World class control

Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi is the busiest airport in India and its new Terminal 3, a 111,600sq m large building complex, has a handling capacity of over 10,000 passengers per hour. This is supported by a lighting system with over 100,000 light fittings which ensure passengers’ well-being and safety. The control system is based on ABB’S I bus KNX technology and was designed by Entelechy Systems.

In such an airport building, the lighting must be switched on 24 hours a day. Nevertheless, there is scope for energy conserving lighting management as brightness can be reduced, and automatic dimming and switching can follow patterns of demand. It is possible to make maximum use of daylight, and systems can be automated using timing and occupation programmes.

The public areas were divided into zones in order to facilitate implementation. In the busy areas, lighting remains switched on continually at full brightness. In areas which are only frequented during certain hours, for example arrivals and departures, the lighting is controlled according to whether the zone is activated or deactivated. In deactivated zones, the light fittings are operated with a preset dimmed value of 10% whereas in activated zones, the lighting is on continually at 100% brightness. For example, in vacant sanitary facilities, presence sensors will reduce the lighting brightness from 100 to 50%, whereas full lighting levels are reactivated when someone enters.

Likewise, lighting and HVAC systems in the offices and service rooms can be controlled by presence sensors as required. This means that comfort and personal needs are fully catered for. Certain lighting in deactivated zones can also be switched on manually.

System flexibility

The Delhi Airport project represents an outstanding reference for KNX. The flexibility of the system, its connectivity with other standards and the option of combining decentralised functions to one central building management hub are major benefits. This latter function is performed using IP routers, KNXnet/IP and Ethernet network which allows central control of the lighting system and connection of error messaging via interfaces with the Building Management System.

Presence sensor signals are evaluated by the Control Monitoring System of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning installation in order to establish the correct room temperatures. Alarm messages from the fire alarm system activate emergency lighting and the lighting on escape routes and, last but not least, the consumption data computed by KNX can be used for cost control purposes.

The capability of the KNX system is demonstrated by the fact that it can cope with 100,000 light fittings which are switched and dimmed. It offers perfect coordination of functions such as switching and dimming, lighting control, light sensors, brightness sensors, presence sensors, logic control components and central management with visualisation.

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