Blue Pillar’s Digital Energy Network: Lowers Costs, Assures Compliance, Unlocks Energy Value.

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Blue Pillar’s Digital Energy Network consists of Blue Pillar Enterprise Software that runs on a central server or in the cloud, and wired or wirelessly connected cyber-secure Asset Interface Microservers that attach at the circuit or controls of critical energy assets, such as generators, switchgear, automatic transfer switches, fuel systems, pumps, cogeneration, chillers, renewables and building automation systems. The Asset Interface Microservers add a layer of intelligence with firewall protection, effectively providing a way to upgrade or modernize any asset regardless of its age or built-in control capabilities. The Digital Energy Network can also interface with other energy management systems, including those for buildings, campuses and/or microgrids. Operations, Finance and Facilities managers then monitor and manage the entire energy infrastructure through an intuitive Blue Pillar Dashboard, which provides a holistic view with real-time situational awareness down to the circuit level.

As a packaged system of sub-systems, the Digital Energy Network allows for rapid, turn-key implementation. Blue Pillar has amassed a large Asset Library containing standardized interfaces for virtually every vintage and vendor of generator and automatic transfer switch, and a growing list of other equipment. This enables Blue Pillar to provide a complete set of detailed Asset Interface Microserver wiring diagrams and work instructions for the entire inventory of an organization’s energy assets.

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Logical Architecture Diagram

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Physical Architecture Diagram

The Blue Pillar Enterprise Server

The Blue Pillar Enterprise Server is the core of a Digital Energy Network where monitoring and control over all energy assets is consolidated and centralized through a cyber-secure common Service Bus that connects distributed Asset Interface Microservers. The software includes a comprehensive set of monitoring, management and reporting applications that form the closed-loop Digital Energy Network.

The monitoring and management applications are best understood through the live portal views provided via the browser-based Blue Pillar Dashboard

The Blue Pillar Dashboard

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The Blue Pillar Dashboard is an intuitive and user-configurable browser-based access portal to the Enterprise Server. The Dashboard provides real-time situational views into the state and readiness of all energy production and consumption equipment across all energy asset categories. The Dashboard also provides access to an extensive library of standard and user-defined reports.

The Dashboard’s System View is configurable by the user(s) to include the desired detailed views in separate panels that include:

  • System Panel showing system-wide information and test controls
  • ATS Panel showing information about an automatic transfer switch
  • Generator Panel showing current status of individual generators, including a live video feed
  • Fuel Systems Summary Panel showing fuel levels and consumption rates

This Dashboard view includes three separate panels for the System, an ATS and a Generator.

In addition to the “live” Dashboard view, there are four categories of reports available, including:

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Summary Compliance Reports show basic asset information, such as location, make and model, along with up-to-date compliance information. Special versions of compliance reports are available for a 20/40 day window of loaded runs, as well as a user-specified date range for reporting Emergency Events, Run Times showing a record of engine hours, and Switch Operation showing a record of each ATS transfer. (See example)
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Event-Specific Reports show both compliance and operational test information for a specified event. In addition to being used as proof of compliance, these tests can also be useful when troubleshooting problems. (See example)
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Inventory Reports show detailed information about all assets or a class of assets, which is often required for compliance. Inventory reports can also be generated for each separate manufacturer. (See example)
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Ad Hoc Data Analysis Reports can be useful to spot trends or for troubleshooting.(See example)

In addition to these reporting capabilities, the Power Management Software also includes an Alarms Notification application. Users can select both thresholds and the means of notification, such as email, pager or phone. A report of alarm history by site, system and/or type can also be produced for a specified date range for forensic or troubleshooting purposes.

The optional Portfolio Manager application provides an interface to the smart grid for participation in demand response programs and/or ancillary energy markets. This application employs the Open Automated Demand Response (OpenADR) standard to ensure interoperability with utilities and third-party service providers.

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The Blue Pillar LiveOne line view shows a normal condition with all circuits powered by the main from the utility. Note the utility meter readings on the right and generator status on the left. (See example)
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Blue Pillar Utility Profile provides strong power management capabilities including direct ties into utility grid stabilization programs while delivering operational efficiencies through facility level awareness, remote visualization, and event execution/management. (See example)

The Dashboard also has an Events Calendar and History View that allows users to run and record various tests, including Scheduled Load/No Load Tests and Manual Load/No Load Tests for the generators. The Calendar tracks tests that were cancelled or aborted, as well as planned and unplanned emergencies. Test results can be viewed on the Dashboard or sent via email, and include a load profile, an event activity log with timestamps, and optional user comments.

Asset Interface Microservers (AIMSs)

Asset Interface Microservers provide an intelligent, cyber-secure interface to all energy assets at the circuit-level. Microservers are available for meters, generators, switchgear, automatic transfer switches, fuel systems, inverters, cogeneration, renewables, chillers, thermal storage units, building automation systems, and a growing list of other assets.

An Asset Interface Microserver is a compact (5” W x 4” D x 3” H) machine- or wall-mountable unit designed for deployment in the harsh environments where energy assets are normally located. The Microserver is also a computer that adds a layer of intelligence to any energy asset. Each Microserver includes a firewall for cyber-security, and is configured with application software specific to the asset it connects to the Digital Energy Network.

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The Asset Interface Microserver has an Ethernet interface to the Digital Energy Network, which becomes part of the enterprise network. For remote and/or unwired locations, Microservers can connect via the enterprise wireless LAN or via point-to-point wireless links. In addition to its network interface, Microservers include a variety of input and output ports that are used for the physical connections to the energy asset:

  • 4 serial ports for assets with internal monitoring and control capabilities
  • 12 discrete input ports to sense voltage, current and resistance
  • 6 analog input ports to sense temperature, pressure, voltage and current
  • 8 discrete output ports to provide control capabilities

Asset Library

The Asset Library contains the Asset Interface Microserver application software that digitally connects each energy asset in a Blue Pillar Digital Energy Network. Supported assets include backup generators, switchgear, automatic transfer switches, utility meters, building automation and management systems, thermal storage, inverters, cogeneration facilities, chillers, boilers, fuel systems, pumps, renewables, and a growing list of other assets.

Blue Pillar continues to add assets to the Asset Library, which already offers the industry’s most comprehensive list of makes, models and vintages of energy assets from hundreds of manufacturers, including Caterpillar, Cummins, Detroit Diesel, Schneider, Siemens, Square D, Eaton, ASCO and Ingersoll Rand.

The Asset Library also includes detailed wiring diagrams and work instructions for physically connecting the Asset Interface Microservers. All that is needed to create a complete project plan for any Digital Energy Network is an inventory of the specific energy assets being monitored and managed.

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Tablet Survey iPad Screen — A tablet application is used to take an inventory of all energy assets during a site survey – and the resulting list of assets is used to generate a complete proposal for the turn-key Digital Energy Network. (See example)
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The Blue Pillar Asset Library generates a wiring diagram and detailed wiring instructions for each asset connected the Digital Energy Network via an Asset Interface Microserver. (See example)

Centralized Facilities Management | Critical Power Management