Oct 1, 2013 - Building
One Building, One Language
There is a multitude of different protocols in technical building automation. In large projects in particular, the individual building sections often develop parallel and independent of each other. This then usually leads to an impenetrable, difficult to maintain jungle of differing communication technologies. The new 750-831 BACnet Controller from WAGO is an intelligent, holistic solution for the smooth integration of technological islands with different protocols, like LON or DALI, into one system This helps reduce building automation complexity, along with the effort and costs involved for installation and maintenance.
The integrated automation of buildings involves many factors – from appropriate lighting control using weather dependent sun protection to sophisticated heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems (HVAC). To promote comprehensive communication between the individual sections, a standardized protocol is preferably used as the backbone in modern building automation. This kind of backbone can then be applied to every floor in the entire building. The goal is to introduce a uniform language – from the control systems to the automation levels. This simplifies things for all involved – from installation through maintenance to retrofitting – and is particularly true for complex systems. The BACnet controller from WAGO, which is freely programmable according to IEC 61131-3, provides an efficient and flexible solution for all applications. It corresponds with the device type “BACnet Building Controller (B-BC)” defined in the BACnet standard along with the associated defined BIBBs (BACnet Interoperability Building Blocks).
Efficient and user friendly
The 750-831 BACnet Controller is based on proven earlier versions, but, like all of the new generation of WAGO ETHERNET controllers, now includes a more powerful processor. The available program memory is twice as large, while data storage was increased four-fold. At the same time, this controller supports SD card functionality, meaning that data such as the “Trend Log” object can be externally archived. In addition, there is more space available for Web visualization due to the SD card, background images and building ground plans can be stored, and processes can be graphically displayed. An ETHERNET line topology can also be set up using the 2-port switch integrated into the controller.
The so-called “native” operation of the BACnet controller is particularly practical. This means that the user simply plugs in digital and analog I/O modules into the device, the controller scans the I/O module and then automatically generates appropriate BACnet objects for the digital and analog hardware data points. The result: The controller is immediately ready for operation once an IP address has been assigned, which takes place easily using an integrated DIP switch. This feature reduces the configuration effort required, which can be considerable for complex systems. Additional BACnet objects can be easily created using the BACnet Configurator, or the WAGO-I/O-PRO Software 2.3 with CODESYS, which is based on the IEC 61131-3 Standard.
The BACnet Configurator is a user-friendly tool for starting up and operating the controller. It enables use of BACnet services like “Backup & Restore”, “Reset”, or “Time synchronization”. WAGO’s configurator software now additionally provides a helpful Device Manager, which truly simplifies the user’s effort in complex, heterogeneous BACnet networks. The Device Manager offers the ability to display all WAGO BACnet controllers in table form as an overview, to export this (as CSV files), to process the data points, and to upload the files again. In addition, the properties of BACnet objects can be queried and changed via a value browser.
Total flexibility due to modular design
The WAGO BACnet controller combines the advantages of the proven, finely modular WAGO-I/O-SYSTEM 750 with the DIN EN ISO 16484-5 standardized BACnet communications protocol. The I/O system’s modularity enables the connection of virtually any combination of digital/analog inputs and outputs, as well as complex sub-I/O modules, to one fieldbus controller. If a project requires decentralized, bus-enabled sensors and actuators from varying technologies, the system can serve as a multifunctional interface. It supports interfaces such as DALI, MP-Bus, KNX/TP1, M-Bus, EnOcean, SMI, LON, and serial protocols. In combination with the controller, a complete BACnet integration and interoperability with third-party components is thus guaranteed.
It depends on the right module
The integrative building automation design from WAGO, based on the BACnet controller and the WAGO-I/O-SYSTEM 750 would not be complete without appropriate I/O modules. WAGO’s new 753-648 I/O Module connects LON field devices to the WAGO-I/O-SYSTEM 750 with more flexibility and greater independence from suppliers. For the first time, all WAGO controllers can communicate using LON. By using the new module, interfaces at the field and automation levels can additionally be configured to other protocols, like KNX IP and Modbus TPC, just as easily as for DALI or SMI.
The new 753-647 DALI Multi-Master Module not only controls 64 DALI actuators, but also connects to up to 16 multisensors. This eliminates the need for installing a sensor-only parallel bus. This saves time and money. Commissioning and management of the DALI networks has also been markedly simplified by the DALI configurator.
Libraries simplify startup
WAGO facilitates work for system integrators by providing comprehensive libraries for starting up I/O modules. Programmers have to create comprehensive software programs for controlling and visualizing, in particular for executing complex systems, for example in the HVAC area. In cases like this, WAGO goes the extra distance in customer support by providing completely programmed program macros. These macros enable the definition of individual standards, which are then applicable to a multitude of systems. Thus, the system macros also contribute to cost reductions.
Conclusion: One controller for all applications
Using the WAGO 750-831 BACnet Controller, the most varied protocols can be easily integrated into one system, which simplifies communication between different manufacturer’s products. The user profits due to reduced complexity and easier installation and maintenance of the building automation systems. The BACnet standard can be used for room automation as well as HVAC due to the multitude of I/O modules supported. WAGO thereby supports all essential objects that are important in the HVAC area. With this broad product range of automation components, WAGO delivers a complete solution that is up to the complex demands of system integration in modern building automation, and offers new possibilities for cost reductions.
- The most varied protocols can be integrated into one system using WAGO´s BACnet Controller.
- In "native" operation, the BACnet Controller is immediately ready for operation once an IP address has been assigned.
- The BACnet Configurator provides maximum support during startup and operation.
Text: Karl-Heinz Sanders, WAGO