The Custom Analyzer application offered in the Panoptix solution has many different uses that span a range of roles within an organization.  For example, the first role in an organization that will likely use the Panoptix Custom Analyzer application is the Facility Manager. The Panoptix Custom Analyzer application has the ability to display multiple trends available through the Panoptix system for quick, customizable views. These trends are logically grouped when a site is commissioned so that the Facility Manager can quickly view similar points in Variable Air Volume (VAV) boxes to see where the system may be having issues.

 

For example, let’s consider several VAVs located on a floor; a specific a room on that floor is observed to have a temperature that is consistently higher than the others. The logical grouping of these boxes enable the Facility Manager to view room temperatures, set points, air flows and many other points very quickly to monitor and compare where a problem may exist. If this is not isolated to the specific VAV, the Facility Manager can use Custom Analyzer to easily view the Air Handling Unit (AHU) that supplies that particular VAV with air and see if it is what may be causing the problem. The Facility Manager can then recalibrate the zone temperature or initiate other actions like replacing sensors if needed. The VAV would no longer send incorrect signals to the AHU, and replacing faulty equipment would save energy in the long term.

 

The Panoptix Custom Analyzer application can also be used for network troubleshooting by a company’s Energy Manager. If the Energy Manager is seeing consistent values from all VAV boxes except one, there is a very high probability that a trending issue with the VAV is occurring or that there is a network connectivity problem. The Panoptix Custom Analyzer application will also show a multitude of trends from boilers, chillers, air handlers, meters and a variety of other pieces of equipment. This information will help Energy Managers to analyze multiple layers of data, which could lead to determining necessary system changes.  Once implemented, the Manager will be able to review how the system changes had an immediate, beneficial result and ultimately provide better long-term efficiency for the company.

 

The power of the Panoptix Custom Analyzer application is in the hands of the user.  Considering the functionality and your current Building Automation System monitoring processes, what features of the Panoptix Custom Analyzer application would be of the greatest benefit to you?

Recently my son asked me if I had seen his new pictures on a popular social networking site. I pulled out my Smartphone and within a few seconds started flipping through his collection. It got me thinking about how we communicate and access social networking sites more frequently through our mobile devices. I couldn’t remember the last time I used an actual computer to access this specific site and wondered if the mass adoption of the cloud can be attributed to the mobile device more than we realize. My own personal experience suggests I would not be using many cloud-based services if not for the Smartphone.

 

This trend can be seen in the enterprise space as well. Mobile options (including tablets) for IT enterprise management have driven the use of cloud-based software as a service (SaaS) and moved us to rely less on what has been a standard IT model for years.

 

The latest app download statistics reflect this move to mobility. Android reports more than 10 billion app downloads to date and Apple more than 20 billion and counting. These numbers include both consumer and enterprise downloads, though arguably the need for mobile connectivity solutions is more important in the enterprise space where real commercial value is delivered. Workforces are moving from the tethered information worker environment to a mobile, proactive and dynamic workflow.

 

The bottom line is that mobile adoption is driving cloud adoption (and vice versa). Fortunately, in the building efficiency business the Panoptix™ solution by Johnson Controls brings mobile management to the entire facility team on any device, any time—and the work is done in the cloud. For example, workers using their mobile devices can now view equipment faults within the Panoptix Continuous Diagnostics Advisor based on analytics done in the cloud and use the application to identify failures before they become emergencies and before the customer is impacted.

 

The advantage to migrate from a reactive, emergency-response model to a proactive management model is obvious: being able to access facility data that leads to actionable insight from anywhere.

 

It’s the convergence of IT and facility management, advanced analytics and mobile. The Panoptix solution is mobile, and it's all served up from the cloud.

You’ve heard from our colleagues that the Panoptix solution securely transports and normalizes building data for analysis in the cloud. Not only from a single building but across an enterprise.  A big part of the value of the Panoptix solution is just how the solution does this. The Panoptix offering works with both Johnson Controls Metasys® implementations and third party BAS implementations – we’ll start with Metasys.

