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  1. #66
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    9,564
    "It looks like they favor the TAC/Invensys system. I'm thinking it's a web-based ethernet protocol communicating over the college intranet (IT network) and maybe using an IT network server (I don't know if that's a good thing). Their specs is calling it a LONWorks open protocol. But researching the links sysint gave me, it looks like most Invensys controllers and devices are BACnet. I'm going to be asking them some questions tommorrow but it looks like I'm in for a rough ride."

    Any of the options including your Siemens system can route over Ethernet. Don't let that confuse you at all. At some point you will still have a field bus to the individual controllers. Using the Ethernet can be advantageous and sometimes not. For instance, a Lonworks fieldbus does an excellent job of moving data controller to controller making a reliable network. Putting Ethernet between critical controllers wouldn't be as smart. However, routing to a front end or another subsystem is not so bad.

    I really think if you state you want LNS Lonworks that's your best bet at getting them to play fair with you. Most vendors can deal with that IF they HAVE to, including Siemens. That way if this thing tanks you still have maximum options for recovery.

    Tell Ameresco you want them to follow the Army Corps Lonworks spec or Lonmark.org spec as a MINIMUM standard and work from there.... (see how that goes over)

  2. #67
    Invensys in SoCal is in a tizzy right now. The local office of Yamas has been sold and they are in a state of flux. PROCEED WITH CAUTION.

    They have been purchased by what appears to be an industrial controls supplier.

    http://www.yamas.com/

  3. #68
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    73

    siemens vs lonworks

    Good advice guys. i will be especially aware of the problems with TAC/Invensys and I will let Ameresco know that Invensys is unacceptable. Sysint I will take ypur advice and push for the Army Corps Lonworks spec or Lonmark.org specs and see how that goes. It's still possible TAC will be rammed down my throat. Anyway I appreciate all of you guys input and I will have more questions later as this thing progresses.

  4. #69
    I sent you an email the other day in the event that you would like to talk about what's available locally.

  5. #70
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    50

    missed the question

    I may be missing something but is the question.. Should I go to LONWORKS or stay with a proprietary system like Siemens? If you are going to invest in a new front end and move ALL 24 MBC points to a new front end then there are many LONWORKS systems. If you are going to create a new LONWORKS network and move it into an existing Siemens system. APOGEE. Then that is another issue.

    So, you said you have 24 MBC's and some DPU's and TEC's. What version of Insight or APOGEE are you running? Are you looking at moving into a LONWORKS front end or staying with the Siemens front end?

  6. #71
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    2,146
    koolncali.... this is a good exaple of what you will run into with TAC / Invensys. Not truely 'open' LonWorks. http://hvac-talk.com/vbb/showthread.php?t=163097
    Maybe the engineers involved should be made aware of these limitations. The depth of an engineers knowledge rarely goes beyond what some salesman has told them.

  7. #72
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    73
    tudormatt-
    An energy project manager has been awarded a contract to install a central plant at my campus. I have an existing Siemens BAS running on fiber and copper with a little Apogee and mostly pre-Apogee. The project manager wants to install TAC/Invensys and I was finding out from this forum what Lonworks was all about so I could fight the battle if necessary to make the plant also Siemens instead of having two networks/control systems.


    Outtacontrol-
    I did get your email and replied back I guess you didn't get it. Thanks for the offer and as this project unfolds I may need to take you up on your offer.

    Dapper-
    I see what you mean.

  8. #73
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    150
    Kool - the ESCO has a considerable advantage over you (at this time) in re the controls system for this new work. The entire project has already been spec'd/scoped and pricing received - that is how they won the job. Your best bet now is to marshall your forces and demand of the decision makers on your side (the college) that the ESCO work with you - that you (or those with the proper knowledge) have final approval of all submittals, that you participate in the commissioning of the work during and after construction, that the ESCO's contractors provide real training, that you receive all O & M docs, software, licenses, etc. Watch them like a hawk and be sure you are getting what you paid for.

    BTW - That ESCO is one of the few that isn't a subsidiary of a big controls (or other) company. They sell thenselves as not being beholden to a parent company trying to move product (Siemens, for instance), so I would work that angle as hard as I could with your bosses to help get the system you want.

  9. #74
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Dixie
    Posts
    40

    Go Lonworks over Siemens.

