Automation System Provides Critical Control at Princeton University’s High-Performance Computing Research Center

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Automated Logic’s WebCTRL® Building Automation System Provides Critical Control at Princeton University’s High-Performance Computing Research Center

Posted by Tina Wells on January 16, 2013

The facility is one of only nine high-performance data centers in the world to achieve U.S. Green Building Council® Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Gold certification.

“We’re proud to be the building automation provider for this important project,” said Lauren Kolb, president, ALC. “The installation of our WebCTRL® system at HPCRC underscores our expertise and commitment to helping customers achieve their sustainability goals in the mission-critical and education sectors.”

Located on Princeton’s Forrestal Campus in Plainsboro, N.J., the 47,000 sq. ft. facility is home to Princeton’s Terascale Infrastructure for Groundbreaking Research in Science and Engineering, also known as TIGRESS. The facility contains nearly 1,800 computers that support major research initiatives, administrative systems and departmental functions.

HPCRC received LEED Gold certification in 2012 and is currently consuming one-third less energy than the former data center on campus. That level of performance is aligned with Princeton’s ambitious sustainability plan, which promotes sustainable building technologies to reduce energy demand and conserve water.

The centralized computing facility features sophisticated heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) technology, monitored and controlled by ALC’s WebCTRL system. Three chillers maintain water temperature at approximately 45 degrees Fahrenheit to air-cool the computers, which generate excessive heat; the system can switch to outside air during colder months. A natural gas-driven generator, switched on when electricity prices spike, features a co-generation function that captures expelled heat as a source of energy to chill water. The WebCTRL system provides multiple levels of redundant (N+1) control, backed by extensive trend reporting capabilities.

“The WebCTRL technology and ALC team are very experienced in data center management,” noted Bill Broadhurst, PE, CEM, LEED AP, campus energy manager, Princeton. “Their people made a real difference. We appreciate the team, their depth of knowledge and how it was applied.”

Over the past two decades, ALC has completed more than 400 data center projects. Most are Tier II and Tier IV installations, including the world’s largest data complex currently under construction in the western U.S. ALC’s mission-critical clients include some of the world’s most successful and technologically advanced companies and government entities, including global leaders in financial markets and trading technology, software and internet security solutions, telecommunication providers, national defense agencies and the nation’s largest co-location provider.

Setpoint, now what is the setpoint?

System: Automated Logic

ver. 4.1, 5.2 & 5.5

An Nifty little add-on that allows the use of groups (under the GRP tree) to edit the setpoints of multiple equipment at once.

This also serves as a developer sample for access to the groups tree, and the Setpoint aspect.  It demonstrates basic BACnet discovery and shows how to read some properties.

When the browser is navigated to this add-on’s URL, it should present a login page. Log in with any valid operator and password from the WebCTRL Server.

The left hand side should list the available schedule groups. Click on a group, then specify occupied and unoccupied setpoints on the right hand side. When you click apply, these setpoints will be applied to all equipment in the setpoint group.

Now where did I put those?

System: Automated Logic

Version: 5.5 (Beta)

This add-on provides a simple mechanism to manage and display the documentation associated with a WebCTRL system. There are numerous as-builts, network diagrams, and other documents that are associated with WebCTRL locations, but are awkward to attach as graphics. This add-on provides a simple way to include a large number of documents in a system and associate different documents with different locations in WebCTRL without requiring custom view files for each location.  You include links to the documents in a view file using the ViewBuilder WebApp Content control.  You may easily customize the format of the resulting content.

This is a very early version of this add-on which, while functional, is really intended to get some real world feedback about the features needed to manage documents in a WebCTRL system. It currently has no user interface and both the documents and their mapping to WebCTRL locations must be managed by manipulating files on the WebCTRL server. If you do not have direct access to the file system of the WebCTRL server, we suggest that you use WebDAV to get access. See your field office for more details.

Future Trending Apps – hit the road running

        

System: Automated Logic

All beta sites must be running WebCTRL 4.1b, 5.2 or 5.5

Version 5.6 will bring multiple browser compatibility (no more Internet Explorer only!) to WebCTRL.  As part of this effort, ALC has decided to rework the Trend Applet to solve several problems that Java applets cause and to improve the experience for our users.  The full replacement is hoped to ship with WebCTRL 5.6 (although it is possible it will ship as a separate patch after the 5.6 release).  However, we want to get feedback from you about several aspects of this new trend replacement.  Therefore, we are releasing an early preview of the trend applet replacement as on add-on here as we complete phases of development.

To try out this add-on, install it (ask your local field office) and then browse (using Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, or Chrome) to <webctrl server>/tar .  Use the tree on the left to select a graph.  Also note that moving the cursor over the graph causes controls to appear at the top of the graph, including a help button.  When the replacement is included into WebCTRL, it will be integrated into the product, so things like the tree control will not be present.  This control only exists to give you some way to select what trends to view.  Controls on the graph, such as help, are intended to be part of the final feature.

For each phase, we are interested in receiving specific areas of feedback (although all feedback is welcome) to help us improve the feature. Please provide feedback by adding comments to this add-on.

Hold the music! These sensors will rock…in Beta – to be continued

System: Automated Logic

All beta sites must be running WebCTRL 5.5

The new ZS Sensors will offer the ability to provide multiple sensing technologies in a single housing. In addition to sensing temperature the sensors will have options for sensing humidity, CO2 and VOC(Volatile Organic Compounds). Any of the sensor models (Base, Plus, Pro or Pro-F) can be ordered to support a mix of up to 3 sensing elements. Note: temperature is always included and CO2 and VOC are mutually exclusive.

