For sensors, actuators, and controllers to function correctly in a building management system (BMS), a common method of data understanding is vital. Communication protocols describe the rules and formats through which data should be transferred over the interconnected network of sensors, actuators, and controllers. The data captured by sensors gets relayed to controllers that manipulate the system through actuators to the required endpoints. A communication protocol lets multiple device manufacturers make sensors, controllers, and actuators "work” together sharing data so an intelligent, actionable outcome can be achieved.
Based in Dayton, Ohio, Brian Cline is the digital service manager and a Master Systems Integrator at Buildings IOT. Brian holds over 20 years of experience in project management and technical solutions implementation of building automation systems.
Before the arrival and dissemination of the Internet of Things (IoT) and other smart technologies within the built environment, building systems that controlled climate, lighting, energy, and other aspects affecting operations were siloed. These various systems used disparate protocols that didn’t allow them to communicate with each other. There was little regard for ensuring that they spoke the same “language,” as there was no need for them to do so.