During the COVID-19 pandemic, many educators have had to quickly and creatively learn how to teach hands-on training in a remote environment. When challenged to provide a remote learning solution for students enrolled in his building automation course, Jakub Grela (Ph.D. in Engineering), lecturer at AGH University of Science and Technology in Kraków, Poland, turned to Contemporary Controls.
Contemporary Controls' technical support staff suggested the BASemulator for remote learning and directed Dr. Grela to the company's training and education resources available for free on the company's website, such as the Industrial Ethernet University (IEU), and their library of videos on topics from BACnet to Sedona.
"The BASemulator was instrumental in allowing the course to continue during the pandemic shutdowns," said Dr. Grela. "It allowed me to continue effectively teaching students how to assemble and program building control hardware and software using the drag and drop programming capability of Sedona."
The BASemulator is part of Contemporary Controls' BAScontrol Toolset, a free set of software tools for Windows PC, which includes:
- BASemulator—a utility used to emulate controller operation on a Windows PC.
- Sedona Application Editor (SAE)—an editing tool used to create function block (component) wiresheet applications in the Sedona environment.
- BASbackup—a project utility which provides a convenient way of storing/restoring and replicating real or emulated controller settings and configurations, as well as a Sedona wiresheet applications.
AGH University successfully implemented the BASemulator as part of their remote building automation course in the winter 2020 term. Now that the university has returned to in-person classroom instruction, Dr. Grela and AGH University decided to update the building automation lab (AutBudNet) using Contemporary Controls' networking and control training equipment.
AGH purchased a graphical interface, a BACnet router, a diagnostic switch, cloud-connected BACnet controllers, unitary BACnet controllers, BAS expansion boards (HATs) for Raspberry Pi, and a programmable BACnet thermostat.
Figure 1. The building automation lab at AGH University of Science and Technology featuring Contemporary Controls' networking and control training equipment. Pictured from left to right: 1) CTRLink Skorpion 8-Port GigE Diagnostic Switch 2) BASview3 Web-based Graphical Interface 3) BASpi-Edge 12-Point Cloud-Connected BACnet Controller 4) BASpi-IO 12-Point BAS Expansion Board for Raspberry Pi
- GRAPHICAL INTERFACE: BASV-3 is a supervisory graphical interface for BACnet/IP and ModbusTCP visualization. A stand-alone, embedded, web-based graphical interface for building automation and process automation systems, the BASview3 requires no license and no training thanks to its intuitive graphical user interface.
- BACnet ROUTER: BASRTLX-B is a high-performance BACnet router providing stand-alone routing between BACnet networks, such as BACnet/IP, BACnet Ethernet (ISO 8802-3), and BACnet MS/TP.
- BACnet CONTROLLERS: Are freely programmable at home or in the lab using the BAScontrol Toolset.
- BASC-22CR is a 22-point BACnet/IP, Sedona-programmable unitary controller with a 2-port Ethernet switch for connection to an Ethernet network.
- BASPI-E6U4R2A is a hardened cloud-connected BACnet controller with enhanced features and data processing at the Edge functionality, powered by Raspberry Pi.
- EXPANSION BOARD: BASPI-IO6U6R is a 12-point expansion board for the Raspberry Pi. The I/O board plus the downloaded firmware files provided by Contemporary Controls turn your Raspberry Pi into a BACnet connected, Sedona-programmable controller.
- DIAGNOSTIC SWITCH: EISK8-GT/H is an 8-port plug-and-play Diagnostic Ethernet switch that provides Gigabit Ethernet (GigE) performance on all ports in order to accommodate high-speed devices. The Skorpion Diagnostic Switch assists the user in troubleshooting Ethernet networks by allowing a network sniffer, such as Wireshark®, to attach to an unused port on the switch and observe all traffic on the network. It is ideal for network troubleshooting.
- BACnet PROGRAMMABLE THERMOSTAT: BAST-221CH-B2 is suited for single or multi-stage heating, cooling, and ventilation binary output control applications, such as RTU or AHU. Configurable control algorithm parameters allow adaptability to the specific application.
Currently devices are in testing stage. Contemporary Controls looks forward to reporting on the progress of AGH University's building automation system lab in the coming months.
Contemporary Controls strives to help you produce the best HVACR graduates by providing reliable equipment, an educational discount on all hardware, and free software tools. Learn more by reviewing our Training and Education page.