In addition to combination sensing, the new ZS Sensors offer more flexible setpoint adjust, support for up to 5 sensors of any variety per control program, and up to 15 sensors on a single Rnet. They are all dip switch addressable. More data than ever before is available to be displayed on the sensors. The sensors now support the ability to force the zone into an unoccupied state for energy savings and much more.

All beta sites must be running WebCTRL 5.5.

List of use cases/scenarios that we need to test during the beta period:

      Rnet network with at least 2 Pro or Pro-F sensors
      Rnet network with 5 total sensors
      Rnet network with 10 total sensors
      Sensors on modules running under MS/TP networks
      Pro sensors configured with:

        · Multiple items in Home screen rotation
        · Varying Setpoint Adjust configurations
        · Support for Force Unoccupied
        · More than 5 items on Info and Diagnostics screens
        · Use of Alarm designation
        · Use of Maintenance designation
        · Setpoint adjust inhibit
        · Schedule MB with Allow Continuous Override enabled
        · Schedule MB with Allow TLO Set During Occupied enabled
          · Pro-F Sensor with mode and fan control
          The ZS Zone Sensor beta product is scheduled to be ready for ordering the week of August 20th, and the test period will last approximately 90 days.

Jump to It!

System: Automated Logic

WebCTRL, 4.1b and 5 or later

Have a fairly large system and wish there was a faster way to navigate? Jump to It!

“JumpTo” allows you to search for locations in WebCTRL (based off of display names) and click on a link to navigate there.  This can be very handy in big systems.  It provides search results as you type.

Hopefully this needs little explanation.  Type search words and JumpTo will search as you type.  If you use multiple words it will only find locations that contain ALL of the words.  It is NOT case sensitive.  The “Clear” button just removes all search terms.

There is a “Rebuild Cache” link on the far right that will reload the internal search cache in the event that you change a display name.  This will likely be removed in a future release.

It is best used by launching the JumpTo window (http://yourserver/jumpto) and letting JumpTo launch WebCTRL.  While you can link to JumpTo from a WebCTRL graphic, if you do so, it will launch a new WebCTRL window when you navigate.  JumpTo will only launch a new window the first time, however, and will re-use that window for any subsequent jump.

This is still considered Beta quality.  Please let us know if you would like to try it out.

Mulligan – need a second chance? If not now, chances are someday you will….your database that is.

System: Automated Logic

WebCTRL, 3.0, 4.1b and 5 or later

Mulligan is a local and remote backup solution for WebCTRL servers.

Once the proper configuration files are in place, Mulligan can be run manually by either double-clicking on mulligan.exe or calling it from the command line. It may also be run on a schedule using Task Scheduler.

Mulligan stops the WebCTRL service, backs up one one or more directories (such as the system folder and a database backup folder), and then restarts the WebCTRL service. Should any errors be encountered along the way it also notifies predefined recipients via email and/or (in verbose mode) by message box.

NOTE:  For WebCTRL servers running databases that do not reside in the webroot, database backup utilities should be run to a Mulligan target directory and they too will be backed up.

Features:

  • Email notifications
  • Remote backup via FTP
  • Local (or network) backup
  • Encrypted xml configuration and licensing files
  • Command line or configuration file driven parameters with reasonable default values

Why call it Mulligan?  Good backups mean that when the worst happens, we get another shot.

Mulligan is currently in beta.  Comments, bug reports, and ideas for improvments are always welcome!

Sanity Check! we all need those right?

Sanity Check – I could use one of those every now and then…

System – Automated Logic

WebCTRL, 4.1b and 5 or later

Get a little overwhelmed at times and have to make sure your setpoint boundaries are in order? This add-on provides a report to check for values outside of specified minimum / maximum values.  The user can specify a list of microblock display names to check and the acceptable minimum / maximum value for each name.  It can then perform a a basic sanity check to look for any current values outside of the specified ranges.  This may be useful finding problems like open or shorted sensors.

This sample is intended to demonstrate basic field data access. It also uses local data stores to save the previously used minimum / maximum values.

Monitoring your Controller Network

(click on “Modstat” graphic for enlarged view)

System - Automated Logic (Beta version)

Need to keep closer tabs on your controller network? This service add “Modstat” gathers and analyzes modstats or module status.  It will gather and analyze modstats from all the devices below a selected location. It will also provide all the modstats in a zip file.

Currently it provides the following checks:

  • No communications
  • Watchdog Timeouts
  • Error Messages
  • Programs loaded but not running
  • Low free database space or memory
  • BACnet comm errors over the last 7 days
  • Excessive ARCnet reconfigs
  • Ethernet transmit / receive errors
  • Minimum File Storage Space
  • No Driver Loaded
  • No Programs Loaded
  • Object ID Mismatch
  • Driver Version Mismatch
  • Parsing Error (see note below)

Modstats reports are currently intended primarily for human consumption, not for a diagnostic tool like this.

Prerequisites

Current Beta Modstat add is only to work with the final release of WebCTRL 5 or later.

Possible Modstat graphic option;

Precise Power Monitoring – via phasor

Precise Power Monitoring – via phasor

System – Automated Logic

What is a Phasor graphic?

A Phasor graphic is a WebCTRL graphic (phasor.view) that shows dynamic voltage and current readings for an electric meter.

As shown in the example below, you can custom add other items to the Phasor graphic such as a trend graph and other data. You can also add multiple phasor graphics to the phasor.view file.

(click on graphic for enlarged view)

Prerequisites

• WebCTRL v4 Service Pack 1b or later with optional Enterprise Integration package

• The control program contains all of the following reference names. We suggest using a BACnet
Analog Value Status microblock for each value.
Current readings Reference names;

Phase A angle_ia_ano

Phase B angle_ib_ano

Phase C angle_ic_ano

Voltage readings
Phase A angle_va_ano

Phase B angle_vb_ano

Phase C angle_vc_ano