BACnet Driver Configuration

Communicating with BACnet devices requires that the BACnet Proxy Agent is configured and running. All device communication happens through this agent.


There are nine arguments for the “driver_config” section of the device configuration file:

  • device_address - Address of the device. If the target device is behind an IP to MS/TP router then Remote Station addressing will probably be needed for the driver to find the device.
  • device_id - BACnet ID of the device. Used to establish a route to the device at startup.
  • min_priority - (Optional) Minimum priority value allowed for this device whether specifying the priority manually or via the registry config. Violating this parameter either in the configuration or when writing to the point will result in an error. Defaults to 8.
  • max_per_request - (Optional) Configure driver to manually segment read requests. The driver will only grab up to the number of objects specified in this setting at most per request. This setting is primarily for scraping many points off of low resource devices that do not support segmentation. Defaults to 10000.
  • proxy_address - (Optional) VIP address of the BACnet proxy. Defaults to “platform.bacnet_proxy”. See Communicating With Multiple BACnet Networks for details. Unless your BACnet network has special needs you should not change this value.
  • ping_retry_interval - (Optional) The driver will ping the device to establish a route at startup. If the BACnet proxy is not available the driver will retry the ping at this interval until it succeeds. Defaults to 5.
  • use_read_multiple - (Optional) During a scrape the driver will tell the proxy to use a ReadPropertyMultipleRequest to get data from the device. Otherwise the proxy will use multiple ReadPropertyRequest calls. If the BACnet proxy is reporting a device is rejecting requests try changing this to false for that device. Be aware that setting this to false will cause scrapes for that device to take much longer. Only change if needed. Defaults to true.
  • cov_lifetime - (Optional) When a device establishes a change of value subscription for a point, this argument will be used to determine the lifetime and renewal period for the subscription, in seconds. Defaults to 180. (Added to Master Driver version 3.2)

Here is an example device configuration file:

    "driver_config": {"device_address": "",
                      "device_id": 500,
                      "min_priority": 10,
                      "max_per_request": 24
    "driver_type": "bacnet",
    "interval": 5,
    "timezone": "UTC",
    "heart_beat_point": "heartbeat"

A sample BACnet configuration file can be found here or in the VOLTTRON repository in examples/configurations/drivers/bacnet1.config

BACnet Registry Configuration File

The registry configuration file is a CSV file. Each row configures a point on the device.

Most of the configuration file can be generated with the utility in scripts/bacnet. See BACnet-Auto-Configuration.

Currently, the driver provides no method to access array type properties even if the members of the array are of a supported type.

The following columns are required for each row:

  • Volttron Point Name - The name by which the platform and agents running on the platform will refer to this point. For instance, if the Volttron Point Name is HeatCall1 (and using the example device configuration above) then an agent would use “pnnl/isb2/hvac1/HeatCall1” to refer to the point when using the RPC interface of the actuator agent.

  • Units - Used for meta data when creating point information on the historian.

  • BACnet Object Type - A string representing what kind of BACnet standard object the point belongs to. Examples include:

    • analogInput
    • analogOutput
    • analogValue
    • binaryInput
    • binaryOutput
    • binaryValue
    • multiStateValue
  • Property - A string representing the name of the property belonging to the object. Usually, this will be “presentValue”.

  • Writable - Either “TRUE” or “FALSE”. Determines if the point can be written to. Only points labeled TRUE can be written to through the ActuatorAgent. Points labeled “TRUE” incorrectly will cause an error to be returned when an agent attempts to write to the point.

  • Index - Object ID of the BACnet object.

The following columns are optional:

  • Write Priority - BACnet priority for writing to this point. Valid values are 1-16. Missing this column or leaving the column blank will use the default priority of 16.
  • COV Flag - Either “True” or False”. Determines if a BACnet Change of Value subscription should be established for this point. Missing this column or leaving the column blank will result in no change of value subscriptions being established. (Added to Master Driver version 3.2)

Any additional columns will be ignored. It is common practice to include a Point Name or Reference Point Name to include the device documentation’s name for the point and Notes and Unit Details” for additional information about a point.

Point Name Volttron Point Name Units Unit Details BACnet Object Type Property Writable Index Notes
Building/FCB.Local Application.PH-T PreheatTemperature degreesFahrenheit -50.00 to 250.00 analogInput presentValue FALSE 3000119 Resolution: 0.1
Building/FCB.Local Application.RA-T ReturnAirTemperature degreesFahrenheit -50.00 to 250.00 analogInput presentValue FALSE 3000120 Resolution: 0.1
Building/FCB.Local Application.RA-H ReturnAirHumidity percentRelativeHumidity 0.00 to 100.00 analogInput presentValue FALSE 3000124 Resolution: 0.1
Building/FCB.Local Application.CLG-O CoolingValveOutputCommand percent 0.00 to 100.00 (default 0.0) analogOutput presentValue TRUE 3000107 Resolution: 0.1
Building/FCB.Local Application.MAD-O MixedAirDamperOutputCommand percent 0.00 to 100.00 (default 0.0) analogOutput presentValue TRUE 3000110 Resolution: 0.1
Building/FCB.Local Application.PH-O PreheatValveOutputCommand percent 0.00 to 100.00 (default 0.0) analogOutput presentValue TRUE 3000111 Resolution: 0.1
Building/FCB.Local Application.RH-O ReheatValveOutputCommand percent 0.00 to 100.00 (default 0.0) analogOutput presentValue TRUE 3000112 Resolution: 0.1
Building/FCB.Local Application.SF-O SupplyFanSpeedOutputCommand percent 0.00 to 100.00 (default 0.0) analogOutput presentValue TRUE 3000113 Resolution: 0.1

A sample BACnet registry file can be found here or in the VOLTTRON repository in examples/configurations/drivers/bacnet.csv