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BACnet B-OWS

A look at its capabilities and features

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Time to Read: 15 min | Audience: C-Level Management | Last Updated: August 2021

Introduction

BACnet profiles are useful for spelling out conformance requirements of certain BACnet capabilities. FIN Framework has adopted BACnet Operator Workstation (B-OWS). It is intended for a more sophisticated monitoring of a system and is designed to provide an operator with all pertinent information and editing capabilities in order to manage a system on a daily basis. B-OWS will be described according to each of the interoperability areas defined in the BACnet standard: data sharing, alarm and event management, scheduling, trending and device management.

Data Sharing

Data sharing is defined in the specification as “the exchange of information between BACnet devices”. B-OWS profile supports the setting of configuration and read/write data values. B-OWS is an operator interface used for monitoring and basic control of a system. According to the BACnet specification, B-OWS supports the reading and writing to core properties of its supported objects. As an example, B-OWS supports reading and writing properties an Analog Value’s Present_Value, Status_Flags, or Object_Name property.

Alarm and Event Management

Alarms and events, often used interchangeably in BACnet, carry different requirements regarding display, notifications, and configuration. For the sake of simplicity, this document will refer to alarms and events as “alarms”. B-OWS requires that the object triggering the alarm is presented along with the first 32 characters of the alarm message. Modification of alarm configurations requires adjustment of analog alarm limits, however, B-OWS does not require the creation and deletion of alarm objects and the presentation of alarm histories, via Event Log objects, and the modification of their log collection parameters.

Scheduling

The Calendar and Schedule objects encapsulate the entirety of BACnet scheduling. The Schedule object supports a repeating weekly schedule along with “exception schedules” that can override any value within its weekly schedule. The Calendar object utilizes a list of calendar dates that often define “holidays” or “special events” and identify whether today’s date falls in either category. B-OWS requires presentation and modification of the core Calendar and Schedule object properties and support for three data types: binary, analog, & multistate. This means the operator will be able to modify Weekly_Schedule, Exception_Schedule, Present_Value, and other core properties of Schedule object as well as Present_Value, Date_List, and other core properties on Calendar objects.

Trending

Trending is maintained by the Trend Log & Trend Log Multiple objects. Both objects monitor a property of a referenced object and log the value of the property & timestamp in an internal log buffer for subsequent retrieval. Both objects also support logging values on time interval or from COV (change of value) notifications. The main difference is the Trend Log objects collects data from one property of one object in one device while the Trend Log Multiple, as its name suggests, can collect multiple properties on multiple objects from multiple devices. B-OWS requires collection and presentation of trend data via both of these objects.

Device and Network Management

B-OWS requires supporting the core services necessary for the operation and status of devices i.e., reading and writing device and object properties, sending and receiving who-is/i-am messages, and the periodical sending of time synchronization messages.

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