Tibbo in the creation of GIS utilities

    Housing and communal services is one of the most socially significant areas for the application of automation technologies. A number of problems have ripened in the region that led to the signing of a federal law on the creation of a state information system for housing and communal services. This article will discuss the possibility of using Tibbo technologies in such projects.

    Only some problems of the housing sector are reflected below:
    • Inconsistency of accruals in receipts to actually rendered services or consumed resources;
    • Unfair attitude of market players leads to an unsatisfactory delivery of services (for example, the “overflow” effect).
    • The cost of manual collection of meter readings by service companies.
    • The lack of a unified information base and the opaque workflow of participants in business processes do not allow the competent planning of budget allocation; feedback from the consumer is lost.
    • And without means of monitoring the technical condition of facilities, the response time to emergencies can be delayed to unacceptable values.

    This and much more encourages the creation of dispatching and control systems in the housing sector.

    Automated systems are already operating in some regions of the Russian Federation. However, the lack of a legislative framework does not oblige players to use the proposed funds. Moreover, the difference in the methodologies for collecting and processing information from these systems makes it difficult to scale the solution to the interregional level. And this does not allow the responsible federal authorities to consider the problems of the housing and communal services segment comprehensively.

    As a result, urgent problems led to the signing of the federal law of July 21, 2014 No. 209-FZ “On the State Information System of Housing and Communal Services”(GIS housing and communal services). From the point of view of consumers, the adoption of this law brings convenience and “transparency” to the process of providing public services. Through a personal account, the user can not only see the costs of resources and pay them in a convenient way, but also leave the complaint online (for example, if there is a cleaning position in the receipt, but in reality it was not). To update the data and prevent violations, the system provides a mechanism for reconciling readings: consumers transmit the readings of metering devices (for example, water consumption), the regulatory body compares the total readings of individual devices with the values ​​of the consumption of common house meters. The difference in these indicators is the basis for starting the process to identify violations. According to the law, from January 1, 2017, the consumer is not obliged to pay receipts issued outside the GIS utilities or receipts, the readings of which differ from the electronic copy. Access to the system will be provided as part of a single portal of public services.

    Housing and utilities automation

    In the context of the GIS housing and communal services system, we can consider in more detail the subsystem for collecting meter readings. This subsystem is a classic task of dispatching housing and communal services, which can be divided into several levels:
    1. The lower level. Instrumentation, automated control devices. At this level, there is a choice of counters, calculators, PLCs, it is determined by which protocols the devices will transmit information.
    2. Communication. The choice of technologies and tools for organizing the main and duplicate communication channels. It also defines coordination devices (gateways) of protocols and interfaces.
    3. Dispatching. The choice of application software that collects and processes data.
    4. Integration. Providing communication with other subsystems and top-level systems.

    In general, the integrator can choose any solution to create such a system. However, within the GIS housing and communal services there are additional requirements that determine the approach to scheduling. For example, paragraph 14 of the technological requirements of the GIS housing and communal services determines that the system should include mechanisms for the possible expansion of functionality. Paragraph 6 of the same document reads:
    “6. The system must operate continuously. The operator provides:
    a) uninterrupted round-the-clock operation of the system 7 days a week, 365/366 days a year;
    b) quick (no more than one hour) restoration of the system and its parts in case of failure of their work;
    c) continuous monitoring of events and the current state of the system and its parts, which allows continuous monitoring of the availability of the system hardware and software system and the current state of equipment use, as well as immediately generating notifications to the system operator about the failure of the system and its parts;
    d) monitoring and analysis of current performance and other parameters of the system and its parts, timely identification of threats that limit its performance and stability ... ”

    Moreover, many objects already have well-established automation. And the integrators are tasked with ensuring interaction with the GIS housing and communal services, while the existing scheme should not disrupt its work.

    Given the above, there are obvious problems in creating a universal dispatch system for its implementation within the GIS housing and communal services:
    • Collection of information on various protocols (depends on the already installed measuring equipment at the facility).
    • The choice of the main communication channel (Ethernet, Wi-Fi, GPRS, radio channel, etc.).
    • Coordination of equipment interfaces with the main communication channels.
    • Creation of backup (duplicate) communication channels.
    • Organization of a new information flow without violating the previous work scheme.
    • Logging of service information for the subsequent resolution of problem situations.
    • Online monitoring of the status of automation devices.
    • The ability to quickly detect and solve problem situations.
    • Fast build-up of functionality in the future.
    • A flexible software platform that provides information collection via any possible protocol, customizable logic, etc.

    Using Tibbo technology, you can solve most of the problems that arise. Let us briefly consider the possibilities of our solutions.

    Transmission of instrument readings via Ethernet (Internet)

    The classic situation at the facility is a remote collection of meter readings. In this case, devices usually use serial interfaces RS232, RS485. To solve this problem, we propose the use of a simple interface converter DS1100. The converter can work both in server mode and in client mode. Controlled data transfer rate, setting of bit timings, selection of TCP / UDP protocols and other flexible parameters allow transparent transmission of information flows regardless of the protocols used. In this case, the protocol is decrypted on the server. The DS1100 is capable of transmitting data both over a local network and over the Internet.

