Integrating Access Security and Building Management

March 2, 2010
A team of building specialists on a Dubai project implemented an access security and energy management system that uses the OPC DataHub, from Cogent Real-Time Systems, to abstract and convert data from an OPC to a DDE client.
 Schneider Electric specializes in energy management, with products and solutions to help consumers and companies get the most for their energy dollar. In a prestigious Dubai project recently, Schneider Electric FZE engineers selected the OPC DataHub, from Cogent Real-Time Systems Inc., to integrate a building’s security system with its energy management system and provide state-of-the-art energy efficiency at substantial cost savings.

To implement the project, Schneider Electric’s BAS Field Supervisor, Pradeep Viswanathan, and BAS Application Specialist, Duncan McChlery, worked closely with Boyce Baine, Technical Support Engineer at Software Toolbox, Cogent's sales and technical partner for North America, as well as Koshy Thomas, Project Manager at Al Hani Gulf Contracting. Together they implemented a solution in which the OPC DataHub relays information from a Lenel OnGuard security system to Schneider Electric's TAC Satchwell Sigma building management system.

The Lenel OnGuard security system monitors and controls building security equipment (access, intrusion detection, and closed circuit TV), while the TAC Sigma BMS handles HVAC, energy management, lighting, elevators, electrical systems, fire alarms, emergency equipment and other energy needs. With the data integration in place, the Lenel OnGuard system can, for example, read data from a Badge ID of someone entering the building, and pass the information to the TAC Sigma BMS to automatically switch on the lights and air conditioning in that person’s office. By the time the person gets to the office, it is cooled and well-lit. Then, when he or she leaves for the day, the system shuts things down to save energy.

The integration of data for this project required an OPC connection to the Lenel system’s OPC server on the one hand, and a DDE connection to the TAC Satchwell Sigma building management system on the other. Since the OPC DataHub abstracts the data, and converts it from one protocol to another, making the connection was simply a matter of configuring the OPC DataHub to make an OPC client connection to the Lenel system, and a DDE client connection on the TAC system.

“The project was straightforward to implement,” said Mr. Viswanathan. “With the excellent support from Software Toolbox and Cogent for the OPC DataHub, and Al Hani Gulf Contracting and Lenel for their expertise with the Lenel OPC server, we were in very good hands. The system has been online for a few months now and is working very well. This is where the world needs to go in this age of high energy prices. We not only save money for the customer, but protect the environment as well.”

For more information, please contact Cogent Real-Time Systems at [email protected], Web site at, or +1 (905) 702 7851.

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