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A Distributed Facilities Automation System For IBM Buildings
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Automatic building control systems have rapidly evolved from time-based on-off energy management controllers to distributed microprocessor-based direct digital control (DDC) Building Automation Systems. Precipitous decreases in the cost of electronic controls have now made it practical and cost effective to install all-electronic controls instead of the traditional electro-pneumatic controllers which had heretofore been standard. The new automatic systems provide benefits in wide operational and management areas far beyond the original energy management application. They should more properly be named "facilities automation" rather than "energy management" systems. The traditional centralized computer systems now in use have some inherent disadvantages: high cost of equipment, long install cycles, complex skills required of operational personnel, split responsibilities between departments at sites, and slow reaction time to changing data. The inherent cost advantages of using multiple microprocessors to accomplish closed loop control, direct digital control, energy management·, and security functions make it necessary that they be included in any new design. This will require that a distributed system be designed and that the present role of the strong central host computer be reduced. This paper will present a proposed design for a comprehensive Facilities Automation System which will utilize IBM Personal Computers (IBMPC's) and vendor microprocessors in stand-alone and distributed configurations. It will suggest a growth path from presently installed systems to newer technology.
Houle, W. D. Sr. (1985). A Distributed Facilities Automation System For IBM Buildings. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.tamu.edu). Available electronically from