights and blinds. Energy costs and also maintenance expenses are reduced by the controllers. Adjustments due to changes and building alterations can be easily implemented due to the high flexibility. The users are satisfied and the system is extremely stable.

Text: Rainer Knodel, WAGO
Photo: WAGO

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