 

At a site with a Metasys implementation, everything in the data transfer starts with the Panoptix adapter. The adapter is installed on the customer's network and provides a secure gateway for the cloud to receive building automation system (BAS) data from the site. When a Panoptix site is fully configured, the adapter begins using Metasys web service requests to collect trend data for the Metasys points specified in the Panoptix solution. The adapter does the data translation from a Metasys site to the Panoptix solution. Basically the adapter is bilingual as it speaks both Metasys and Panoptix systems. The point cache file on the adapter is where this translation takes place. Here you will see the Metasys Fully Qualified References (FQRs) linked directly to the Panoptix solution point globally unique identifiers (GUIDs).

 

The adapter first targets the site director. If the trend samples are not current it targets the trend buffers of the Network Automation Engines (NAEs) in which the points reside. This information is then queued up by the adapter until it reaches 2,000 samples or an interval of four hours has elapsed. When one of the two conditions listed previously occurs the adapter sends up trend data to one of the three point collectors in the Panoptix cloud.

 

Like a Metasys site, third party equipment relies on an onsite server, which is known as a Site EnNET server (SES). This site server collects data from the BAS and then caches, encrypts, compresses and transfers it to the EnNET central database hosted in the cloud. One EnNET site server is capable of collecting points from a variety of protocols. The site server organizes and normalizes the points required by the Panoptix platform into groups known as logging groups. Logging groups allow for customization of how and when the points are polled from the BAS.  Once data is polled, it is loaded into the local SQL Express database. Data collected from BACnet, Modbus and other protocols looks the same to the Panoptix solution (protocols can only be differentiated by naming and links at this stage). The EnNET site server then passes this data securely and at scheduled intervals (usually 15 minutes) via web services to a single virtual machine (VM) for each customer hosted in the cloud. The collection of all these VMs makes up the EnNET central database.

 

At this point (for both Metasys and third party sites), the data migrates to a historian database where both Panoptix applications like the Continuous Diagnostics Advisor and Custom Analyzer applications and third party applications can access it and provide the customer with a comprehensive view of their building management data.

 

The Panoptix solution is an open platform that acquires data from both Johnson Controls and third party BAS systems both in a single site and across an enterprise – real impact comes from taking data from multiple sources, normalizing it and making it available for advanced analytics that deliver actionable insights to improve overall building efficiency. What ideas do you have for using aggregated, normalized data across the enterprise?

 

Co-authored by Lawrence Wildman

No question, technology today plays a lot of different roles in our lives.  More often than not, technology is part of what guides us when we are lost, puts us in touch with people and answers to virtually any question, and lets us achieve more using less.  It usually makes our everyday tasks in life easier and more effective.   Technology should be embraced as it continues to make things easier and more efficient for us.

 

But every now and then something happens in which we question the technology around us.  Like the “Maintenance” or “Check Engine” lights in cars.  The purpose of these indicator lights is pretty obvious – to tell the driver something needs to be looked at before something worse happens.   Yet, it seems like those lights just don’t go far enough these days.   It would be great if they went at least one more step and told me what the issue most likely is, or provided enough information to help identify kind of problem I am really facing.  Should I pull the car over immediately, get out and run away?  Or can I ignore that light for a few days…or even months?

 

I am sure with the advances in automotive technology that capability is already available, or at least not far down the road…but luckily technology provides the building efficiency world this capability for HVAC equipment today.  The Continuous Diagnostics Advisor application, a component of the PanoptixTM solution by Johnson Controls, provides users automatic detection of performance abnormalities and inefficiencies in a building’s HVAC equipment.   The Panoptix Continuous Diagnostics Advisor application acts like a virtual 24/7 certified energy manager that mines all the point data from a building, discovering energy savings opportunities and operational improvements that help reduce operating costs across an entire portfolio of buildings.

The Panoptix Continuous Diagnostics Advisor application does more than just tell a user when equipment performance is unusual or not operating as intended – it also works as a valuable predictive maintenance tool that helps users prioritize faults and retro-commissioning activities.  Using powerful intelligence, the application detects equipment faults, provides reasoning as to what the issues commonly may be and gives tools to the user that enable deep-dive analyses of the equipment performance.  This lets the user see how the building’s equipment is truly performing, provides insight to equipment behavior to help identify future maintenance needs, and even define a solution to a performance issue before a technician arrives on site.

 

The technology behind the Panoptix Continuous Diagnostics Advisor application gives users a lot more than just a light on a dashboard.   It will allow building operators a tool to manage their buildings more efficiently and effectively.

 

Is it time for your building to have a diagnostic check-up?

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