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Echelon Unifies Multiple Energy-Control Standards

Feb. 29, 2012
Open standard, multi-application platform is designed to drive building energy efficiency and grid responsiveness

Echelon Corp. has released a suite of tools and products for building owners, specification writers, integrators, and energy-management application developers. The offerings will enable building professionals to integrate the world's leading devices, applications, and building-automation standards (LonWorks and BACnet), and thereby create energy-efficient buildings that are “grid-aware” and can respond to emerging grid requirements.

The offerings build on Echelon’s open standard, multi-application platform.

They include:

• Open Building Specification Guide, a proven approach to help building professionals define and architect open, energy efficient and grid-aware buildings.

• LonWorks/BACnet Gateway Application, an application that integrates LonWorks and BACnet systems and enables a truly open building architecture.

• OpenLNS Network Operating System, a royalty-free network operating system and environment for developing, deploying, and managing building-automation and energy-management systems and supporting multiple grid-aware applications.

• Building Energy Management Toolkit, software tools and wizards that enable a multi-site organization to rapidly incorporate third-party devices and multiple applications to build a customized energy-management solution.

• Router 5000 Module, based on FT 5000 technology, this product is used by OEMs to build routers that increase the scalability and survivability of LonWorks-based smart building networks.

“Boosting efficiency in the commercial sector is crucial to reducing operating expenses and carbon emissions,” said Eric Bloom, research analyst at Pike Research, a leading market research firm focusing on global clean technology. “ To meet these challenges, new energy management technologies are starting to transform the way in which businesses, government agencies, and utilities manage and reduce energy consumption in buildings.

“Smart, ‘grid-aware’ buildings that can respond to real-time grid conditions upstream will play a particularly important role in stabilizing the electricity grid given that demand and supply are more variable than before,” Bloom added. “To achieve grid-awareness, however, building professionals need complete interoperability between historically disparate building systems. Bridging the gap between LonWorks and BACnet achieves this level of interoperability and is an important step in architecting smarter, grid-aware buildings.”

“The industry needs to move beyond the notion that LonWorks and BACnet are competing standards—they are both open standards that have complementary strengths and real-world buildings are hybrids of both,” said Varun Nagaraj, senior vice president of product marketing and management at Echelon. “We also have to make our solutions as low-cost and easy to use as possible. Our new royalty-free OpenLNS operating system, a truly open specification guide, and tools for integrating leading applications and devices are a big step forward in that direction.”

Open Building Specification Guide. The Open Building Specification Guide will enable building professionals to architect an interoperable system from top to bottom. The guide, which is a collection of standards and documents, initially focuses on HVAC systems. Subsequent releases will expand the scope of this specification to include other critical building functions. The specification stipulates how to maintain an open procurement environment both for the initial install and for the life of the building. To download a copy of the Open Building Specification Guide, visit

LonWorks/BACnet Gateway Application. The reality of today's building systems is that they utilize a variety of open and proprietary standards, which can create interoperability challenges. Echelon has collaborated with ConnectEx, Inc., a software developer, to address this challenge for the two leading building standards—LonWorks and BACnet—to offer a new gateway application for the Echelon SmartServer. Running this application on Echelon's SmartServer allows system integrators to commission, add, modify, and connect LonWorks-based products within a BACnet management system. The application will provide a BACnet management console with a full-system view and interoperability down to the device level to achieve comprehensive monitoring and control. To request a beta trial of the gateway application, contact [email protected].

OpenLNS Network Operating System. The royalty-free Echelon OpenLNS network operating system enables software developers to build applications that can commission, configure, monitor, control, diagnose, and repair any LonWorks-based device in a building-control network. These applications can implement a wide range of policies determined by the building professional to balance comfort and energy savings, including how to respond to a request from the grid for energy reduction or a signal from the grid with variable pricing. A building enabled by the OpenLNS network operating system is not locked into any specific device vendor or system integrator. The OpenLNS beta will be available in February and will be generally available in 2H 2012. OpenLNS will not have any royalty or credit fees. To apply for the OpenLNS beta program, visit

Building Energy Management Toolkit. The Building Energy Management 1.1 toolkit for multi-site organizations, running on the Echelon SmartServer, includes more than a dozen wizards and templates that allow companies to rapidly integrate third-party submeters and third-party software applications for energy monitoring, analytics, and real-time energy control. Interested developers looking to integrate their enterprise applications can register to download the toolkit beta at

Router 5000 Module. As buildings become smarter, there is an increasing need for automation systems to include a larger number and variety of building control devices. The new Echelon Router 5000 module allows OEMs to offer routers that can be used to build scalable and survivable device networks that incorporate the appropriate physical media. The Router 5000 is part of the Echelon 5000 series product line that includes the FT 5000 Smart Transceiver and the Neuron 5000 processor. Pricing and delivery information can be obtained by contacting [email protected].