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Solvent Waste Overflow Prevented with EnOcean-Based Solution

Contemporary Controls' EnOcean to BACnet Gateway is part of a solution that Argento Scientific used for biopharmaceutical companies that need to prevent solvent waste overflow. Solvent waste, such as methanol, acetonitrile, sodium hydroxide and other hazardous chemicals, requires safe and dependable waste management solutions. Spills present potential dangers to both health and environment. Overflows can result in fines from local environmental health authorities and clean-up is costly. Preventing solvent waste overflow is an important task for many scientific and industrial applications.

Solvent waste is collected in a solvent waste carboy. That carboy has a float switch to monitor the waste solvent level (see diagram below). Using the EnOcean to BACnet Gateway with EnOcean-based window sensors and the EnOcean-based LEDRU Zone Controller, Argento Scientific was able to create a solar-powered level detector that uses OSIsoft PI to send a wireless notification to a cell phone to alert users when waste solvent reaches a specified level.

"EnOcean devices are robust, low-power and solar-powered," said Adrian Argento, CEO of Argento Scientific. "Those benefits allowed us to avoid wires and batteries, which is an advantage in labs where wires can get in the way and outlets are at a premium."

Signals from the EnOcean window sensors indicating level measurements were made available via BACnet to the OSIsoft PI using the EnOcean to BACnet Gateway. The bidirectional EnOcean to BACnet Gateway allows users to discover and select EnOcean devices on their network. The gateway then creates new virtual BACnet devices for the BACnet network. These virtual devices have the appropriate BACnet objects.

The process begins by selecting the appropriate EnOcean Equipment Profile (EEP) for the EnOcean device. This provides the gateway enough information to know which BACnet objects to create for this virtual BACnet device and how to map the received EnOcean data to these objects. This virtual device will have the properties of the EnOcean device contained in its BACnet objects and will update this data whenever the EnOcean device transmits new data. As more EnOcean devices are added to the gateway, more virtual BACnet devices will be created. All of these BACnet devices exist on their own virtual network. This allows BACnet head-ends to easily discover these devices and receive the EnOcean data via BACnet. The EnOcean to BACnet Gateway meets the BACnet requirements for a BACnet gateway documented in the latest versions of the ASHRAE-135 BACnet standard and also acts as a BACnet router between BACnet/IP and its virtual network.

For multiple EnOcean devices of the same type, many BACnet head-ends provide the ability to copy/paste these virtual BACnet devices including their objects, schedules, trends, graphics, and alarms to simplify integration. All the configuration occurs via the built-in webpages of the gateway using a standard browser without the need of separate applications and hardware.

The Argento Scientific Waste Solvent Level Detector leveraged the strengths of the EnOcean to BACnet Gateway to create a reliable, wireless solution that met the customer's needs. 

Visit the EnOcean to BACnet Gateway Product Page to learn more.