Access control systems hold a wealth of data about a building and the occupants – who is onsite, where they are, and even where they are likely to be going. Knowing when an area is occupied and how many people are in a room, allows for tight integration with air conditioning, lighting and other building systems. Extend efficiency by using this data to make some intelligent decisions around how the building is run.
The armed status of a building is a simple way of determining that a building is unoccupied, and can be used to turn off lighting and non-essential items such as photocopiers, coffee machines, and monitors. When the building is disarmed, we know who is in the building and what areas they have access to, so only need to turn on lighting for the areas they require, and progressively turn on others as more people arrive.
Motion sensors such as PIRs measure activity, and are ideal for controlling lighting in low occupancy areas so that lighting is turned on when the sensors detect motion, and turned off again after a defined period of inactivity.
Area counting provides a record of how many people are in a particular area. When combined with anti-passback, this provides an accurate track of exactly who is onsite, and where they are. This information can be used to control items around the building at a granular level.
Intelligent decisions can also be made based on time. This is great news for a retail outlet with 200 stores where the cost of sending out a technician to regularly adjust the time clock for their electronic signage quickly clocks up the bill. Advanced schedules, time zones, daylight savings and programmable holiday groups, allow energy usage to be controlled right down to the second.
Devices such as lighting and HVAC systems can be controlled directly via output modules. The relay in the Protege system turns on an intermediate relay which then turns on the power circuit.
Devices can also be controlled via programmable functions which use system information to make intelligent decisions that can result in the control of physical devices within a building and change system behaviour.
Protege integrates with many automation systems using ICT's Automation and Control protocol. This enables you to use lighting controllers that allow ramping or scene control where lighting turns on progressively, rather than just on or off. Activating a group of lights or a lighting scene can be directly linked to an action or event in the Protege system to improve energy efficiency.
Protege also integrates with many Building Management Systems which tend to run much larger HVAC solutions. Information is passed to the system via the Modbus protocol, allowing the communication and control of objects (inputs, outputs, areas, doors) from a standard industrial automation package.