Overview of ..
An energy management control system (EMCS) is a centralized computer
control system that is intended to operate a facility’s equipment
efficiently. Energy management systems can be applied as part of
many of the energy saving measures of the Energy Efficiency
These systems are still evolving rapidly, and they are controversial.
This Note will keep you out of trouble by explaining the important
issues. The most important issue is whether or not to install a
system. Some applications are appropriate for computer control systems,
and many are not. A range of simpler alternatives are available.
You will learn the advantages of building automation systems, including
monitoring, report generation, and remote control of equipment.
You will also learn the pitfalls, including system cost, skilled
staffing requirements, software limitations, vendor support, rapid
obsolescence, and lack of standardization.
These systems are also known by a variety of other names, including
“energy management systems” (EMS), “smart building
controls,” “building automation system” (BAS),
etc. A system typically has a central computer, distributed microprocessor
controllers (called “local panels”, “slave panels”,
“terminal equipment controllers”, and other names),
and a digital communication system. The communication system may
carry signals directly between the computer and the controlled equipment,
or there may be tiers of communications. The Note illustrates these