Don't you think it's time that ASHRAE divest from BACnet?
ASHRAE supports BACnet. Props it up.
It's time to let BACnet run on it's own. There shouldn't be an ASHRAE/BACnet specification anymore. BACnetter's decried that Lonmark wasn't independant and now it is.
It's time ASHRAE as an organization gets out of the business side of the industry.
So, why aren't the BACnetter's going off on their own? Can't Bacnet.org and BTL run without ASHRAE?
It's my consensus that a fairly large portion of the membership parrots out BACnet without really figuring out what it's all about. Then it gets tossed in plan/spec without much thought attached to it. (sidebar- hmmm wonder why design/build is getting so popular and so much DB is LON.)
My guess - It's the money. It's all $$$$$$.
Actually I think it's worse than that sysint. ASHRAE spawned BacNET as a committee, perhaps never guessing it would be competing in the marketplace with some of their own members. The venture while noble was obviously not thought through. The results are:
- A specification for a protocol that's written by a rotating committee who are not in the business of writing protocols.
- A business oriented "goal" that has no financial incentive for growth, success or technical migration.
- The specification tends to leans towards the ways of the proprietary companies that are running the committees at the time (it weebles, it wobbles, but it doesn't fall down).
- None of the participants have a real interest in getting the specification to a point where it can be truly open like LON is because that goes against sales of their proprietary product.
- The ASHRAE organization is now in a conflict of interest situation where they are forced to market a product rather than assume the un-biased role of mediation that they profess to be in (and should be in) and that they've assumed so well in years past.
- The ASHRAE organization is forced to support BacNET even if it’s not the right thing to do.
- The ASHRAE organization is losing members due to the undermining of their credibility as an organization due solely to the debacle that's BacNET.
BacNET has a chance, but only if they lose the cord to ASHRAE. That's not likely to happen, as BacNET doesn't have the organizational structure to stand on its own, nor does the organization and its member companies (manufacturers) have the fortitude to truly open communications up to convert the specification to an off-the-shelf actual standard. That's not what BacNET is all about. BacNET is about allowing proprietary manufacturers to claim "open" while continuing to sell proprietary product and riding the coat tails of ASHRAE to do it. That's what it's always been about.
What's interesting is the creeping standard known as oBIX. Where-as BacNET is a specification and as such can be interpreted may ways, oBIX is being built as an actual protocol... oBIX, while juvenile right now, will be able to do everything BacNET is supposed to be able to do, but oBIX isn't run by a bunch of self-serving proprietary manufactures; it's being created by people who are concerned about the standard as a standard. As a matter of fact, oBIX is headed up by an end user, not by a manufacturer; and he was elected into the position. Also of interest to LON proponents, is LonMark is working *with* oBIX to assure that if a product meets LonMark standards, it will also meet oBIX standards and this assurance is being driven by a well oiled consortium who not only accept Open, they live it.
It's really a shame that ASHRAE is blindly shoring up BacNET. The members of ASHRAE are a smart bunch of folks...I'm not sure why they let this happen, but I hope they put an end to it soon. I have a hunch they’re looking back wondering what they’ve got themselves into, but have no choice but to continue to drive forward (for now). If they don’t end it soon...and because the industry needs a credible organization to belong to, it's just a matter of time before people see the relationships between BacNET and ASHRAE for what it is and look to form an organization they can be proud to put their name behind.
I never thought the first response to this would be so well thought out. Thanks.
I'm not an ASHRAE member for this BACnet issue. I cannot even begin to describe my disgust with the group. (at this time)
I do that OBIX will dimish BACnet significantly or even eliminate it. It's too easy to utilize Lonworks at device level. My take is that it will be easy to migrate Zigbee to OBIX as well. So, what we will have is some really nice device level protocols moving to OBIX.
Again, nice post. I would appreciate you as a contact. I can be reached at info@ (profile url)
Went to the AHSRAE Convention this year. I went to see the latest and greatest in BACnet. I expected to see many different manufacturers showing off their BACnet products. The only one that I saw truly show off was Delta and KMC. Don't know about KMC but do like Delta. Other than that it was mostly LON - Circon,Distech,Echelon,etc.-which I didn't stop and talk to. Wish I had. Just wondering if its a ASHRAE show and BACnet is a ASHRAE protocol where was everyone at? No Trane, No Alerton, No Automated Logic, etc. maybe I missed them.Just seemed strange.
