Advancements in technology and economies of scale are resulting in the steady decline in the price of Ethernet enabled devices. At the same time rising energy costs is driving the adoption of data analytics to analyze building performance and respond in real-time to reduce operational costs. This means we are asking for more information from our building automation control networks and need it faster than ever before.
This dropping cost and need for more data is driving the convergence of building control and IT technologies. RS-485 used to be the mainstay of building control networks because it was inexpensive and easy to install. RS-485 however has limited bandwidth. Larger controllers have already shifted to be predominantly Ethernet based and this trend will continue down to the smaller zone level controllers. While controllers that communicate using RS-485 provide adequate performance and are the most economical choice today, buildings are around for a long time. This means it is often more important to look at lifecycle cost rather than initial cost when evaluating options for your building infrastructure. MS/TP controllers will save you money today but when it comes time to upgrade down the road it may cost you money as your wiring infrastructure would also need to be upgraded.
Delta offers a complete line of Ethernet enabled controllers from our large system level controllers right down to our small zone level controllers. You can enjoy the benefits of faster network response today while future proofing your buildings wiring infrastructure for tomorrow.
If planned for from the early design stages in what is called integrated building design an all Ethernet network can actually be less expensive to install than a traditional RS-485 based network. This is due to efficiencies gained by increased co-ordination between construction trades during system installation and sharing of common infrastructure between IT and building automation reducing duplication of labor and equipment.
Delta also offers controllers featuring Power over Ethernet (PoE). PoE combines high speed Ethernet communications and controller power into a single cable simplifying installation wiring and eliminating the need for a local control transformer.