BACnet is the protocol of choice for the Building Automation industry and more manufacturers are incorporating BACnet support in their devices. For example, drives, chillers, energy meters which have traditionally been using Modbus protocol now have support for BACnet. Adding BACnet requires a commitment on the part of the manufacturer and is not trivial. There are other options available for equipment manufacturers that do not yet have BACnet support but want to offer BACnet to their customers.
A gateway can translate one protocol to another and there are multiple protocol gateways available for BACnet integration. For example, the BASgatewayLX can translate Modbus Serial or Modbus TCP to BACnet/IP without the need to have the end device updated to include BACnet. A BACnet gateway might not exist for every protocol and if a proprietary protocol is being used, the code will have to be modified to work with that proprietary protocol.
Another option for systems with unused I/O, or systems that can have I/O added to them, is BACnet remote I/O because it can be used as a gateway to BACnet. For example, unused Analog Outputs from the non-BACnet device can be connected to BACnet remote I/O's Analog Inputs and now the system can communicate analogue signals to BACnet clients. If the non-BACnet device has some relay outputs, these can be connected to remote I/O Binary Inputs and now they can communicate binary data to BACnet clients. Contemporary Controls offers Cube I/O with different I/O mix.
The BAScontrol Series of BACnet Controllers can also be similarly used as remote I/O. An additional advantage of the BAScontrol products is the ability to do data conversion via Sedona logic. With the BAScontrol, analogue signals from the non-BACnet equipment connected to the BAScontrol can be converted to something more meaningful to the BACnet client. For example, a 0-10V output signal from the equipment connected to a 0-10V input on a BAScontrol could be converted/scaled to temperature, where 0-10V maps to 50-85 degrees Fahrenheit. This converted value will be connected to one of the BAScontrol's BACnet virtual outputs. The BACnet client/head-end can then view the actual temperature from the system without the need to do a conversion for the reported BACnet data. Contemporary Controls did a project at the Manchester Airport where the BAScontrols were used as remote I/O to communicate status of non-BACnet elevators and escalators to BACnet clients.
If the above options with Remote I/O and BAScontrol Series for BACnet Integration don't work for your application, we are happy to look at a custom solution for your needs. Please visit the ODM page to learn more.