Department of Defence - Regional Utilities Management System

Department of Defence

Regional Utilities Management System

VRT, in conjunction with Citect and meter manufacturer EDMI, have recently completed the first phase of the major Regional Utilities Management System (RUMS) for the Australian Department of Defence. This system covers the major South Queensland bases of Enoggera, Amberley and Oakey, and will be a major contributor to Defences Greenhouse Gas Emission objectives in the coming years.


At an International conference on the global environment held in Kyoto, Japan in 1997, Australia, along with a number of other countries, drafted what has become known as the Kyoto Protocol. While Australia has yet to ratify this Protocol, the Federal Government has committed over $1Bn to meeting its objectives of limiting greenhouse gas emissions. A number of initiatives involving both government and private organisation have since been spawned to help meet the new targets.

The Australian Greenhouse Office was established by the Federal Government in 1998 to facilitate and manage greenhouse gas reduction activities. One of its initiatives is the creation of the Greenhouse Challenge - a joint voluntary venture between the National Government and industries to abate Greenhouse Gas Emissions.

The Department of Defence is responsible for 54% of all energy consumed directly by the Federal Government. Consequently the Department of Defence was an obvious candidate to join the Greenhouse Challenge. In addition, the South Queensland region accounts for 10% of Defence energy usage, thereby underlining the importance of this first phase of the RUMS project to the overall greenhouse commitment.

Project Scope

Three bases in South Queensland have cooperated to provide a multi-site Regional Utility Management System (RUMS). This is being provided under the umbrella of a larger Defence project, Defence Energy Efficiency Program (DEEP). The three South Queensland sites are Enoggera, Amberley and Oakey, representing all Defence divisions. Resolve FM is the facilities management organisation responsible for managing the facilities on all three sites. Resolve FM are also managing the contract to design and install this RUMS System. A partnership between EDMI, metering specialists, and VRT, industrial systems integrators, was successful in the tender to supply this system. While this system must be successful and deliver benefits in its own right, it is also being installed as a prototype. Longer term plans include the extension of this system to other Defence Force bases in Australia and overseas.

System Functionality The RUMS systems will integrate and augment existing BMS and load control systems. In addition, new EDMI Genius Mark6 Smart meters will be installed in most sub-stations on all three sites. Citect's new Citect-Facilities version of their SCADA software will be responsible for:

  • Data acquisition and storage of data from electrical meters and BMS systems.
  • Execution of scheduled load control.
  • Centralised and remote monitoring of all status information.
  • Generation of alerts.

The business applications have been developed in the Microsoft SQL Server environment. Functions include:

Data acquisition and historisation.

  • Load profiles.
  • Energy accounting.
  • Cost centre allocation.
  • Tariff management.
  • Greenhouse gas reporting.

All of these features will be available via an intranet facility. The diagram below provides an overall schematic of the architecture of this system. Site energy managers have access to their own site specific data via the local Citect- Facilities server or via intranet access to the central RUMS server located at Enoggera. The Enoggera based energy and facilities managers have access to all data from all sites. The system is intended to focus initially on electrical energy, but has been designed for extension to all types of utilities such as gas, water, etc. The architecture of the system has been designed in a scalable manner to accommodate future sites, either as additions to the Enoggera hub or as new regional hubs. An upper layer master supervisory system could also be installed above the regional hubs.

Expected Benefits

  • Establish a baseline measurement of present performance.
  • Greenhouse gas reductions. (Targeting annual reductions of 1,200 tonnes of CO2 p.a.).
  • Considerable cost savings.
  • Accurate basis for reporting and benchmarking.Improved management visibility and accountability.
  • Integrated UMS/BMS will provide improved event management.
  • Suitable platform for possible participation in a future emissions trading scheme.Improved awareness of Greenhouse gas issues and personal contribution to reductions.
  • Provide an infrastructure to facilitate additional benefits from monitoring the electrical distribution network at a lower incremental cost.
  • Provides a set of monitoring, control and reporting tools suitable for large industrial and commercial establishments to further help Australia meet Kyoto Protocol targets.