Cape Town Station Boasts Leading Building Management System

Province Lighting/Automation/Switching is responsible for the highly efficient Building Management System (BMS) in operation at the refurbished Cape Town Station, the hub of the Metrorail Western Cape commuter rail network situated in the city's Central Business District (CBD). 

Established in 1987 in Cape Town, Province Lighting/Automation/Switching is a leading supplier of specialised SABS-approved, commercial, industrial and architectural lighting products and a diverse range of related devices and services that, when integrated, provide an intelligent solution.

Phase One of the Station's refurbishment was completed prior to World Cup 2010. This however was part of a longer-term revitalisation plan, and work for the second phase commenced after the international sports event. 

The revamp of Cape Town Station pre-World Cup comprised the refurbishment, alterations and additions to the station precinct, which is now a world-class transport hub. The first phase also entailed extensive renovations to the main concourse, and construction of a range of new shops along Strand Street.

The Station Square, the main access route from the CBD to the concourse and train platforms, was also renovated and is now an open, operational space kept clear to ensure a good commuter flow especially during peak hours, and for safety and security reasons. 

Phase Two consisted of further development to the station precinct and renovations of the surrounding shops serving those using the precinct, continued work on the parking lot and development and expansion of the primary transport centre.

Province Lighting/Automation/Switching started work on Cape Town Station in October 2008, when the tender for main contractor for the first phase was awarded to Boshard Construction, and Target Projects were appointed project managers and principal agents for the project.

Province Lighting/Automation/Switching's work entailed the installation of its high-tech BMS at the Station. The BMS maximises energy efficiency and also ensures that the facility in which it is installed functions smoothly and efficiently. 

"Our BMS is now in operation throughout the entire Station, which comprises five interconnected buildings. These house the main concourse, the station square and the train platforms," says Jurgen Chemelli, Managing Director of Province Lighting/Automation/Switching.

The BMS makes use of three protocols:

- Digital Addressable Lighting Interface (DALI) which monitors and controls the lighting
- BACNET which monitors and controls the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC)
- Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) / Internet Protocol (IP) which facilitates system communication

"Approximately 500 DALI slave sensors control the lighting enabling daylight saving," explains Chemelli. "There are no light switches." 

"Another advantage of using DALI in this installation is the fact that it enables us to monitor lamp life. It informs the user when a lamp or ballast is faulty and where the faulty lamp or ballast is located in the building." 

BACNET controls the HVAC to regulate temperature. For example, when a room is empty the air-conditioning automatically switches off. 

The BMS generates status and fault reports for maintenance purposes. Training is being provided for the Station's maintenance team and 24-hour technical support team. 

The systems are also in operation in the surrounding shops in Adderley and Strand Streets, as well as offices in the vicinity. "The shops have been fitted with a range of DALI fluorescent LED retail light fittings, and the offices with DALI LED luminaires," states Chemelli. "The luminaires installed in the offices have been programmed to automatically switch off is there is no movement in a room for say half an hour." 

Due to its protocol diversity, the BMS which Province Lighting/Automation/Switching provides can connect to and integrate with a diverse number of different products, devices and services. More products, devices and services can be added as and when required, depending on changing user needs.

This solution is suitable for a diverse range of infrastructures, ranging from stations and airports, to offices, commercial buildings and houses. The system can be tailor-made and customised according to each client's unique requirement, and the combinations and possibilities are virtually unlimited. 

Today Cape Town Station is not only aesthetically pleasing, but is also highly efficient and functional. It is an impressive achievement that Cape Town is justifiably proud of. 

Company profile on Province Lighting/Automation/Switching:

Province Lighting/Automation/Switching, established in 1987 in Cape Town, is a leading supplier of specialised SABS-approved, commercial, industrial and architectural lighting products and related devices and services. These products, devices and services can be integrated to offer an intelligent solution, which is simple and personalised and, most importantly, which allows homes and companies to maximize their energy savings. 

The company has formed a partnership with Austrian automation specialist, Automation NEXT, a progressive, creative software development company that delivers client-specific requirements. It is this development, which enables Province Lighting/Automation/Switching to provide South Africa with a world-class Building Management System (BMS). Some of the company's staff members have been trained in Austria by the European company to competently use its 'next' software technology in South Africa, and a number of installations are already operating very successfully here. 

Automation NEXT software, which Province Automation uses, is managed via Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), which is one of the core protocols of the Internet Protocol (IP) suite. There is one platform solution with various protocols available, and the solution offers flexibility to interface with thousands of devices.

Province Lighting/Automation/Switching has worked on numerous lighting projects and large scale developments across South Africa, as well as in some countries in the greater African continent. One of its chief objectives is to expand its footprint throughout Africa and ensure it keeps ahead with regard to expertise, trends and technology.

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