1.- Mounting the Server

A server is just like any computer. The function of it is to store and retrieve data, in this case the server is used to store the JACE data.

Setting up a server is just as easy as connecting the server power supply and a monitor, keep in mind that if you want to change the OS it will take a while, so just be patient.

server

After setting up the server it will look like a regular computer. Now it’s time to install the program in which you are going to work (Niagara or Alerton), a very good advice is to install Teamviewer in the server to connect remotely if you are at another location.

Servers are pretty noisy because they are running nonstop, so the correct place to mount a server is in a server room. After locating the server room, it is advisable to talk to an IT member that can give you a static IP address to the server, after that you´re done with mounting the server. A server can weigh up to 75 lb. so be careful when you are moving the server from one place to another.

2.- JACE Commissioning

The first thing you should do when you connect a JACE for the first time is to commissioning it, commissioning a JACE is a configuration wizard where you can set: Users, Passwords, set the IP address for both ports, install a station and setting the software that you will need in the project.

server-installation

We recommend to work in your own computer and when the station is done you can make a backup of the station and send it to the server, this way is faster and you use Teamviewer just to check if everything is running, working on a station via Teamviewer can be a little tedious.

3.- Net Meters Configuration to Modbus TCP / Modbus RTU

User manuals and datasheets are the only trustful way to get information of the equipment that is going to be used in a project. A good advice is to read carefully the user manual, it gives complete information on mounting, wiring and setting up the device.

A dipswitch is used to change the protocol communication and the baud rate (it is very important that the baud rate is the same in your station and in the device used, otherwise, you will experience communication problems).

modbus-baud-rate

Protocol description can also be found in the user manual where point information is showed. With the point address, description, unit and register type it can be mapped in your Modbus Network.

modbus protocol descriptions

For this project, Modbus TCP and Modbus RTU were used in the station, following the manual the wiring should look like this:

modbus tcp wiring
modbus rtu wiring

The first picture is the wiring for Modbus TCP using an Ethernet cable. The second picture is the wiring for Modbus RTU using the RS-485 terminal, for this project it was used to daisy chain 3 buildings.

4.- Add Modbus TCP Network to JACE & Read the Points

Modbus protocol can give you troubles in Niagara because you have to set all the points one by one instead of discover them using BACnet protocol. To set the points, first you must include the network that you will be working in your station, in this case Modbus TCP. Then a ModbusTCP device must be included and set the IP address and Modbus ID from the net meters. Finally, you must set the points from the list that can be found in the user manual, for the points you need to set the type of data and the Modbus address, this information can also be found in the user manual. Now you should see the points in your station.

 A very useful tip is to set a point that you already know the outcome like the date, so when you can read it in your station you know that you can set the rest of the points with no communication problems.

5.- History points in JACE of Net Meters

Histories are essential to generate reports and trend logs that the client will need. To generate histories in your JACE station you have to add the history service and the Interval extension to the points that you want to have a history, you can set the interval time of generation depending on the project that you are working on.

To work with the histories in the supervisor station, the JACE station must be linked with the proxy points to the supervisor station (explained in the next section). After the proxy points are created go to the JACE station located in your Niagara network in the supervisor station, then go to histories where you can see all the history points that were created in the JACE station, select the histories you want and click Archive to get those points in your supervisor station.

6.- Adding Proxy Points from the JACE station to the Supervisor Station

Creating proxy points is convenient because is the way of linking the information that the JACE is reading to the supervisor station. To add the proxy points you need to be in your supervisor station, then add a new Niagara Station in your Niagara Network where you have to write the name of the JACE station, the IP address of the JACE and the credentials of the station. Drag the points that you need to your database and ping them to check if there is communication.

If you have any problems adding proxy points, try to deactivate your firewall. Most likely there will be an error with the certificate management, it is easy to fix, go to the Certificate Management in your platform, then go to Allowed Hosts and approve the JACE host (you will identify with the IP address as the name of the host).

7.- Finding the Camera IPs via IPC Search Tool

If there are already cameras and your client wants to see them in the station, a very useful program is IPC Search Tool. These program makes a scan of all the IP cameras that are used in the same network segment you are connected, it will give you the model of the camera, firmware version, IP address, Subnet mask, Gateway and DNS. A perk of this program is that you can double click the camera you want to see and it will give you the web address that can be integrated using Niagara Tridium.

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