Smokies- You liked Delta? I thought they had nice stuff also. But, to prove LMA true, did you know that Delta's line isn't all BACnet?
There's your proprietary BACnet.
sysint- My undertanding is that ALL Delta controls are Native BACnet. We have a good relationship with the local Delta Rep and have had him sell us small controllers for jobs we can't financially use Trane. We were told that they were all native BACnet. Unless I misundertood the Rep. I also like the way they can have ethernet, (2)232, and (2)485 limks on one controller - their system controllers. That makes integration much easier. LON is easier since your all on the same type of link and not worried about Baud rates. Also got see some their graphics at the show and it is a powerful front end.Although being Native BACnet is nice,they are not open in the sense of LON. You still must use ORCA software for programming.They probably will stay that way.
Delta Access control is proprietary.
Ahhh. We haven't done any access control yet. It's an area that I think we can get into in the future. How much do you do. Do you often do HVAC,Lighting, and Access all at one time. We do quite a bit of lighting in large buildings, but have yet to do access control.
Get into it as soon as you can. That would be my recommendation.
If i can interject here, i don't mean to sound like a "know it all" but i've been a tech with a Delta Partner for about 8 years, the beauty of Orcaview is, it's all you need, to do anything with Delta Controllers, one software package does it all, Programming, Graphics, Database Management, Reporting, 3.30 has really nice built in reporting, such as Tenant billing. The Access controls are not proprietary, you may need an extra board to talk to someone else. The only thing proprietary in Delta are the Version 2 Panels, which can be set up on a Bacnet network, using a DCU050, or a DSM050 with an Intellinet card. The Version 2 Panels firmware have to be upgraded to 2.92. Anyway that's my $0.02.
Also i'd like to add, i've done a fair amount of integration, and BACnet is not the magical word everyone thinks it is, I think it is very misconceived, by Engineers, and Customers. It is a wonderful thing if it is put together right. There are of course limitations, such as the programming, for each Vendor has there own programming language, in order to program; Yes, you will need the proprietary software package, but as far as Commanding points, Setting schedules, Trending etc. there is a standard of conformity there. Anyway, in my experience if you are thinking about integrating, try and stick to the NATIVE BACnet vendors, which require no Gateways or "trinkets" to tie the systems together, as an example Delta's VAV controllers will sit on Alerton's MS/TP network just as it was a proprietary controller. Sure there are some internal configurations that have to be done but once that's done once, the controller sits there forever trouble free. Don't get tricked by a vnedor that says they are BACnet and can "Do it all", do some research.
Check the Vendors PIC statements to see exactly the limitations. Anyway time and time again I've been sent to a new integration job where the other guy says he can talk to us, and when arriving on site come to find out that this card is needed or that gateway is needed. Comes to be very frustrating. So anyway NATIVE BACnetis the way to go
Sorry guys, i'm a little biased to Delta's ORCAview since i've used it for about 5 years now, as an example of how powerful this software is, it can plug into any Native Bacnet Controller and autodetect the devices or controllers, as an example, Trane is not NATIVE Bacnet, but, I plugged my laptop, running ORCAview into a TRANE Summit BCU, and the BCU came online immediately. I could instantly see every point on the chiller. Without any Delta Controllers hooked up. Just Orcaview and the BCU, It really is an amazing piece of software. If your looking for a front end to control your multi vendor facility, at least, at the very least, contact a Delta Partner, and ask them for a Demo. Hell Delta would probably fly out themselves, if there's no Local Rep, they really stand behind there gear.
This is my first time stumbling into this forum. I am a Mechanical Engineer and it is nice to read the truth about difrent manufactuers capabilities from the techies.
We do not get much education on Controls in the HVAC design industry, and yet we are asked to spec a controls job for which we are NOT qualified but we pretend to be. We are basically the equivalent of someone reading only the titles of a newspaper and says he got the news.
The result is that we lean to what is the latest craze out there, i.e. BacNet and ASHRAE, understand name recognition.
I like the way most of you elaborate and get into the details. Thank you and keep it up.
Any way, Silversurfer got me to look into Delta controls a little closer.
You should spend some time at Lonmark
There you will find information on standards and also should be able to download a LNS networking specification.
Did you know you could check everything about a LNS control job down to the variable names for devices, connections, and programs before the project is installed?
Save you alot of headaches I'm thinking. Another benefit of LNS.
Plus that devices from different manufacturers will work side by side and it's really easy to add nodes to the network.