Case Studies

Alpha-ring Redundancy Protocol Boosts Building Automation Systems


Climate change has become a serious issue. Controlling energy usage has become a major factor to help reduce emissions. In order to effectively manage a building's energy consumption and CO2 emissions, computerized systems are used to monitor and adjust the buildings energy usage as required on a real time basis. Energy management systems provide better comfort In order to effectively manage a building's energy consumption and CO2 emissions, and safety for the occupants of a building, energy savings for the building owners and less emissions load on the environment.


Energy management systems utilize a set of hardware and software applications to balance the use of air, water and electrical to the needs of the occupants of a building. Heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, and lighting are adjusted by room, based on the needs of the occupants, on a real time basis. Using sensors and time schedules the system can energy on as needed basis and predict energy usage.


This case is to achieve the goal of the best building energy efficiency system and network. Hundreds of monitor and control devices are connected to the system These devices are dispersed through a large building but need to be connected to a central control point. The network infrastructure plan needs to be designed to connect each device to the central control point. Continuous communications between monitoring devices and control devices is extremely important. A redundant network structure is a must for achieving uninterrupted data communication.


A key project objective is to ensure that an uninterrupted data network is established. The data from the end equipment, such as temperature sensors, air conditioner controllers….etc, has to be sent through the network to the control center. The network and power redundancy system is considered part of the building management plan. EtherWAN has developed the best Ethernet redundancy solution, Alpha-Ring. In this installation each floor is served by several EX63000 (Industrial Managed Switches) with Alpha-Ring topology. These switches connect hundreds Lon works I/O devices and direct digital controllers (DDC). Each 4 floors also form a second Alpha-Ring. EX70900 (Hardened Gigabit Managed Switches) are configured in a dual Alpha-Ring increasing network redundancy. EtherWAN hardened managed switches are also configured to utilize link aggregation control protocol (LACP) with backbone routers. The routers communicate through fiber optic interfaces via EM1000 (Fiber Media Converter). The redundant Ethernet network achieves real time monitor/control for energy management for the building.


EtherWAN provides a seamless data communication infrastructure to ensure that the real time status is presented by the system. Based on EtherWAN's comprehensive core technology and strong software design ability, this network provides better data path redundancy. EtherWAN's unique Alpha-Ring technology provides the best data path redundancy performance, maximum recovery time only takes 15ms, which is the best performance in the industry. By using the ring redundant topology, three rings, which are Dual Alpha-Ring and LACP, this network should not experience any unexpected data interruption.

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