Object Lessons Learned from a Distributed System for Building Monitoring and Operation

F. Olken, Hans-Arno Jacobsen, and C. Mc Parland.

In Object Oriented Programming Systems Languages and Applications, (OOPSLA’98), pages 284-295, Vancouver, Canada, 1998.

Abstract

In this paper we describe our experiences with the design, the deployment, and the initial operation of a distributed system for the remote monitoring and operation of multiple heterogeneous commercial buildings across the Internet from a single control center. Such systems can significantly reduce building energy usage. Our system is distinguished by its ability to interface to multiple heterogeneous legacy buildingEnergyManagement Control Systems (EMCSs), its use of the Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA) standard communication protocols for the former task, development of a standardized naming system for monitoring points in buildings, the use of a relational DBMS to store and process time series data, automatic time and unit conversion, and a scripted time series visualization system. We describe our design choices and our experiences in development and operation. We note requirements for future distributed systems software for interoperability of heterogeneous real–time data acquisition and control systems.

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