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Competitive Edge in Building Automation With PC-Based Control


February 19, 2021

The demands on the intelligence of a building have steadily increased in recent years, with the focus on energy efficiency, user comfort and a good return-on-investment. With holistic building automation across all trades, such as Beckhoff’s PC-based control portfolio, sustainable, energy-efficient operation and healthy living can be realized in the sense of a “green building”. All trades are integrated into one platform, from HVAC to lighting and facade control and from room automation and AV and media technology to cloud connectivity. This benefits all parties involved in the building automation value creation chain: architects enjoy maximum creative freedom with optimal functional efficiency; specialist planners are provided with increased planning reliability with reduced complexity; system integrators benefit from simplified engineering and increased process reliability; operators minimize their operating costs and maintenance work; investors get the greatest possible investment protection.

PC-based control: the universal control solution for all building systems

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC)

With the TwinCAT 3 TF8040 Building Automation software library, a comprehensive package of function blocks is available for building automation that covers the entire range of functions of the HVAC controller. This significantly simplifies the work of the system integrator in the implementation of heating, ventilation and air conditioning technology. Functions such as summer night cooling, summer compensation, backup operation, schedules and much more are also available as ready-made software blocks. With the help of the HVAC modules, further energy-saving possibilities can be exploited by the occupancy-dependent control of trades.

Room automation

Lighting, solar protection, window control, heating, ventilation and air conditioning are combined with one another in room automation for the intelligent control of all trades. This reduces not only the number of individual physical data points and thus the susceptibility to errors, but also the energy consumption. The thermal automation solar protection functions and the lighting solution for daylight-dependent lighting control contribute significantly to energy savings. Thanks to the powerful controllers from Beckhoff, it is possible to integrate the blind controls with lighting controls and hence use the natural light as part of lighting control. Classic room control units can also easily be integrated via KNX/EIB, Modbus and EnOcean.

Media technology

Through support for the common protocols and interfaces of media and building technology, the Beckhoff automation platform is able to address all industry-typical devices and systems. Moreover, the integration of AV and media technology and building automation opens up new possibilities, for example for the simple control and operation of multimedia devices in meeting and conference rooms. However, the monitoring of AV device states can also be done via the same system.

Operating and monitoring

Depending on the building type or function, the customer-specific requirements vary with regard to remote operation and maintenance, energy and consumption data acquisition, compressed air monitoring and scheduling. The TwinCAT HMI software is perfectly suited to the visualization of all data from the building control and monitoring. The visualization can be done on a local Panel PC or a Control Panel connected to an Industrial PC or Embedded Controller. However, any HTML5-capable browser, as is contained in smartphones and tablets, can be used to open the TwinCAT HMI visualization. With the help of the TwinCAT IoT software functions, you can connect buildings to the cloud of public or private cloud service providers. The TwinCAT IoT functions support communication protocols such as MQTT, AMQP or OPC UA for simple and secure communication with cloud services. The TwinCAT IoT Data Agent can be used for the simple configuration of Beckhoff controllers with cloud services. The TwinCAT IoT Data Agent does not require programming – a simple drag-and-drop tool can be used to establish the connection between selected control variables and the cloud. Due to its support for OPC UA, the TwinCAT Data Agent can also be used to configure third-party devices for the cloud. With the help of the TwinCAT IoT Functions (TF6710), all data points and measured values can be connected to the cloud quickly and simply; TwinCAT Analytics enables the generation of a dashboard with just one click.




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