In the last posting, we learned about why B2B platforms were being emphasized and how SGP (Smart Green Platform) were created. Today I’d like to show you the structure and mechanism of SGP and its applications.
According to the increasing use of various sensing devices, more companies are adopting systems for IoT, energy management, safety management, environment monitoring, and facility control. This is why an emphasis on the ability to manage and control these devices is getting stronger.
A control system is one which manages and monitors sensors and facilities (hereafter devices). The common system which monitors current temperature with sensors and adjusts itself when it is over the normal range is also a type of small-scale control system.
What are the benefits we can get by adopting a control system?
You can monitor errors occurring in devices from a remote location. Even if you don’t have anyone at the site, you can still be notified when there is a problem so you can respond to it immediately. The devices that used to be controlled separately can now be managed from a central point for more efficient system operation.
The system can utilize data from the devices, including warning messages, in order to see the situation comprehensively. It can also examine the response strategy more meticulously, and even before the administrator gets to the site.
A response mechanism can be created and programmed beforehand so that the system can control multiple devices automatically when there is an event. This allows you to respond much faster and more accurately compared to doing the job manually.
What are the key components when implementing a control system, then?
First, it’s important to gather data from various devices. Then one needs to figure out the current status from the obtained data, show it on the control screen, and run a command system so that the devices receive control commands according to each situation.
Four key components are needed to implement a control system: The Device to be monitored and controlled, communication protocol to connect devices to the control system, data to see the device status and to control devices, and UI (User Interface) for the user to see the situation and operate the system.
Let’s take a look at some of the things to consider when implementing a control system with these components.
Devices that don’t fit system requirements fail the entire control system (i.e. voltage sensors with 1V data resolution when the system needs to measure the voltage down to 0.1V, sensors with a wide error range, fire alarms which detect temperature but not smoke, and etc.)
If it’s difficult to get physical sensors and facilities due to high costs or other issues, you can get virtual devices instead.
If you need to measure the temperature but can’t afford to get a temperature sensor, you can get a virtual device which utilizes weather information to give you the external temperature.
Connecting a device to a control system requires a program which creates a protocol to set how the device and system will exchange information.
There are countless different types of devices used for control systems and building a system that will cost a lot if you have to implement the protocol for every single device.
Reusing a driver or adapter that has been used before is a much more effective way than trying to implement a protocol each time there’s a device to be connected.
The user should be able to select the needed data easily out of all the collected data from multiple devices, without any professional knowledge about programming. It’s also important for the user to be able to set the system to perform required tasks easily based on collected data. If the set operational tasks aren’t specific enough, the user can also control particular parts of if by using scripts.
The purpose of a control system is to help the administrator figure out the entire situation easily, and respond immediately. This is why it’s crucial to create a control UI flexible enough to reflect all the requirements of the user.
If the control UI is designed to be modified/applied directly by the user then it can become even more effective.
Broadening the field for the control system to be used by connecting it to external or existing systems such as those in parking management or CCTV monitoring, as well as performance and stability are also important.
Managing massive data collected by devices is another crucial function of a control system in order to understand situations comprehensively when an event occurs.
OS (Operating System) is the software required to use any devices like PCs and smartphones.
OS helps you connect a system with other peripheral devices such as a mouse, keyboard, monitor, and storage devices. It also provides basic installed applications such as notepad, calculator, and paint, as well as the basis on which other applications like MS Office, messengers, internet browsers, or games run.
Just like other OS, LG CNS SGP plays a role as an OS in various fields that need a control system such as buildings, factories, IoT, safety, and environment.
LG CNS provides the base system on which application services including EMS (Energy Management System), BMS (Building Management System), and multiple building management services can run, as well as its original application services.
LG CNS SGP is a platform that helps implement control systems more economically.
With SGP, devices can be connected easily by choosing a protocol that has already been implemented while conveniently creating the HMI screen and control logic through drag & drop and settings.
