I maintain a building that has Alerton controllers and BacNet/BacTalk software. The HVAC software is over 6 years old. The IT technician and I are wanting to upgrade with a new type of software that will not utilize a dedicated computer and the new software will allow us to access the building HVAC system from anywhere; such as: home, any computer connected to the internet, or a smartphone. Any ideas or suggestions? The company that originally installed the package is no longer in business.
I would be careful if your IT department was planning to do your upgrade - you are very correct, that if they are not familiar with your settings etc, you may be creating a situation where you end up paying the contractor even more so they can fix any mistakes. Worse yet, you could potentially damage mechanical equipment, create life safety issues regarding ventilation, etc. (worst case scenarios).
That being said, it ill depends how complicated your mechanical system is. If you have a bunch of simple roof top units, things can be pretty straightforward.
A simple software upgrade from the original controls contractor should be just that. Simple.
Although, if your system is not functioning, Then you need more than a software upgrade. You need someone to figure out why and make changes - definitely not a task for your IT department.
So if we assume the latter, then your 2 choices are to either get the rep for your current product to come in and do the upgrade - or get their competition to come in and use their BACnet product to control your system.
Depending on: a) your relationships and b) their capabilities/reputations, either of these options may be the best choice.
Remember. More important than the brand of system, is the relationship you need to establish with your controls service provider. Don't make this decision based on first-time cost
My name is Peter Hernandez and I'm an Account Executive with Automatic Building Controls. We are a Platinum Alerton Dealer based in the Chicago suburbs. I'd like to have the opportunity to help you. You can reach me at (847) 296-4000.
In the beginning of your post you suggest "Niagara". Then, later you suggest: "DO NOT invest in any proprietary BMS (do you want to only buy car parts from the car dealer!?!?)"
Can you clarify this? Because when you state Niagara typically this means communication via a proprietary method. This Niagara Framework is essentially a proprietary framework that takes in open protocols but intercommunicates between boxes in a proprietary manner.
"At this point in time Tridium is the standard for almost all control Mfgs. and will be for some time to come (Johnson, Honeywell, Carrier, AAM to name a few and.... Alterton)."
Tridium is owned by Honeywell. Alerton and Trend are owned by Honeywell.
Johnson Controls does still use in a control line this product. So does Siemens and Schneider. But, I would not expect this to last much longer. Already Schneider Electric has unveiled an alternative. Carrier is moving toward products based on their ALC acquisition. Even, AAM has a new product in place of this Niagara framework.
This Niagara box can be fine. I just would recommend against utilizing the proprietary framework for box to box intercommunication and take advantage of actual bacnet ROUTING instead. The box is capable of bacnet routing.
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