OPC Improves Building Control With Real-time Weather Access

Kepware Technologies’ new OPC-based communication driver provides access to WeatherBug real-time and forecast weather data to improve performance and efficiency of building control systems.

Aw 3833 Opc Kepwarediagram

Imagine having access to real-time weather data that affects the performance and efficiency of your building control system. What if your system could make use of live and forecast data such as Light Intensity, Humidity, Dew Point, Wind Speeds, Gust Levels, Rain Levels, Temperature, Wind Chill Values, and Wind Direction?

Kepware Technologies, in Portland, Maine, has developed a Communication Driver based on industry software standards (OPC Data Access), for the purpose of accessing WeatherBug forecast data for use in automation systems. WeatherBug, in Germantown Md., manages more than 8,000 weather stations throughout North America and has the largest network of weather stations. WeatherBug Data is then available for use by any OPC -DA compliant automation software.

The WeatherBug driver is simple to use. After the initial software installation, you will perform the following steps:

  • Specify a ZIP code, then browse for the weather station of interest.
  • Choose weather data required for your application; select from Air Quality, Alerts, Forecast, Live Observations, Station Information, and Ultraviolet conditions.
  • The WeatherBug driver will automatically generate your tag database.
  • Adjust the tag database and update rates for your specific application.


A project can be scaled for large applications. Simply repeat the process above to access additional weather stations. There are no limits on the amount of data that can be read and the project will retain configuration information for future operation.

Many management and control systems will choose to receive weather information from this driver, leveraging the OPC-DA standard. The driver is a plug-in to an OPC Server interface, and the server conforms to DA 1.0, 2.05, and 3.0 specifications and meets the OPC compliancy requirements of the OPC Foundation.

The WeatherBug for automation solution should be of interest to building/facility owners, building managers, and to building system suppliers. Leading building automation system providers desire continuous improvement in energy reduction, maintenance costs and manpower, while ensuring the comfort of building occupants. Systems that make use of important real-time and forecast weather data can do so without requiring the building owners to purchase and maintain their own weather stations.

  • Efficient Temperature Control

Weather changes can create significant temperature gradients within a building. The ability to modulate variable frequency drive blowers based on current weather conditions can represent significant energy savings, while improving comfort, saving energy and reducing wear and tear on component.

  • Optimized Lighting Control

Facility lighting controls based on outside light intensity adapt to changing conditions and improve lighting comfort and reduce energy consumption.

  • Reduce Water use for Grounds Management

Automation systems can now moderate water use based on recent rainfall and current evaporation characteristics. Control based on past, current and forecast data can significantly reduce energy costs and conserve water of the building grounds.


Energy Management

The addition of forecast data paves the way for managing energy production. New systems can focus on generating energy during off-peak periods, then storing the energy for use at a later time.

Finally, instant access to real-time weather and forecast information enables your building automation system to notify occupants of impending rain, high winds, storm alerts, etc. Notification can be made visible to tenants using displays. Notifications can be distributed via email, SMS messaging or other IT mechanisms. Until now, the ability to leverage real-time weather information and forecast information has never been available to building automation through a standard product.

For more information about OPC solutions from Kepware Technologies, visit www.kepware.com.


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