Wireless bus systems

As a rule, wired bus systems are installed in new buildings, whereas wireless systems are better suited for rehabilitation measures or retrofitting. With wireless bus systems, no separate bus line has to be laid. Sensors, actuators and the like can work on battery supply; hence, no wiring is needed. Besides the EIB wireless bus system and the Vaitronik system (Harke, 2004), there are several other wireless bus systems being offered by various manufacturers. All systems use the frequency range between 868 MHz and 870 MHz.

The EIB wireless system conforms with the wired EIB bus system. Accordingly, planning and operation do not differ from the system described above. Either an EIB bus may consist of a wireless network only, or it may comprise both a wireless system and a cabled system. The free-field transmis

Source: J. Reiss, Fraunhofer Institut für Bauphysik, Stuttgart

Figure 15.2.6 Configuration of an area line sion distance is 300 m. Inside a building, the transmission depends on the given structural conditions. The bus system may be extended by means of a repeater, so the size of the building will actually not be a restriction.

Heating regulation and control is but one priority of the Vaitronik system; it is also possible to control louvers and blinds, lighting, etc.

15.2.4 EIB Powerline

The EIB Powerline system uses the 230 V supply network as the transmission medium (EIBA, 1998). Laying separate bus lines is not necessary. All EIB Powerline appliances only require the connection of the outer conductor and of the neutral conductor. With power line data transmission, the 50 Hz power frequency is superimposed on a low voltage with a higher frequency. At the point of reception, this voltage will be separated from the mains voltage again. The Powerline data transmission is applied in existing facilities or in buildings where additional cabling is either impossible or undesired.

15.2.5 Development tendencies of existing bus systems

As early as 1996, the three European organizations Batibus Club International (BCI), European Installation Bus Association (EIBA) and European Home Systems Association (EHSA) launched the 'convergence process', with the intention of finding a common standard for building automation applications in the commercial building and residential building markets.

In 1999, nine major European companies leading in the sectors of electro-technology and building management signed the statutes of the new organization. Founding members of the Konnex Association are Bosch Telecom GmbH; DeltaDore SA; Elektricité de France; Elektrolux AB; Hager Holding GmbH; Merten GmbH & Co KG; Siemens AG Division Automation and Drives ET and Siemens Building Technology LtD, Landis and Staefa Division.

It is the aim of this new organization to concentrate the experience gained so far regarding the three existing European bus standards into one single standard for home and building automation.

On 15 May 2000, the name and the logo of the Konnex Association were finally fixed at Brussels. This was the official kick-off for the new building automation standard.

The Konnex Association is the head of an organization comprising manufacturers, service providers (telecommunication companies) and other interested partners. Members of affiliations of the Batibus Club International, of the European Installation Bus Association and the European Home Systems Association joined together to form a new organization.

European Home Systems Association (EHSA)

The European Home Systems Association is based on European Home Systems (EHS) specification EHS 1.3, which contains various types of media for the transport of data, energy and information. Currently, the most widely used systems are power line carrier (PLC) via the 230 V network, at a data transmission rate of 2.4 kbps (free topology) and TP (twisted pair), at 15 VDC, 48 kbps (CSMA/CA, free topology).

Electronic devices (grey goods, such as TVs/videos, DVD players and multimedia devices) and domestic appliances (white goods, such as electric ranges, washing machines, etc) are to be equipped with this technology. Configuration is to be done via 'plug and play'.

Batibus Club International (BCI)

In 1989, the BCI was founded as a registered trademark society. Today, BCI has approximately 100 partners who specialize in the fields of energy management; security; access control; heating technology; department store management; lighting; information and communication technology; surveillance/monitoring software; and systems engineering. By implementing 10,000 projects all over the world and by installing more than 1,500,000 Batibus connections, BCI could acquire comprehen sive experience in the field of building systems engineering. Based on this experience, BCI was able to develop a cost-efficient point of communication for twisted pair networks.

Within the framework of 'convergence', the following seven stages of standardization were developed:

1 choice of transmission media;

2 installation rules defined by CENELEC (European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization, www.cenelec.org)

3 communications protocol supported by all members;

4 the application connection module;

5 specifications of three types of configuration for electricians and installers, fitters and plumbers;

6 compatibility of products manufactured by different companies; and

7 database containing certified products.

In this way, the best features of different bus systems were combined into one common bus system:

• multiple support (twisted pair, power line, high-frequency cable, infrared);

• three types of configuration; and

• multidisciplinary systems.

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