Trend Control Systems, a leading international manufacturer and supplier of state-of-the-art Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS), has confirmed its dedication to providing open protocol solutions that are fully interoperable with other manufacturers’ products. The company believes that although it is commonly perceived as a proprietary technology developer, nothing could be further from the truth. This is highlighted by Trend’s recent announcement that its industry leading range of IQ®4 controllers – including the IQ®41x, IQ®422, IQ®4E, IQ®4NC devices – now comes with full BACnet Building Controller (B-BC) compliance.
Steve Browning, Trend’s partner and end customer marketing communications manager, commented, ‘B-BC is currently specified in approximately 50 per cent of BEMS specifications across Europe and although this is an exciting development for us, the fact is that Trend has offered BACnet Application Specific Controller (B-ASC) compatibility for many years. Just as importantly, we have always understood that the complexity of modern buildings and the diverse ways they are configured often means that disparate elements of a building services infrastructure need to be integrated into one holistic, open protocol BEMS.’
Open protocol BEMS provide enhanced usability with one point of operation for multiple building systems such as intelligent lighting controls, fire detection and security, packaged plant etc. This also brings lower installation costs in terms of networking infrastructure.
They also allow the design of systems with the best capabilities for the task in hand, resulting in a more effective, complete BEMS solution. This in turn makes future additions and expansion with any new ‘open’ compatible systems a simple undertaking.
The primary advantage gained from the use of open protocol systems is the flexibility it provides, as each individual system within a total BEMS can be selected and tailored to the exact needs of the client. Crucially, if one system needs to be replaced, open protocol flexibility means that it can be changed, upgraded or replaced without disrupting the entire BEMS network.
IQ®4’s B-BC compliance is just the latest in a long line of Trend technologies that have been designed to fully exploit the benefits of open protocols. For example, the longstanding and highly successful Trend Open Network Node (TONN) enables a Trend BEMS to interface with protocols such as BACnet, OBIX, LONWORKS®, KNX, MODBUS, M-BUS and many more.
Furthermore, IQ®VISION – the successor to the 963 Supervisor – integrates Trend controllers and third party smart devices into a software platform that uses open standards to manage buildings at an enterprise level. This gives building owners and managers the ability to identify issues and optimise their systems by including integrated network management tools that support the design, configuration, installation and maintenance of interoperable networks, where multiple controllers from a variety of manufacturers can be networked together.
Trend’s Steve Browning concluded, ‘Although there are significant advantages to configuring an entire BEMS using our products alone, we recognise that an open protocol solution can achieve the type of outcomes that are positive to a business commercially, functionally and environmentally.’