Trellisworks Assist BMSI With MOD Energy Solution

29 May Trellisworks Assist BMSI With MOD Energy Solution

Around the country, controls and Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS) installed in MOD sites have in the past consistently been presented with the problem of how to connect the various building and their necessary functions to each other in one cohesive network.

A typical client radio installation

A typical client radio installation

Accommodation, training and supply buildings, staff offices and messes, to name but a few of the myriad selection of buildings which make up every MOD site are often spread across a large area or broken up over multiple locations but have always needed to be self-sufficient, especially when it comes to power and heating. In the past, this has been accomplished through the use of grounded, fixed cable connections, creating a physical link between the individual control panels of building controls/BEMS to a central hub.

Over time, these ageing serial networks have been modified or suffered from damage, limiting operator’s access to the whole system and very slow updates and unreliable access to connected controls/BEMS.

Trellisworks in partnership with BMSI have replaced or upgraded these networks with both wireless and Ethernet conversion technology to provide fast and reliable access to whole BEMS systems.

One of the key issues with the established fixed-line system is that, due to age, the wear and tear caused by the nature of some sites and in some instances the low quality of the ducting and cabling, the lines in place can become damaged or worn, and disrupt the passage of information between the plant room control panels and to the central control room. Another factor was the growing sophistication of IP-based solutions, which are now reaching the level where they can compete with fibre alternatives in terms of connectivity and security, as well as being easier to install and move, giving them greater adaptability as an ongoing solution.Beginning in late-2012, Trellisworks were brought in to work with BMSI (Buildings Management System Integrators), a subcontractor of CarillionAmey, the organisation responsible for the FM provision across the RPC Central MOD Estate. Tasked with creating a faster and more easily integrated solution to allow data to pass between plant room control panels in different buildings across each site and join them into a single feed into a centralised control centre.

Approaching this issue, Trellisworks constructed a solution designed partly to utilise the existing cable network on some sites, hybridised with wireless radio links installed where the connection between buildings was broken. In other instances an entirely wireless solution was installed, based around point-to-point and point-to-multi-point radio links feeding information through the network and to the control room.

“Many of the BEMS were very slow, poorly maintained and relied on an old network,” says Account Manager at BMSI, Chris Bennett. “In addition, the system that was in place is no longer being developed and spares are very expensive. The site had experienced failing BEMs network, outstations and software issues over many  years, which in turn resulted in boiler plant running inefficiently, poor fault diagnosis and no vision of plant operations.”

Example of a hybrid wireless/fibre network connecting various locations to a central control room.

Example of a hybrid wireless/fibre network connecting various locations to a central control room.

The low-data feeds running from each plantroomcontrol panel ensure that the passage of information through this system around the network is exceptionally fast, whilst the fact that the solution is based around IP radio links means that localised activity or industrial work won’t damage or disrupt the network as a whole.

On sites in which the building locations are spread across a wide area or are broken up by terrain, Trellisworks installed wireless routers to transfer the signal from the wireless links installed in each plantroom, further enhancing the signal and speed of the data transmission. In all instances, data from all sites is fed from the control room back to the BMSI office in Slough, where the information can be monitored and analysed.

One of the key benefits of utilising a wireless solution such as this, aside from eliminating the opportunity for line damage, is the ease with which it can be installed, moved and adapted. On average, with a team on 2-4 engineers working to connect up to 35 buildings, the network can be fully installed and operational within two weeks. The network performance will match, or even exceed that of a fibre solution and due to the flexibility, can be altered with relative ease compared to a fixed installation to suit changes to the site.

A typical  boiler house control panel with wireless connector set up.

A typical boiler house control panel with wireless connector set up.

“BMSI Sub-contractors Trellisworks installed Ethernet modules within plant rooms providing a fast Ethernet network a stable backbone connection to the new BEMS” “BMSI Sub-contractor Trellisworks installed Wi-Fi aerials to buildings with network cable issues and buildings that had previous telephone modem connections in a quick and accommodating manner” Typical feedback from the site operators – “Conscious of the existing BEMS inefficiency CarillionAmey proposed the installation of controls upgrade system with an Ethernet network”

The provision of a sustainable, cost effective and reliable system for monitoring control system is assisting in the energy management across the MOD Estate.

Continuing with the success of the installations across the MOD sites, Trellisworks will now provide the same service to BMSI across the UK, implementing the already tried and tested wireless or Ethernet conversion solution which is currently being used. In so doing the improvements to network adaptability and security, as well as to the mobility and ease of use, can be applied to further create a comprehensive system for high visibility, high speed control and energy data monitoring.

About Trellisworks

Trellisworks are recognized experts in the ever changing world of wireless technology and network design. We offer a complete range of products and services to our customers, from large, multi-site corporations and public works through to individual projects and bespoke wireless requirements.

We can offer a full range of solutions, installations and services catered to individual needs, covering both internal wireless, building to building, wireless bridging (radio, microwave or free space optics), as well as the latest IP-CCTV and IP Access technology. Our expertise in the creation of stable and efficient WAN and LAN systems and technology means we are ideally suited for creating bespoke solutions tailored to specific requirements.

For more information please contact Edward Kernahan on 01635 861434

 Alternatively email either: edward.kernahan@trellisworks.co.uk or sales@trellisworks.co.uk

 Follow Trellisworks on twitter: @Trellis_Works or sign up to our blog to receive all of our new posts and industry news directly.

About BMSI

Building Management Solutions Integrators (BMSI), part of British Gas, is reporting ongoing success with a number of major project installations across the country. BMSI provides everything from control panel design and manufacture, electrical installation, BEMS software engineering and commissioning, through to offsite client training.

Partnership, in fact, is the cornerstone of the BMSI approach. The company works closely with its suppliers, M&E customers, FMs and end users. What’s more, each client receives the personal attention of a contract manager to ensure smooth communication and the efficient resolution of issues.

Alongside major project installation, BMSI offers maintenance solutions and energy bureau services. Indeed, the company’s service facility supports some of the largest BEMS installations in the country, including projects for prestigious landmarks and FTSE 100 businesses.

For more information please contact Chris Bennett on 0121 296 1821

Alternatively email either: cbennett@bmsi.co.uk or sales@bmsi.co.uk