BEMCom: A Framework for the Efficient Creation of Hardware Abstraction Layers for Building Energy Management

David Wölfle (FZI Research Center for Information Technology); Manuel Lösch (FZI Research Center for Information Technology); Hartmut Schmeck (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology)


This note aims at supporting research on Building Energy Management (BEM), which addresses the active optimization of energy consumption patterns of buildings. For the practical evaluation of BEM algorithms, communication with devices in the building is required. Therefore, it is common to set up a Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL), i.e. a software that is able to interact with the devices, but also provides a unified interface for external components like optimization algorithms. However, implementing HAL applications often causes a significant effort using state of the art software, especially if the encountered devices make it necessary to develop custom software components to establish communication. In this paper we present the BEMCom framework as an alternative. BEMCom leverages a service oriented architecture (SOA) which enables the creation of applications with minimal effort by simple combination of services. This also allows the efficient development of new services that can reuse arbitrary existing software components. Furthermore, the SOA approach makes the created HAL applications easy to comprehend and supports stable operation. Alongside this paper, we release our implementation of BEMCom as open source, providing extensive documentation and ready-to-use services for the efficient creation of HALs.