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Hilo is responsible for maintaining connectivity between its devices at the customer site, the Hilo virtual power plant (VPP) and the energy monitoring system via cloud-based computing.
Customers are responsible for maintaining connectivity between their own devices linked to the Hilo solution and the Hilo devices. In addition, customers must maintain the quality of the cellular network up to the Hilo devices, if applicable.
Various actions could lead to a momentary loss of connectivity. In such a case, please refer back to this connectivity policy to minimize the impact.
The Hilo demand response solution consists of a panel containing three devices that connect the meter, the BMS and Hilo services. Any compromise to their integrity could affect the Hilo experience and cause problems in the building.
This equipment remains the property of Hilo at all times.
In any given situation, there should be no need to access the panel provided by Hilo. If in doubt, contact your Hilo account manager.
Customers must ensure Hilo’s representatives have physical and computer access to the meters and the panel connected to the services for the duration of the subscription.
Hilo is not responsible for any malfunction of the solution caused by moving, replacing or modifying the devices. If a panel must be moved, the customer must contact Hilo, as indicated in the contractual agreement.
Devices installed by Hilo have multiple connection points with their environment. These must remain functional to ensure the proper functioning of the Hilo solution.
The panel must be connected to a 120VAC 60Hz circuit. The panel draws 3 amps. This information is clearly indicated inside the door of the panel. It does not have to be connected to an emergency circuit.
The meter gateway is connected to the electricity meter wirelessly. To ensure the stability of this wireless connection, the gateway and meter must be in close proximity to each other—no more than 10 metres (33 feet) apart.
Be aware of metal obstructions (cabinets, partitions, etc.) and appliances, which can greatly reduce the strength of the connection.
The indicator light on the top of the meter gateway should always be a solid green, with no blinking. If it is another colour with no blinking, it means that there is a communication problem with the cellular modem. Fast blinking indicates a communication problem with Hydro-Québec’s smart meter. For more information, see the Hilo Hub User Guide on the Hilo Smart Hub page (hiloenergie.com).
If in doubt, contact your Hilo Business Account Manager.
The BMS gateway is connected to the BMS network through an Ethernet connection (RJ45). The proper functioning of the Hilo solution depends on the physical integrity of this connection.
To ensure communication between the BMS gateway and the BMS, network communication must be properly configured. This includes:
Direct access (not routed, on the same subnet) to the BMS from the BMS gateway IP
An IP address for the BMS gateway
An open BACnet UDP port number for two-way communication between the BMS gateway and the BMS (the default setting is 47,808 [or X’BAC0’ in hexadecimal])
A BACnet address for the BMS gateway (Device Object_Identifier Instance)
The BACnet network number to which the BMS gateway is connected.
Maintaining the physical or software integrity of the cable or telecommunication outlet to connect the BMS gateway to the BMS is the responsibility of the customer.
A future change to the customer-side network configuration will require Hilo to adjust the BMS gateway configuration. If you anticipate a change, please contact your Hilo Business Account Manager.
The BMS gateway and the meter gateway use a cellular connection to communicate with Hilo services, including the Hilo VPP and the energy monitoring system. This connection is important for the proper functioning of Hilo services, especially during the demand response challenges organized by Hilo.
This connection is also used for the temporary installation of a module on the BMS gateway so that Hilo support agents can connect to it for initial configurations according to your requirements, enabling communication with the BMS. This module is later removed from the BMS gateway. Any future reinstallation of this module will be done with the prior consent of the customer.
This link is provided by a 4G/LTE cellular network connection. The positioning of the panel installation is also important to ensure good signal reception. If you plan to move the panel, contact your Hilo account manager, then be sure to check the cellular connectivity using your cell phone, for example. A signal of at least two bars out of five is usually required (to be verified on the modem directly or on a cell phone, for example).
The environment, such as metal obstructions (cabinets, partitions, etc.), can also affect signal quality. When moving objects in the panel environment, make sure you maintain a good signal from the panel.
Question 1: For maintenance purposes, I have to cut the power supply to the area where the Hilo devices are located. Can I do this, and for how long?
Answer 1: Our solution is designed to withstand power outages. The only critical time is during a challenge. You must ensure that the SAB gateway is functional throughout the entire demand response event, i.e. preheating, reduction and recovery phases. If it is not functional due to the customer, it will be as if the customer has withdrawn from the challenge.
Question 2: For maintenance purposes, I need to move the panel containing the meter gateway and the BMS gateway. I understand what this entails for the power cut mentioned in question 1, but are there other aspects to consider, such as proximity to other devices?
Answer 2: As specified in the contractual agreement, only Hilo can move the panel. If there is an agreement to the contrary, please proceed as follows. This panel includes three devices: the Zigbee-communicating meter gateway connected to the Hydro-Québec meter, the BACnet/IP-communicating BMS gateway connected to the BMS controllers, and a 4G/LTE-communicating cellular modem connected to the Hilo VPP and the energy monitoring system. The panel must be no more than 10 metres away from the Hydro-Québec meter (the indicator light on the meter gateway is a solid green, not blinking) and be in an area with good cellular reception (i.e. two out of five LED bars for the modem). Once the panel is moved, make sure you have connected the Ethernet cable between the BMS gateway and your BMS BEFORE powering it back on. Also, make sure you connect to the same Ethernet cable or port. Otherwise, contact your IT staff to confirm that this new Ethernet port is properly configured to allow BACnet/IP communication between the BMS gateway and your BMS.
Another point: It is better to wait until the end of a challenge. In the event of a communication loss during the challenge, your BMS may take up to 15 minutes to detect it. Once the loss of communication is detected, your BMS will resume its normal operation as if there were no challenge. To avoid this delay, you can stop the challenge beforehand via the energy monitoring system or via your BMS’s graphical interface.
Question 3: For network maintenance purposes, our IT managers have notified us of an IP configuration change to my BMS network. How can I make sure this won’t cause a breakdown in communication between the BMS gateway and my BMS?
Answer 3: If the IP address/mask/gateway changes, it is critical that you contact Hilo to make an appointment to properly reconfigure the BMS gateway so that the link between Hilo and your BMS is maintained. This can be done remotely, with your consent, by temporarily installing a module in the BMS gateway for Hilo support managers to connect to and configure it to your requirements. By coordinating this change with those of the IT managers, the loss of communication will be shortened. You may need to call your building automation company to make changes to your BMS controllers.
Question 4: For BACnet network maintenance purposes, I need to change the address of some of the controllers on my BMS network. How can I make sure this won’t cause a breakdown in communication between the BMS gateway and my BMS?
Answer 4: If you need to change the BACnet address of the BMS gateway or some of your controllers, it is critical that you contact Hilo to make an appointment to properly reconfigure the BMS gateway so that the link between Hilo and your BMS is maintained. By coordinating this change with you, the loss of communication will be shortened. You may need to call your building automation company to make changes to your BMS controllers.
Question 5: I need to make mechanical and/or software changes to my BMS. How can I make sure this won’t cause a breakdown in communication between the BMS gateway and my BMS?
Answer 5: If you make corrections to your BMS programming, make sure that the programmer knows the nature of the changes that were made to your BMS when starting the project with Hilo so that the core of the project is not affected. If the mechanical changes are likely to change the capacity of the electrical loads connected to the Hilo project, please contact your Hilo account manager.