New Mexico Public Schools Energy & Water Real-time Monitoring (M&V) Remote Monitoring System Design, Implementation, and Commissioning (Statewide M&V)

The Center for Emerging Energy Technologies (CEET) at the Univeristy of New Mexico in collaboration with NM EMNRD and NM PSFA is proud to introduce a program that will track, compare, and analyze energy use in New Mexico school buildings.

Data points such as volts, current, kilowatts, kilowatt hours, natural gas, and water will be collected and displayed.

The ability to analyze and control energy flows in large-scale energy systems requires, first and foremost, the ability to collect information on how individual components of an energy system operate. It is within this context that the Center has engaged with the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department and with the Public School Facility Authority. This project lays the foundation for a system that will ultimately collect energy and water use data from hundreds of schools and other state-owned facilities throughout New Mexico. Data from electricity, gas (natural gas or propane, as appropriate) and water meters will be collected automatically at regular intervals, stored in a central database, and made available for analysis to researchers, educators, administrators and the general public via a user-friendly web interface.

The pilot project, which was developed in El Capitan Elementary School (Roswell, NM), demonstrates the ability to integrate a set of components in an innovative and economical way. The ability of individual system components, provided by different vendors, to interoperate via standard open protocols (Modbus, BACnet and XML) was exploited fully. The principal merit of the architecture demonstrated by this project is that metering from additional facilities can be added very simply (and inexpensively) by following the procedures developed during this project and described here. This simplicity represents several months of collaborative effort by engineers at UNM, PSFA, FieldServer Technologies and Automated Logic Corporation, who broke new ground in implementing a scalable, flexible and robust system by integrating a series of components, each ideally suited to the task. The metering data are collected by a primary server, the FieldServer Serial / Ethernet multiport device (manufactured by FieldServer Technologies, CA). An automatic script hosted in an in-house web server is responsible for collecting, structuring, and saving data points into a MySQL database. This script has been designed with a fail-safe system in order to be able to overcome any kind of issue when retrieving data. The MySQL database is also accessed by an in-house web server, that is responsible for delivering information to the end user, both graphically and in the form of file downloads. The in-house web server option was chosen because it offers unlimited flexibility in interface design, independent of vendor options.

UNM Research Team
Data Collection Diagram


At the client site, a Quickserver gateway device (manufactured by FieldServer Technologies) is responsible for gathering information from all the meters, translating the information to BACnet protocol, and delivering the information to the central FieldServer. For this pilot, information is from a Shark 200 electric meter (main meter only, no sub-metering), an Onicon F-3100 water meter, and an Onicon F-5200 natural gas meter. While the meter configuration at other sites may differ slightly, this pilot demonstrates that the data stream, from the meter to the web interface, flows correctly.