Lightning Mechanical is now offering a service to integrate HVAC systems with your Building Management System (BMS). BMS HVAC integration reduces the cost and effort required to manage your facilities by centralizing all support systems on a single multi-purpose interface. We provide pre-configured hardware and software that is ready to install with minimal setup time. HVAC manufacturers have developed many pre-configured building management system devices including, Modbus slave controller, KNX/EIB floor controllers, BACnet gateways, and provide life cycle support for all their software solutions.
We offer reliable hardware that can be configured to the customer's exact specifications. The customer can provide us with a working device, or we can supply it for them based on their preference and needs. We can help you discover the level of integration and automation systems needed by your facility today and which devices will serve you best in the future, as well as provide redundancy with multiple device choices for critical tasks such as:
- HVAC data acquisition
- BMS control of HVAC equipment
- Centralized building control
What is BMS Integration?
BMS integration is an economical way to take advantage of a centralized building control system's benefits.
A BMS can be expensive to implement and time-consuming to configure initially but has many benefits. A Building Management System offers a high level of control over facility management tasks that manual methods cannot consistently achieve. This allows you to use your building automation system to achieve greater energy efficiency, better maintenance, and tighter security by enabling you to automate your facility's systems fully.
A Building Management System (BMS) integrates and controls the facility's heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment. It can also control lighting and security systems and provide data on how your building is performing to you and your team of HVAC professionals.
The primary benefits of a BMS for the building owner, manager, or occupant are:
- Increased energy efficiency and savings
- Better security
- Easier to manage facilities remotely
- Significant reduction of manual tasks and required support staff
- Integration with other subsystems for multi-building or campus-wide control
- Higher resale value on buildings with automated systems over those that are manually controlled
- Improved tenant satisfaction by better temperature, lighting, and air quality control
- Aids in the management of compliance with local, state, and federal regulations
- Automated control of all building systems for more efficient operation
- Allows for integration of offline equipment like chillers or generators (aka Uninterruptible Power Supplies)
- Increases opportunity for market differentiation with green building initiatives and control applications such as occupant carbon footprinting
- Accelerated Return on Investment (ROI) by reducing costs and increasing efficiencies in all areas of facility ownership
Multiple-Property Building Management Systems
If you own more than one property, you can set up a single building management system to control each site from a central location. If the systems are compatible, you can integrate them together for an aggregated view of your facilities or if they are different types (for example, KNX and BACnet), then simply use the best solution for each building.
There are a number of options available when integrating systems across a building management network:
- Direct control of the equipment via BACnet, KNX/EIB, Modbus, or similar protocols from HVAC to lighting and other subsystems
- Data sharing between system components for common reporting purposes to aid in facility management
- Remote monitoring and control of all subsystems from a central location
- Disaster Recovery for HVAC equipment in the event of a fire or other emergency, allowing for automatic shutdown and controlled startup systems to avoid system damage
How does a BMS Control HVAC?
A BMS offers a high level of control over HVAC equipment without the need to add multiple devices or spend time configuring them. For example, a joint facility would have temperature sensors in each room throughout the building. A BMS can monitor these temperature sensors to determine when heating and cooling need to occur.
Similarly, a BMS can control the lights in different areas of a facility by using light sensors to determine when lighting needs to occur.
Building Automation System
Here is an example of how a BMS integrated HVAC would operate under total automation:
Picture an office building late at night. Most of the staff has gone home save for a handful of spread-out employees chasing deadlines.
- A person walks into a room and triggers a door or motion sensor, so the BMS knows someone is now in that space
- The building's software tells the cooling system to turn on for that room.
- The software also triggers a fan to turn on if one is programmed to do so; this could be for comfort or because the area has poor airflow
- It then calculates how much temperature regulation is required and turns on just enough of the appropriate cooling or heating systems for that space.
The system can move the air conditioning around with the people, switching units on and off as they move around the building. Functionally speaking, there is no perceptible difference to end-user comfort. However, your energy usage might look a lot better than if the entire building's HVAC was switched on the whole time.
To achieve this, a BMS needs specialized equipment, some of which you provide and the rest of which comes from us. This equipment includes:
- Computer hardware to run the software
- Temperature, humidity, light, motion sensors
- HVAC actuators and control systems such as valves, dampers, etc.
What will I need to provide?
Most of the equipment needed is installed as part of our services. You or your team need to identify an area where we can place a computer and have access to HVAC control wiring and control systems. Once established, we connect everything, and the system's ready.
A BMS system typically runs on a server and is accessed through a web browser. The software will allow you and your team to view the operating conditions of each subsystem from anywhere in the world with internet access. Although everyone can use it, most systems are tailored for building engineers or managers. In addition to the core functions of monitoring, scheduling, and alarming, advanced features include:
Integration with other subsystems for multi-building or campus-wide control
- Data logging
- Web interfaces
- Database integration
- Scheduling & run-time editing capabilities
- Networking & security
- Emergency shutdown capabilities
- Support for fail-safe building states
Our Approach to BMS HVAC Integration
We offer a full range of services related to building management integration, including quick-turn service for small projects, to more substantial turnkey integration work.
Our approach focuses on customization and configuration to meet your exact business needs. Whether you're looking for an equipment interface or need a full HVAC BMS system customized to match your corporate look and feel, we can help.
We have wide-ranging experience with HVAC BMS integration and automation systems across our entire line of supported HVAC equipment manufacturers. We work with your team to understand your goals and fully integrate our equipment into your building management system. We do this by leveraging the capabilities of an existing, open-source BMS control system called OpenRemote.
This ensures we can successfully integrate next-generation power management systems with most pre-existing HVAC components. If your air handlers can't communicate with your power supply, we can figure out why and create custom solutions to make sure you reap the rewards of energy-efficient air conditioning.
We are familiar with how HVAC gateways interact with your room controllers, fire systems, lighting automation, and security devices. Once your HVAC integration is implemented, we troubleshoot it to reduce the risk of system malfunctions and ensure optimal system operations.
To learn more about how you can integrate your building systems with HVAC equipment, contact us today. You can reach us via telephone on (973) 763-0300 or email at Craig@lightningmechanical.com and M.firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to working with you.