Heating installation – Quicker, cheaper and less mess!

Mains Borne Signalling (MBS) has been used since the 1980s for sending and receiving digital data between pieces of electronic apparatus

The primary advantage of Mains Borne Signalling is that it negates the need to weave standard ethernet or, dedicated cabling throughout a building’s infrastructure, eliminating the disruption, mess and additional cost that entails.

Equipment, such as heating controls, connected to the existing electrical circuit, place a tiny additional voltage on the earth and neutral wiring. High frequency tones are transmitted along these wires, like two musical notes, but at much higher frequencies. A receiver on the circuit detects these tones and decodes them into the ‘ones’ and ‘zeros’ that make up digital communication.

Prefect Controls were early adopters of MBS and use this technology to connect thousands of room nodes on their ‘Irus’ product – a heating control system developed specifically for student accommodation.

Irus monitors temperature, humidity, light and decibel levels. The data it collects is transmitted to the central controller which is connected to the internet. Energy and accommodation managers view, adjust and control individual rooms from the web-based portal.

Will Mills is a project manager at Prefect and recently installed Irus at UWE in Bristol. He explains: “Universities prefer installations to be carried out in the summer months when rooms are empty. Mains Borne Signalling speeds up the whole installation process. This summer we had six weeks to fit 2000 rooms at UWE – that just wouldn’t have been possible if we’d needed to lay cabling throughout the 24 blocks we were working in.”

In the challenging environment of student accommodation, Prefect has more than 20 years’ experience of installing Irus and has seen the company become expert in the minutiae of Mains Borne Signalling.


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