BEMS upgrade helps cut energy use at The Lowry
Gas and electricity consumption at The Lowry in Manchester have fallen by 17% since the upgrade of the building and energy-management system in a scheme designed by Real Control Solutions. Further savings are expected as the system is further optimised.
The Lowry is the most visited tourist attraction in Greater Manchester, with nearly 820 000 people a year according to the latest figures available. Facilities include three theatres, galleries, restaurants, cafés, bars and staff accommodation.
HFL Building Solutions, which provides technical building-services support, is financing the BEMS upgrade over five years.
The Lowry has the world’s largest collection of works by artist L. S. Lowry, and it is important that environmental conditions are closely controlled to protect them.
Spencer Hogg of Real Control Solutions explains the challenges: ‘Most galleries are sealed, and each room is like a box. The galleries here are open at the top, and yet you have to control the environment within the space.’
A step-by-step approach involved spending time looking at the system, making adjustments and reviewing each change before continuing the cycle.
The new system is based on the Honeywell Centraline AX solution using the Niagara framework platform. The size and complexity of The Lowry site required an IT network for the new system to be installed. Once completed, each control panel was upgraded, ensuring co-ordination with the site operations team at all times to ensure site operations were not compromised.
Each control panel was upgraded using the Honeywell Hawk controller with a mix of LON I/O modules and NDIO modules.
The system is accessed via a Honeywell Arena front end in the site’s maintenance office. There is remote access for security and the IT department via web graphics over the site network. There is also a touchscreen in the main boiler room.
Energy use is monitored via 12 intelligent energy meters integrated into local Hawk controllers using Modbus. The meters provide full visibility of the energy consumption of chillers, lighting, main plant, gas consumption and canal-water usage.
A display in the staff canteen shows site consumption against target and a comparison with average household consumption to provide a perspective. Providing up-to-date information was seen as important to involve staff and ensure the continued success of energy-saving projects.