A lesson in communication

Employing the inbuilt web browser capability offered by Priva Building Intelligence, AES Controls, in conjunction with mechanical and electrical specialist EIC, has successfully integrated the building management systems (BMS) at two separate schools within the premises’ IT networks, providing a valuable lesson in the use of data communications.
“Although such integration projects are becoming more commonplace,” said Mike Sims, Sales Manager for AES Controls, “there is still a great reluctance by IT managers to allow building management systems to cohabit on their networks. In this instance, the project specification detailed the use of the IT network which was incorporated within EIC’s design recommendation. The decision was fully supported by the schools as they could utilise the Priva TC WebVision software as a teaching aid to demonstrate to its pupils the effectiveness of the schools’ renewable energy systems.”

Orchard Primary School in Sidcup and Upland Primary School in Bexleyheath are new schools constructed within a design and build programme managed by EIC. The buildings take advantage of solar and photovoltaic technologies which provide free energy in the form of hot water and electricity respectively.

“The cost and installation benefits of utilising the IT networks for BMS communications can be considerable on large projects,” said Philip Eykel, Regional Operations Manager for EIC. “The control requirements at the two primary schools were straightforward with the greatest demand being boiler management, but the inbuilt Priva TC WebVision meant that we could capitalise on the system’s communications capability and turn it into an educational aid as well.”

TC WebVision allows every PC in the school to access the solar and photovoltaic systems via a software window. Currently, the children can monitor the energy being generated by both as a result of harnessing the power of the sun, thereby proving the effectiveness of renewable energy.

Each primary school has been installed with a Priva Compri HX8E controller. From the outset the HX range was designed to support TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) as standard. The modular construction of Compri HX allows the controllers to be customised at the engineering stage and then, if required, extended at a later date.

Heating for each school is via an underfloor heating system with a dedicated air handling unit (AHU) providing additional ventilation to the kitchen area. The Compri HX manages the hot water supply, incorporating energy saving routines such as optimum start and weather compensated heating. The latter takes advantage of the effect that the outside temperature has on the building fabric. As the outside air temperature rises, the building mass absorbs the heat and this eventually permeates into the internal space. The weather compensated heating program regulates boiler generated heat in accordance with any available ‘free’ outdoor heat.

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