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Johnson Controls releases upgrade to Metasys Building Management System


Milwaukee, WI — Johnson Controls, the industry leader in providing building efficiency and energy management solutions, today released Metasys version 5.0, the company’s Building Management System (BMS). The latest update delivers greater visibility into building operations and energy usage through multiple system enhancements, including Web-enabled reports and summaries compatible with the iPhone and iPod Touch platforms, and wireless controls and sensors.

"Building management is no longer the sole responsibility of the facility department. Executives, stakeholders and building tenants now require an enterprise-wide or customized assessment of their building efficiencies, including HVAC, lighting, security and environmental impact," said Joseph Walicki, vice president and general manager, systems North America, Johnson Controls. "The features of the new Metasys 5.0 provide decision-makers with the vital BMS information to manage a sustainable and energy efficient building operation."

Enhancing the user experience with greater visibility
Johnson Controls tapped into the engineering expertise of its Automotive Experience business division to guide redesign and reporting enhancements driven by end-user demands. The same process that the automotive group uses for interior car design was implemented for the user experience of Metasys 5.0.

An intuitive Building Automation System (BAS) experience leverages the latest communications platforms without the need for specialized training or complex software manuals. Addressing the industry’s demand for mobile and easy-to-access BAS reports and summaries, Metasys 5.0 features the Ready Access Portal (RAP) that is now compatible with the iPhone and iPod touch platforms. The Metasys user experience can also be accessed and controlled through any Microsoft Internet Explorer Web browser.

The upgrade also features new and simplified RAP graphics which can be accessed over the building’s network or remotely through Web-enabled PC devices, with all of the features of a traditional building management workstation, including system floor plans, alarms, and task-based interfaces. All building occupants, such as a company’s CEO, school administrator, hospital nurse or office tenant can access a customized view of HVAC, lighting or security systems through a hand-held device or personal computer.

New Tailored Summaries, the latest capability of Metasys 5.0, make configuring, monitoring and diagnosing Metasys site information easy for any building operator or service professional. Tailored Summaries presents common building information, including systems points and devices, in a simple spreadsheet with tabular views.

"This tool makes it simple to identify control issues and make corrections. For example, all variable air volume boxes in a building can be viewed as a group to quickly find the one or two boxes that are not performing as well as the rest," said Terry Hoffmann, director, building automation systems marketing, Johnson Controls.

Delivering a sustainable building operation through energy management
The Metasys upgrade to 5.0 offers more sustainability available through Energy Essentials, an energy usage reporting system that will help the concerned facility manager understand their site’s energy use. Through a full suite of easy-to-configure, actionable reports, Energy Essentials provides an overview of usage and cost by energy type, including:

  • In the case of electrical energy, data related to power factor, reactive power and peak demand is presented in an informative manner.
  • The suite also monitors building load profiles and equipment run times.
  • If a facility is generating power, Energy Essentials shows users the amount and efficiencies of their production.

"It’s a bird’s eye view of a building’s energy use that anyone can understand. You can see where, when and why energy is being used," said Walicki.

Wireless technology now a vital factor in building management
Although wireless technology has been available in the consumer market for the past three decades, it is relatively new to the commercial HVAC sector. During consumer research for Metasys 5.0, building owners and consulting engineers were eager to implement and leverage the latest wireless technologies. From 2008 to 2009, the percentage of wireless controls among BACnet installations for Johnson Controls has increased by 600%.

In the Metasys 5.0 upgrade, the system offers more wireless sensors and features, including:

  • Two new wireless mesh temperature sensors with LCD displays which feature a 4 to 5 year battery life.
  • The sensors now include battery status, which enables the configuration for low battery warnings and critical battery alarms.
  • Added support for more wireless sensors per controller – doubled capacity from 4 to 9 sensors per controller.
  • New wireless mesh sensors feature an external refrigeration probe with a sensing range of -40 to +35 degrees Celsius with an accuracy rate of half a degree.

"Leaders in building automation have jumped head-first into wireless and it’s working because wireless offers flexibility," said Hoffmann. "Wireless sensors have reinvented the retrofit process and eliminated the constraints of inefficient wiring redesigns. For example, in a tenant occupied building, there is less disruption when building controls can be adjusted through simple wireless control placements."

Additional features of the Metasys 5.0 upgrade include:

  • Expanded Chiller Plant Automation to operate and sequence chillers, pumps and cooling towers to specific levels. Through the use of a new Controller Configuration Tool (CCT) that uses algorithms based on the best practices in controls, Johnson Controls provides customers with the most efficient chiller equipment, regardless of brand or manufacturer.
  • Complete redesign of the Field Equipment Controllers includes one-piece packaging, improved graphics and text, easy to access field wiring terminals, and enhanced ability to commission the system.
  • Occupancy sensors are now integrated into the wired and wireless Terminal Equipment Controllers (TEC), which enable facility managers to make HVAC commands based on occupancy and temperature sensing levels through a user interface, display and network communication.
  • Expanded selection of Network Sensors, including a CO2 sensor and a temperature/humidity unit that gives installing contractors and building owners cost effective solutions for various sensing needs.
  • For the first time in a Metasys release, the P2000 security management system will be featured with any new or upgraded customer installation. P2000 is an open integration platform that includes access control, alarm and intrusion detection, video surveillance and visitor management controls.

"Through hundreds of improvements to the system, we’ve expanded our BACnet system capability and the network control engine threshold. Simply put, that delivers better operations and energy trending data, and faster alarms indications for our customers," said Hoffmann. "Building and energy efficiency has never been more important and Metasys 5.0 helps us accomplish both."

For more information on all Metasys 5.0 system and product enhancements, visit www.johnsoncontrols.com/metasys. To view an archived version of the Metasys 5.0 Webcast, visit www.videonewswire.com/event.asp?id=64979.