Building Automation Systems, or BAS, is generally known in the HVAC industry as an essential segment for controlling set-up. Every technician needs to know that BAS is getting bigger and expanding. BAS provides very critical functionality in today’s industrial and commercial buildings, particularly for HVAC systems. Concerns about building sustainability and energy efficiency increase rapidly, and as a result, it glares a spotlight on the performance of BAS in controlling HVAC functionality.
Besides BAS, construction schedule software is also one of the industry’s major trends as it provides better project and scheduling management. Moreover, this blog will serve as a guide for HVAC technicians in Building Automation Systems. Keep reading.
What is Building Automation Systems in HVAC?
Building an automation system is known as the centralized automatic control of any building’s HVAC system, security, lighting, or other systems. BAS is expected to increase the building’s energy efficiency and minimize maintenance costs compared to buildings without BAS. Also, implementing project management for construction is expected to boost team productivity once implemented.
BAS is where electrical and mechanical systems and other equipment connect with microprocessors. The microprocessors communicate with one another and possibly with the use of a computer. Moreover, the controllers and the computers used in BAS can be directly networked to the internet. In most cases, it can serve as a stand-alone system for any local peer-to-peer controller network only. Also, BAS controllers do not need any computer to process the control functions. The controllers used already have their internal processors.
Below are the main components of BAS:
These devices will track humidity, temperature, lighting level, the number of people in a room and other associated values. The sensors are responsible for transmitting information to the centralized controllers.
This component often acts as the “BRAIN” of the BAS. It is expected to collect data directly from the sensors. After collecting, it will send direct commands to HVAC units, security alarms, lighting systems, and other connected parts.
3. Communication protocols
The BAS utilizes a particular language that could only be understood by the system’s separate components. Modbus and BACnet are the most typically used options.
4. Output devices
Once the controllers send out a specific command, relays and actuators go into action to follow those requirements. For instance, it can either increase or reduce the heating in some particular parts of a building.
5. Terminal interface
Users often interact with the BAS by this interface. A set of information will be presented so that users can now monitor the building’s current condition. Also, choosing to override settings manually is one of the options considered.
Furthermore, this type of infrastructure’s immediate goal is to reduce costs and increase system efficiency and safety. A centralized building management platform carries out all of these parts as one. However, the description itself is just a simplification of what was going on behind the scenes.
Engineering the HVAC controls using BAS
Setting-up in a multi-story automated building, some building automation systems (BAS) controllers are expected. Each BAS controller is serving different types of heating and air conditioning equipment. Also, every building is separate and HVAC engineers have to wisely select the right programs and proper HVAC control systems to control many types of HVAC systems in automated buildings.
For BAS to be useful once implemented, the systems should be tuned and installed correctly. Here is the most comprehensive checklist for building automation system (BAS):
1. Optimal Start
BAS must allow the equipment to have an optimal start using adaptive learning. The optimal start feature allows the equipment to be carried out sequentially and ordered within a schedule. The case is usually expected before the building is reoccupied because the setpoints can be easily determined.
2. Equipment/Lighting Scheduling
BAS allows the HVAC technicians to set up schedules for lighting systems and equipment operations. As a result, energy savings can be obtained when the spaces and buildings are unoccupied.
3. Trim and Respond
BAS control systems are expected to possess “trim and respond” functionalities. Based upon the zone demand, the setpoint for different HVAC sources can change according to the needs. If the zones grow warmer rather than colder, the temperature setpoint is automatically changed. Changes are necessary to prevent mechanical cooling from happening.
4. Precise Economizer Control
BAS, in combination with proper mechanical system set-up, must offer to economize. The set-up should be based on setpoint control or enthalpy calculations.
5. Energy Use Monitoring
BAS must have the ability to monitor and track energy usage. It should also have the ability to meter water, steam, gas, chilled and hot water, and other fuel oil services. To get specifics concerning energy use, a tool like an electricity usage monitor is convenient.
6. Predictive Control
BAS is expected to have different control algorithms such as reset schedules for static pressure, heating plants, and other systems. This set of techniques is where energy savings can be determined using a couple of predictive programs.
7. Tracking/Billing Tenant Energy Use
Most management companies that obtain a better business automation system can have many advantages. One of the benefits it gives is to have the system set-up that is useful for billing tenants in terms of energy use.
8. Load Shedding
This area is also called peak shaving. This is where BAS often offers load shedding, especially when power companies are at peak demands. Some industries and businesses need to cut back on power usage to avoid brownouts. Deploying BAS allows HVAC technicians to cycle different things off like drinking fountains and water heaters.
9. Building operator Alerts
There should a functionality provided by BAS like sending alarms via email, telephone, or pager. Doing so, it will alert technicians and building managers in any occurring system failures and technical issues. The facility management industry has also obtained significant gains from implementing BAS.
BAS has to encompass communication functionalities to integrate with other building controls and TCP/IP. Other open-source communication can be a huge plus for this set-up. BAS integration of the HVAC system is very beneficial in that it can be fixed with current outmodedness.
The Future of HVAC Control Automation
The future is already here but is not evenly distributed yet. This statement is very accurate in terms of building automation systems. Additionally, the Internet of Things (IoT) is a case to case point. The concept behind IoT is the intelligent function of controls wherein control systems might be pushed down further and further. For HVAC systems, a variable speed motor will regulate itself up as a response to reduce wear and tear in corresponds to its logic and sensors.
Today, IoT calls for standardized, resilient, but cheap controllers. This specific concept sinks into HVAC controls, it only means fewer maintenance concerns and much easier installations. For example, once a thermostat goes out today, an immediate service call is necessary. This zone can be totally out of service until it is fixed. However, with IoT-equipped BAS, various temperature monitoring points can exist in the zone. When one goes down, the rest of the remaining setpoints will pick up the slack until it is replaced.
IoT concepts are already prevalent through various families of BAS devices. The 75F system is one typical example, and it uses smart, cheap, and standardized controllers that are interfaced using a cloud-based management back-end. This trend will likely spread and accelerate into other HVAC controls.
How can Construction Crew Scheduling Software Improve Team Performance?
When considering a BAS update or installation, a project engineer should also consider using project management software. Whoever is handling any HVAC projects that will soon integrate with BAS must possess comprehensive and in-depth knowledge in the industry and this trend. HVAC professionals have to demonstrate savvy financial habits, leadership abilities, and other necessary qualities to lead the project and the team. By doing so, it can improve team performance.
The use of project/crew scheduling software can improve overall team performance and project delivery. Take a look below.
· Everything can be tracked, monitor, and supervised thoroughly.
· Easier day-to-day team management
· Everybody in the team can further understand the project in full detail.
· Decision-making between the construction project manager and team members is more relevant.
· Elimination of disorganizations and identifying incompetence is easier.
The complexities of handling various construction projects are sometimes too complicated and overwhelming for teams. Managing it 24/7 isn’t an easy job at all. However, this cloud-based software can provide full support and can process loads of project data quickly. Storing this data is very convenient because the software has a cloud-based feature. Hence, accessing files and data can be done anywhere and anytime.
Technology continues to develop HVAC performance and sustainability trends in any industry. Continued growth is very much expected as operators and building owners grapple with the inevitable onset of obsolescence in the building’s BAS infrastructure. That is why HVAC systems integrated with BAS are highly-recommended today.