    [QUOTE=koolncali;1769856]tudormatt-
    An energy project manager has been awarded a contract to install a central plant at my campus. I have an existing Siemens BAS running on fiber and copper with a little Apogee and mostly pre-Apogee. The project manager wants to install TAC/Invensys and I was finding out from this forum what Lonworks was all about so I could fight the battle if necessary to make the plant also Siemens instead of having two networks/control systems.

    Navair86 says:
    You ought to be careful with the Siemens Apogee because it is not "open protocol ModBus". I recently installed a new chiller for a well known over night mail carrier. The FacMgr put out the spec that the chillers control system should integrate smoothly into the Siemens 'BacNet' Apogee system. I asked the FM to double check with Siemens that it was their open protocol version Modbus version to ensure an expensive translator would not be required. Well the FM came back and told me Siemens said it was BacNet, no problem. Sothe new chiller was provided with a BacNet card. The chiller arrived and was installed. During start-up the Siemens tech tell the FM that he (the FM) would need a $20K translator to communicate with the chiller. It hit the fan right there in front of all the techs and chiller factory start-up techs. If I were you, I'd go for the Lonworks (or BacNet or Modbus) so that you can get equipment from any manufacturer (they all come with low cost Lon, Bacnet and Modbus cards) and you will be able to control this equipment. If you stay with the Siemens system you will not get to use all the functionalilty from the chiller control panel and will be limited to what "Siemens can see", which will not be much. Also, becareful with the Siemens techs. They claim to know it all, but I have found they know a lot about Siemens controls and not much else.

  10. #75
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    73

    siemens vs lonworks

    PS-
    That's good insight into my situation and great advice. I will take all of that into consideration. A central plant with a screwed up control system would be a true nightmare for me and especially because the college dropped the idea of having them maintain the plant after saw the cost. Ameresco is pretending be a big brother but I know they are going to get by as cheaply as possible because there is only a certain amount of money to do the job. My boss and I will be keeping a close eye on the submittals and all the other issues you mentioned.

    Navair-

    I prefer to have my EMS merely enable a chiller and have the chillers onboard computer control itself. I'd rather have the EMS control all the other devices(CHW valve,control valves, etc) and just have it monitor and enable the chiller. I'm not sure about Trane glycol chillers making ice at night. The problem with Siemens techs is they all aren't highly experienced and get sent out to "learn" on the job and end up costing you a fortune before they give up on the more difficult problems.

  11. #76
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    9,564
    Do you have the equipment list? If so go through it. From what I was told Trane is moving their COMM5 (Lonworks) products to LNS Lonworks. So, you won't need their BCU as you should be able to talk directly.

    Get the BOM right away and find out which OEM products you are getting and which are programmable controllers.

    If you are getting some Trane products in this instance that may HELP you.

  12. #77
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Mount Airy, MD
    Posts
    7,281
    "If I were you, I'd go for the Lonworks (or BacNet or Modbus) so that you can get equipment from any manufacturer (they all come with low cost Lon, Bacnet and Modbus cards) and you will be able to control this equipment. If you stay with the Siemens system you will not get to use all the functionalilty from the chiller control panel and will be limited to what "Siemens can see", which will not be much. Also, becareful with the Siemens techs. They claim to know it all, but I have found they know a lot about Siemens controls and not much else."

    This is where a powerful front-end, such as Tridiums AX could serve you in more ways then you could imagine.

    http://www.tridium.com/cs/products_/_services/niagaraax

  13. #78
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    9,564
    Here is what Trane says about their LCI-C chiller LON interface:
    LonTalk® Communications Interface (LCI-C) The optional LonTalk Communications Interface for Chiller (LCI-C) is available
    factory- or field-installed. It is an integrated communication board that enables the chiller controller to
    communicate over a LonTalk network. The LCI-C is capable of controlling and monitoring chiller setpoints, operating
    modes, alarms and status. The Trane LCI-C provides additional points beyond the standard LonMark®-defined chiller
    profile to extend interoperability and support a broader range of system applications. These added points are
    referred to as open extensions. The LCI-C is certified to the LonMark Chiller Controller Functional Profile 8040
    version 1.0 and follows LonTalk FTT-10A free topology communications.


    EDIT: You could look up the available inputs and outputs but it should do what you want. What equipment is tenatively going in this site?
    The reason I ask is that with the Trane LON stuff you probably get by OK and utilize a few programmables. However, if they are doing something like sneaking in a SEMCO ERU then you have to slam down your foot and say the ALC controller goes.... OR make it Modbus and then get a Modbus to LON gate so you don't get screwed.
    Last edited by sysint; 02-24-2008 at 12:35 PM.

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