    Link duplication

    Often a monitoring system is already installed at the facility. For example, a GPRS modem for remote data transfer is connected to the heat meter. The integrator needs to organize a new communication channel to integrate the system with the GIS housing and communal services. In this case, the use of a multi-port DS1101 converter is recommended . The converter, having received data from the meter, duplicates the transmission to the second serial port (GPRS modem) and to the Ethernet line. If necessary, you can specify a different scenario: to constantly transmit data through one of the channels, but when prompted for priority (for example, GPRS), orient the flow of information to it.
    In the case of primary automation of an object using DS1101 or DS1102 convertersan Ethernet data channel is being formed with the possibility of creating a backup communication line (GRPS, radio channel, Wi-Fi, etc.). In practice, based on Tibbo devices, you can create almost any scenario for organizing communication nodes.

    Functionality Extension

    All previous cases can also be implemented on the Tibbo Project System hardware platform . The modularity of the TPS system allows the possibility of hardware expansion of functionality to be incorporated into the system. For example, if in the future it is necessary to monitor dry contacts, this is realized by installing the corresponding Tibbits (I / O modules) on the board and slightly changing the firmware. The device does not even have to be removed from the object: all manipulations are carried out at the installation site, and the flashing procedure is implemented remotely. Here you can see in more detail what the TPS system is like.

    Protocol gateway

    In any of the above cases, we assume that the entire information flow exists “outside the protocols”, i.e. implemented direct bitwise data transfer. This method is not always applicable. For example, to reduce traffic through the GSM module, you can "parse" the ModBus protocol from the heat meter (or other device) and transfer only useful information to the server. Such a task can be performed on any Tibbo module. Free programming allows you to implement a local data collection server: polling metering devices using the native protocol, caching data in the absence of communication, transmitting readings to the server. A particular case of this solution is a hardware protocol gateway, such as ModBusRTU / ModBusTCP. Thus, Tibbo devices allow not only to implement communication channels, but also eliminate the problem of "compatibility" of various metering devices and an external system.

    In addition, the programming of Tibbo modules allows you to create local logic in the system, giving it more intelligence: monitoring broken lines, the validity of received values, caching data, escalating alarms and events according to given scenarios, generating control actions and much more. Communication devices turn into full-fledged PLCs.


    In case of problems, a request from users can come with a significant delay (up to several days). As a result, it is not always possible to understand the causes of non-standard situations, because there is no log data: what system parameters were installed at the time the problem arose, which commands came from metering devices, what request the server sent, etc. Maintaining a full log of events will allow you to understand the problem even after a significant amount of time.

    When using Tibbo technologies, it is proposed to use data logging using an external monitoring system AggreGate. Tibbo devices transmit their own state and all parameters of connected devices to the server. AggreGate records this data on the server, providing convenient access to it through the desktop client or web interface. History storage time, archiving, database type, polling period and other parameters are flexibly configured. In the event of a communication failure, the modules are capable of locally caching status information and transmitting it to the server at the time of restoration of the communication line.

    Dispatching on AggreGate

    When scheduling, specialized software is installed on the server, which collects information from local devices, processes it, and provides generalized data to the operator or other systems. In some cases, SCADA systems are used for these purposes, which often have redundant, unclaimed functionality, and functions useful for the housing and communal services segment may be absent. The solution from Tibbo is based on the SCADA system, but modified specifically for use in the housing sector - this is AggreGate Meter Reading .

    AggreGate Meter ReadingIt has all the necessary tools for organizing the convenient work of the dispatcher, as well as for integration with other subsystems. For example, not all classic SCADAs can work with trends or have reporting tools. At AggreGate, this is a low-level platform. AggreGate + Tibbo devices provide a flexible hardware and software system for utilities automation: equipment diagnostics, early detection of problems, escalation of alarms and events, notification of responsible personnel, logging of system data, flexible work with measured values ​​(history, aggregation, statistics, trends, complex calculations, graphs, reports, etc.). Open API functions, technical support from developers and competent documentation allow you to integrate AggreGate in horizontal and vertical directions.

    Some benefits of AggreGate:
    • Support for standard protocols (M-Bus, Modbus, OPC, SNMP, etc.).
    • Metering and control devices with other protocols can be easily integrated using Tibbo programmable hardware solutions.
    • Instrument readings can be imported from other systems through SOAP. Another way to “connect” systems is to connect to an external SQL database.
    • Flexible custom rules for collecting data readings and storage history.
    • Built-in alerts, reporting, charts.
    • Prediction based on correlations, trends, and trends allows operators to be warned in advance if consumption growth is about to cross the threshold of a Service Level Agreement (SLA).
    • Detailed analysis of peak values.
    • Export readings in various formats.
    • An open source API for integration with billing and analytical systems and providing information to customers and service providers.
    • Ability to work based on OEM agreement.

    Using Tibbo technology, we get a complete and harmonious hardware-software complex, presented as a whole. This approach allows you to instantly record emergency situations and respond quickly to disruption of the system nodes. Thanks to this, the conditions of the requirement for GIS housing and communal services are met: "quick (no more than one hour) restoration of the system and its parts in case of failure of their work." Status information logging allows you to analyze emergency situations, make adjustments to the system.

    The combination of hardware flexibility of the TPS system and the ability to remotely reflash devices (using AggreGate) provides GIS housing and communal services requirements for future expansion of functionality. Tibbit with the function of a GSM modem allows you to create a primary or backup communication channel based on communication lines of mobile operators without the use of external modems. Thus, most of the emerging problems of housing and communal services automation are solved on the basis of technologies of one vendor, which greatly simplifies commercial processes and operation of the system.

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