Research and Markets has announced the addition of Frost & Sullivan's new report "Analysis of BAS Protocol Trends and Adoption" to their offering.
This white paper discusses the trends and issues in BAS communication protocols industry in North America, their market penetration and growing demand for IP integration in the buildings network. The intent of this discussion paper is to analyze the trends in protocol adoption in the North American BAS industry and the possible migration routes to open solutions. Additionally, this research looks at the state of development of various protocol standards. These include standardized protocol platforms, such as BACnet, developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc. (ASHRAE) or Echelon Corporation's LonWorks, and some of the latest developments in wireless-based protocols.
Overview and Key Findings
Rising energy costs have been a key driver fuelling the growth of energy efficient products and technologies catering to this market, which is further supported by initiatives to enforce energy codes in all states and at the national level. With building owners and managers realizing the potential benefits of installing building automation systems (BAS), the level of acceptance among end users is increasing, despite the high initial costs for BAS.
The intent of this discussion paper is to analyze the trends in protocol adoption in the North American BAS industry and the possible migration routes to open solutions. Additionally, this research looks at the state of development of various protocol standards. These include standardized protocol platforms, such as BACnet, developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc. (ASHRAE) or Echelon Corporation's LonWorks, and some of the latest developments in wireless-based protocols.
Data communications protocol broadly encompasses a set of rules: a group of machine codes, message structures, and treatment of these codes and structures. A protocol defines coding methods for data and structure, in the manner in which coding is manipulated by the system.
A protocol specifies standards in three areas:
- The code set, usually American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) or Extended Binary Coded Decimal Interchange Code (EBCDIC)
- The transmission mode, usually asynchronous or synchronous
- The non-data exchanges of information by which the two devices establish contact and control, detect failures or errors, and initiate corrective action
This research covers the state of key communication technologies in the North American BAS market, with discussions around the following:
- Others that include Web Services, Modbus, OPC and Wireless
As the focus of this study is on the status of various communication technologies/protocol, and estimated market penetration for these technologies have been indicated based on their adoption level in the total BAS systems market.
The study takes into consideration the following BAS equipment for estimation of market penetration of different technologies:
- Supervisory controllers: General purpose controllers with essential capabilities of alarming, trending, and scheduling along with other capabilities.
- Programmable controllers: These have limited resources as compared to supervisory controllers and support field programming. They may find multiple applications in boilers, chillers, rooftop units, lighting, security, and so on.
- Application specific controllers: Configurable controllers with some having limited programmability. These controllers may often find applications in fan coil units, VAV boxes, and so on.
- Wireless-based solutions and their adoption
Among the controllers market, it is interesting to observe that BACnet finds wider applications in higher level controllers (supervisory and programmable controllers), whereas LonWorks is more predominant in the application-specific controllers. However, the highest growth rate is actually witnessed among standard IT communication technologies such as TCP/IP and Web services. Both BACnet and LonWorks are expected to maintain their market acceptance levels, however, TCP/IP and Web services has the potential to gain acceptance over proprietary protocols. In addition, wireless protocols are expected to find favorable acceptance among users as in-building wireless systems for automation are adopted with greater frequency.