Advanced BMS Logging with Tridium

Written by HVAC Guy

This blog will give you an honest insight into the day-to-day process of being a BMS Engineer. I will be talking about all different aspects of the job from software strategy planning to on-site hiccups and frustrations.

17 July 2021

Make BMS History points to the next level with Tridium.

The standard history information for points within any Tridium station is already very powerful, provided that you have some way of exporting it and / or storing it you can have access to unlimited data.

But often the data is useless and one-dimensional, the key to having all the data is being able to organise it and understand it efficiently, otherwise it is useless. How many Building Management Systems are out there ticking along with no user interaction simply because the information is presented poorly, difficult to understand or totally unorganised?

Take a consumption meter for example, you can look back at the total value of the point and how it has changed from the date of commissioning. This is useful but without some additional manual work there is no way to properly determine any unusual patterns of consumption; you are simply looking at a graph that is constantly increasing over time.

To get around this problem I have previously created my own logic using latches to capture the data values over certain periods of time. It works, but it is messy and can get complicated when looking at multiple points with multiple time periods.

The problem solver!

Much to my own annoyance, I have only just come across the “vykonPro” module which has plenty of additional objects within it which takes many of the standard modules that bit further. One of which is the “NumericHistoryAnalysis” object.

Here we have tailor made module which will automatically provide all the above information once pointed to the correct history point. This is next level BMS historical information with very little engineering required.

Having said all that, to make the most of this module you will have to put some additional work in; the good news is that it isn’t nearly as much as the other solution with latches and such. Unfortunately, the values which are provided by the module are simply read values which are overwritten each time the information refreshes, whether that’s hourly, daily, monthly etc. It would be nice if you could somehow tick a box which would also add a history extension onto the object which could also take its naming convention from the point it is looking at. For example if you set the object to look at the “Incoming_Water_Meter” history value and you were interested in the daily consumption figures it would be nice to check a box to apply a history extension to the “Yesterday Total” field, it could provide the history name as something like “Incoming_Water_Meter_Daily”.

Unfortunately, this is not the case.

The work around for this is to create a new numeric writeable point on your wire sheet and simply link the required output field from the “NumericHistoryAnalysis” object into the new numeric writable point. You can then add a COV history extension to the point and you will have daily water consumption figures in a way that is useful and easily interpreted for all sorts of reasons. This type of information would also be nice to display on a dash board interface, much more so than just a total consumption figure with the ever increasing line.

As with all software modules the Niagara Workbench does provide a help wizard with the intention of providing the engineer with enough information to use the object in question. I found that the help on this “NumericHistoryAnalysis” object was not very clear and I had to do some playing around with it to get it working. For that reason I have created a handy “how to” guide for the module below.

First off you will need the vykonPro module within your installation files, that is within the modules folder of your Niagara installation.

C:\Niagara\Niagara-4.7.109.20\modules

In total I have 9 Jar files that reference vykonPro.

Step 1

Open the vykonPro palette if you do not already have it in your side menu.

Step 2

Add the vykonProService to your stations services. Without this service the analysis object cannot work.

Step 3

Open the “vykonPro” palette if you do not already have it in your side bar.

Step 4

Add the “NumericHistoryAnalysis” object to your wire sheet. This object is not a child object of the history point that you are going to link it to; you can drop this anywhere within your station.

The object can be found underneath the “history” folder of the vykonPro palette.

For the purpose of this guide I have set up a ramp which has a numeric history extension added on to it.

Step 5

Configure the analysis object to reference the required history point.

To do this you need to enable the history point and know how it has been labelled. To find this information either search for it in the history menu or find the point in question and open the property sheet.

Now we know the name of the history we are interested in and the station where it is running, we have enough information to configure the analysis point.

Double click into the “NumericHistoryAnalysis” object.

This should open up the property view of the object, if not you may need to select the property view from the view selector.

In order to look at the correct point we have to type the reference into the “History Name” field. In this case we can use “test_station/TestPoint”. Hit save and the fault message will be removed.

You can now see that the object is working without any faults.

Step 6

Collect the required information by adding history extensions to the data field. To do this you will need to add additional numeric writable points onto the wire sheet.

I chose to use the total outputs for the required time frames and then add a COV history extension on to the points so that the history log is recorded every time the analysis module updates.

There you have it, a simple object which will enable you to take your history values to the next level. Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions or need any further information.

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1 Comment

  1. Gareth Brown

    Building management system (BMS) also known as building automation system (BAS) refers to a computer-based control system that needs to be installed within buildings to monitor and regulate the building’s electrical and mechanical equipment such as power system, lighting, and ventilation to confirm sustainability.

    Given that the systems connected to a BMS usually represent a building’s energy use of 40%, this percentage will approach 70% in case lighting is included.

    It is essential for a BMS to be set up because they are critical elements to intelligently manage the energy demand, for example, electrical system, plumbing, fire alarm system, heating ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC), electric power control, and illumination control.

    As a result, through BMS, building management requires to have electronic centralised regulation of a building’s air-conditioning, ventilation and heating, lighting, and other building systems.

    Bearing in mind enhanced utilities’ life cycle, decrease in energy operating costs and consumption, building systems’ efficient operation, and comfort of the occupant, the BMS objectives require to be enhanced.
    Consequently, distributed control system’s great work on the computer networking of automation instruments should be structured to control and monitor the HVAC and humidity ventilation, control systems, lighting, flood and fire safety, security, and mechanical systems within a building.

    Therefore, the core functionality of a BAS should be retained within the building climate in a specified range, offer malfunction alarms to the maintenance staff of a building, monitor device failure and performance in all building systems, and lighting to rooms based on an occupancy schedule.
    Compared to uncontrolled buildings, a BAS reduces building energy and costs of maintenance, hence most industrial, institutional, and commercial buildings constructed after 2000 include a BMS that should be restructured for a timeworn building.
    Normally, several timeworn buildings have been retrofitted with a novel BAS, financed via insurance and energy savings, as well as other savings linked with fault detection and preemptive maintenance.

    So, it is regarded that a building regulated by a BMS is frequently termed as an intelligent building, a “smart home” in case of residence or just a “smart building.”

    When proprietary procedures were used in homes, industrial and commercial buildings must have in history depended on healthy recognised procedures such as BACnet.

    Current IEEE standards and groups’ efforts have offered a standard-based grounds for different networking of several instruments in several physical networks for varied purposes and service quality and failover, which promises proper support to human safety and health.

    Designing building to accommodate a BAS for energy, water, and air preservation characteristics, as well as appropriate electrical instrument demand response in a typical BAS function, is necessary. This is due to the fact that it is the more refined ventilation and moisture monitoring needed of “tight” insulation for achieving environmental sustainability.

    Reply

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