Modbus is one of the first and probably one of the most popular systems in use today for creating an intelligent system for controlling electrical devices. Developed in 1979, Modbus is a serial communications system that allows facility managers to control a number of devices from one centralized location using a series of predefined commands. This system not only allows for centralized control, but also better monitoring or device performance in order to provide more economical energy usage.
In a typical modbus system, the centralized control center, or the device the requests information is known as the Modbus Master while the peripheral equipment that sends updates to the Master are known as Modbus Slaves. Modbus networks will generally consist of one master and up to 247 slaves, each with its own unique address. Not only can the Modbus Master receive information from the slaves but can also “write” or send information to the slaves in order to elicit a response.
For example, a building’s HVAC system can be connected via a Modbus network. Various heating and cooling equipment is located throughout the building, each with a sensor that is designed to detect current conditions in any specific region. The sensors will send signals to the master control device and when conditions reach a predefined temperature, the master will send a signal to the slave to initiate the system to trigger the heater or air conditioner to turn on and bring the temperature back in line with the defined parameters.
What is it used for?
As mentioned previously, the main use for Modbus network technology is to create intelligent networks and create opportunities for energy conservation. Modbus is an open source technology, meaning that manufacturers incorporate it into their designs without having to pay royalties. Since its inception, it has quickly become the standard communications protocol for industrial equipment networking.
It is used in a variety of environments from intelligent facility management. It can also be used in networks where there is one supervisory computer and several remote work stations where information is input and then relayed back to the master.
How does it work?
Modbus is a very simple protocol that transmits and receives information over serial lines. Data is arranged in a series of ones and zeros, known in the industry as bits. Those bits are transmitted as electrical impulses or voltage along the serial lines from one device to another very quickly, up to 9600 bits per second.
What is a Modbus Meter?
Modbus meters are devices that are designed to monitor the communications between the master and slave devices in order to ensure that they are communicating effectively. The installation of Modbus meters in your network allows you to pinpoint problem areas before they become real problems and effect fixes quickly and economically. Without Modbus meters, Modbus networks simply can’t operate at their peak performance.
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