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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Dosapac S.A. using technology to set the bar in school building automation systems

Using InduSoft Web Studio, Dosapac S.A. fosters learning, improves energy efficiency in schools, and maximizes investments in the future of students.

 

With temperature and energy monitoring, operating costs have been reduced while maximizing student and staff comfort levels.
  • With InduSoft, Dosapac S.A. was able to offer Parque Escolar the most flexible solution for building automation in order to modernize schools across Portugal.

  • With multiple schools automated already, Dosapac S.A. has gotten a strong foothold in the market for school building automation, which is on target to triple the number of schools by 2012.

  • This installation is flexible enough that Dosapac S.A. is preparing to retrofit facilities built with less flexible SCADA solutions that cannot communicate with an overall multi-school supervisory system powered by InduSoft.

Figure 1: With temperature and energy monitoring, operating costs have been reduced while maximizing student and staff comfort levels.  


Background

Over 75% of the 502 schools in Portugal’s secondary public school network are facilities that were built before 1968. Parque Escolar was established in Portugal as a government backed corporation tasked with modernizing Portuguese school buildings. Along with new fixtures and flooring came new challenges, such as how to automate vital functions. Everything from energy supplies and consumption to the HVAC system needed to be monitored in order to protect the quality of the environment for students and faculty.

Air quality, temperatures and critical alarms are examined constantly to ensure high environmental conditions are maintained.
Figure 2: Air quality, temperatures and critical alarms are examined
constantly to ensure high environmental conditions are maintained.

Parque Escolar was presented with some typical HVAC options for supervisory systems, until Dosapac S.A. offered a solution using a flexible building automation SCADA powered by InduSoft. Not only was The InduSoft solution the strongest contender for the modernization of the facilities, but also offered many more capabilities than existing supervisory systems on previously completed schools.

Dosapac S.A. is poised to play a large role in retrofitting the Portuguese school system, thanks to talented engineers who can take advantage of technology such as headless PCs with web based thin clients that even inexperienced faculty can use to monitor their new systems.

“InduSoft Web Studio was selected by Dosapac S.A. because it has the best capabilities for web access, and offers the safest tool for integration with third party systems like Mitsubishi VRV systems, MODBUS energy analyzers, M-BUS energy meters, and BACnet and CANopen equipment.

InduSoft Web Studio was selected 10 years ago because it offers a future proof solution, ensuring automatic compatibility between software versions, and offering a fantastic number of direct drivers (especially important for us, Cylon Controls, Modbus and BACnet)”

The Challenge

Parque Escolar is currently in the process of modernizing more than 100 additional schools and one important part will be completed using the InduSoft SCADA solution designed by Dosapac S.A.. The modernization program requires engineers, architects, and consultants. This places exceptional pressure on companies like Dosapac S.A. to present solutions that meet the diverse requirements of every group involved. This necessitates a system that is highly customizable and versatile enough to incorporate everything from HVAC and electrical systems to energy management and maintenance programs.

An additional challenge for Dosapac S.A. was the need to create an application that worked not only as a system for one school, but one that could serve to monitor several schools within the network.

Chiller distribution and return lines are observed to maintain optimum heat exchange. Maintenance staff is alerted of any issues
Figure 3: Chiller distribution and return lines are observed to maintain optimum heat exchange. Maintenance staff is alerted of any issues.


The Solution

Dosapac S.A. first approached the challenge by looking at the current applications being used, and finding their weaknesses and limitations. The application would have to incorporate many different aspects of building management, and the true challenge was to incorporate everything that would be required and build an easy to use and intuitive application that could be monitored by anyone.

Electrical control was an important aspect of the project. The system had to monitor the energy supply and lighting controls, and also needed to include alarms to alert operators of any problems. Energy consumption had to be monitored, and care had to be taken to ensure that controls were in place to keep everything running efficiently. Additionally, every piece of equipment monitored failure, and the supervisory system for the school needed to recognize failure alarms, and send out alarm messages online so they could be viewed by remote thin clients online.

The HVAC control was another of the key issues important in the process. Chillers, boilers, fan coils, and VRV systems were automated to adjust automatically based on external temperature, humidity, and the air quality. The school’s SCADA system had to recognize all these variables, record the adjustments and send out alarms if the proper adjustments were not made.

By examining each of the requirements and incorporating necessary supervisory functions into the application, Dosapac S.A. was able to develop a much more customized and flexible solution than their competition. Where the previous solutions offered only lighting and temperature control, the Dosapac S.A. solution includes all building automation components. The final result was an InduSoft Web Studio backed application that not only met but exceeded all the expectations of the Parque Escolar modernization initiative.

Dosapac S.A.More importantly, the project could monitor multiple schools simultaneously. Each school SCADA system designed using InduSoft can be accessed by the central SCADA network, and the ease with which InduSoft communicates with other software means that it may also be able to share information with non InduSoft systems. Dosapac S.A. is working to secure the chance to retrofit those systems that cannot connect to the main network of schools.

The Results

Using InduSoft, Dosapac S.A. was able to create a new standard for building management software for buildings in Portugal. By contributing to Parque Escolar, they are able to help create state of the art school buildings throughout Europe.

Parque Escolar has been very receptive to the innovative solutions offered by Dosapac, and they are already reaching out to them to develop new applications to install in the next schools. With this new building automation standard, competitors are struggling to keep up with the curve while Dosapac S.A. surges ahead.

 

Lighting and room temperatures are closely monitored throughout each facility.
Figure 4: Lighting and room temperatures are closely monitored throughout each facility.

 


For more information contact your local distributor or InduSoft directly at

info@indusoft.com or 877-INDUSOFT (877-463-8763) or 512-349-0334.



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