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How Building Automation Systems Work

Functions of a BAS

The primary function of a BAS is to provide control over heating, cooling, ventilation, lighting and other critical building systems. However, building automation systems also monitor their individual components to alert building managers about detected problems. Depending on the issue, the system may attempt to automatically resolve a problem before getting a human involved. The system’s continually monitors and optimizes its own performance, although the building manager can make adjustments as needed.

Types of Data a BAS Collects and Its Applications

A BAS has access to a wide range of sensor data, depending on the smart systems installed in the building and the needs of the business. Temperature is one of the most common data points tracked, as this information is critical for proper climate control. The indoor air quality is monitored to ensure the correct mix of external and internal air, and this method is often used to control the humidity in the structure, as well.

Pressure and chemical sensors help the system troubleshoot problems with air quality or discover issues with mechanical aspects of the building. The security system relays data that can indicate potential intruders, such as motion in supposedly empty buildings.

Alarms can come from many parts of a building, such as power supplies, elevators or electronic doors. The data gets passed along to the UI when it meets certain requirements, such as when a data center’s power has gone out and it’s switched to an uninterruptible supply.

Main Challenges of Using a BAS

Many buildings are equipped with legacy building automation systems that provide limited information to the building manager. While low-level systems operate fine with this configuration, the business can’t get the most out of optimization efforts, since there’s no easy way to get to the data. A full upgrade can require a substantial amount of upfront investment, but many managers reduce this cost by using a retrofitted system.

Vendor lock-in is another challenge. When a single company provides the integrated system in a building, adding new features often requires sticking with the existing ecosystem. A retrofit or overlaid system can overcome this challenge. Otherwise, the proprietary upgrades may offer limited features and lack the flexibility that the manager wants from a modern BAS.

The final challenge of using a building automation system is obsolescence. A decade or two after installation, the technology in the building will likely be out of date. Building managers need a strategy in place to address this eventuality.

A BAS offers an excellent way to have centralized control over a building’s systems. Modern options provide significant insights into operations, from discovering problems well in advance to continually optimizing performance. Most processes are handled without any direct input, allowing building managers to focus on issues that require their full attention.

Source : https://blog.senseware.co/

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