It also has great expandability with its ability to connect to external systems. SGP has already proven its performance and stability on multiple sites.
It’s connected to peripheral devices like sensors and facilities instead of keyboards or monitors, and provides device monitoring, control, and data collection functions instead of notepad and paint.
In [Image 1], you can see the difference between the OS for PCs and SGP layers used in various environments. The device driver of the OS for PCs and SGP Smart Connect play similar roles.
Kernel, playing a major role as a common OS, is covered by Smart Enterprise, Smart Builder, and Smart ESB (Enterprise Service Bus) on SGP. SGP also provides diverse services that can be used in various fields, like PCs provide application programs.
SGP can be largely divided into Smart Enterprise, Smart Builder, Smart Connect, and Smart ESB.
Smart Enterprise consists of an enterprise for collecting data, making decisions, processing and transmitting data, a batch server for cyclical processing operations, and a push server for real-time processing such as warning notifications.
Smart Builder provides data setting and management functions and the screen configuration tool for creating the control screen.
Smart Connect has implemented device communication protocols on it, so users can choose the protocol for a desired device without having to create additional protocol development.
Smart ESB provides the interface through which SGP can be connected to other systems.
For example, if you want the building management system implemented through SGP and linked to the external elevator management system, Smart ESB can act as a bridge between the two.
I have mentioned device, communication protocol, data, and control UI as the key factors in a control system earlier. When implementing a control system using SGP, Smart Connect can be a great choice since it has protocols already implemented for various devices.
You can connect the devices without any additional development, and there’s also an option to implement a protocol by yourself and connect the device to the system in case you need a protocol that hasn’t been implemented on Smart Connect.
The collected and controlled data from Smart Builder are also easily managed on the GUI (Graphic User Interface). The control screen and logic can be managed easily with drag & drop, click, and double click without scripts or programming.
Besides, it also creates new data by combining different data and linking to the external system to create virtual devices to use.
By linking to the external systems like parking/elevator/CCTV management systems, Smart ESB helps the system extend its functions.
SGP has proved its performance and stability based on LG CNS’s thorough tests and experiences gained from operating the platform at over 50 sites.
By implementing the control system through SGP in various fields such as IoT, energy management, safety management, environmental monitoring, and facility control, you can lower costs, improve its expandability, and enhance its stability.
With SGP, you don’t need any additional control servers because SGP supports 300,000 controlling points from a single server as you seen in [Image 3].
Unlike configuring EMS or BMS separately where you need servers which are specific to those services, SGP only requires a single server to run multiple services.
Today, we learned about the structure of SGP and some of its merits. As you see, SGP can enhance the implementation efficiency and operational performance in various systems such as building/factory control systems, energy storage systems, and other energy related systems including micro grids.
In the next postings, we will see how SGP can be applied related to the latest energy trends and how LG CNS Smart Green Solution is being used.
B2B Software Leading New Enterprises – B2B Platform from IoT to Energy (1) –
Industry 4.0, the Fourth Industrial Revolution with IT and the Manufacturing Industry
– SGS Platform (2) –
Written by Dongyoung Shin, senior researcher at LG CNS Smart Green Solution Institute
Some define a simple monitoring system as a control system while others classify them according to how many devices they control. This posting will follow the most common definition, which is a system that integrates multiple connected devices to manage and control them. [back to the article]
Smart Builder engineers with ‘tags’, units of data separated from the raw data into minimum units that can have meanings (i.e.If first and second bit of the raw data 0x06 show both switch status as well as overheating warning information, each information in the bit will be separated into “switch status” and “overheating warning” tags.
Because it implements the control system through engineering based on tags instead of coding, the errors that occur during the coding process can be prevented. If the tag based engineering isn’t enough to perform the task, the user can also choose to use script to implement the system.
[back to the article]
LG CNS Smart Green Solution consists of services for building, energy as well as HW management and SGP. [back to the article]