Introduction to BACnet

BACnet (Building Automation Control Network) is a data communication protocol for building automation and control networks. BACnet enables standardization between different building controls manufacturers. Developed under the auspices of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), BACnet is an American national standard, a European standard, a national standard in more than 30 countries, and an ISO global standard (ISO 16484-5 and 16484-6). The protocol is supported and maintained by ASHRAE Standing Standard Project Committee 135.

Our Commitment to BACnet

As an early adopter of BACnet and charter member of BACnet International, we have been committed to the BACnet world since the late 90’s, with ongoing updates to our implementation of BACnet objects and services in support of our customers. We are active and frequent participants at BACnet PlugFests, and we maintain BACnet Testing Laboratories (BTL) certification for our FieldServer multi-protocol gateways and BACnet router products.

In addition to being BTL approved, FieldServer BACnet protocol gateways are tuned via configuration for performance. The FieldServer protocol gateway can act as a BACnet client, BACnet server, or both, which allows it to act as a data cache while bridging between BACnet/IP and BACnet MS/TP networks. Our implementation of several BACnet services such as Event Notifications (Intrinsic Alarms), COV Notifications, WritePropertyMultiple, and ReadPropertyMultiple also deliver fast response time and minimize bandwidth utilization.

BACnet Testing Laboratories

BACnet International established the BACnet Testing Laboratories (BTL) to publish the BTL Implementation Guidelines and to test products to be awarded the BTL Mark. The BTL mark is a symbol that indicates to a consumer that a product has passed a series of rigorous tests conducted by an independent laboratory which verifies that the product correctly implements the BACnet features claimed in the listing, proving that it is a high-quality BACnet product. For more information about the BACnet Testing Laboratories, visit the BTL website.

At Sierra Monitor, we continue to have our BACnet protocol gateways and routers go through BTL approval to ensure international acceptance. Our BACnet protocol meets interoperability needs worldwide, with FieldServer products installed in different locations around the world. To view our Protocol Implementation Conformance (PIC) Statement, visit the Resources tab.

BACnet Interoperability with Modbus, LonWorks, KNX, M-BUS, Metasys N2, SNMP, XML, etc.

BACnet protocols come in different varieties, such as BACnet/IP and BACnet MS/TP. The BACnet MS/TP protocol is often used by devices to connect to a control system that might use BACnet/IP, LonWorks, or Modbus TCP. Alternately, devices that speak Modbus, LonWorks, SNMP, or a vendor-specific protocol as is common with many Fire Alarm Control Panels (FACP), may need to be integrated to a BACnet/IP based management system.

The FieldServer protocol gateways and routers can connect BACnet devices to various management systems and non-BACnet devices to BACnet management systems. Integrators and installers use our gateways for their flexibility, reliability, and ease-of-use, while OEMs often incorporate the FieldServer protocol gateway technology into their devices in lieu of doing their own protocol development.

Products

FieldServer protocol gateway and router products from Sierra Monitor can connect BACnet devices to various management systems and non-BACnet devices to BACnet management systems. The products are loaded with the appropriate BACnet drivers along with the other required protocol drivers. Buyers usually order one of the hardware platforms below and specify the drivers they want loaded on it.

BACnet Converters and Gateways for Integrators

Integrators value the flexibility and ease-of-use offered by the FieldServer protocol gateways because it allows them to complete their integration projects quickly and with low risk. The following products are available to integrators:

BACnet Converters and Gateways for OEMs

OEMs embed the FieldServer protocol gateways with their products as it enables them to become “multi-protocol” aware (without increasing R&D costs), so they can bid on different project specifications. The following products are available to OEMs:

Protocol Drivers

The selected hardware platform is ordered with one or more of the following BACnet protocol drivers:

The gateway is also ordered with one or more of the following protocols depending on what other control networks are being connected to the BACnet network: