Friday, July 20, 2012

Growth trend: 300 members and 1000 interoperable products for EnOcean Alliance

With 50 percent growth in membership within one year, the EnOcean Alliance is currently undergoing the strongest growth period since its founding in 2008. Today, the independent non-profit organisation now has a membership base of 300 companies worldwide, developing innovative automation solutions for sustainable building projects. New EnOcean Alliance members include Somfy, Telefunken Smart Building, Deuta Controls, Weinzierl, Dooya, Viessmann, Waldmann, NEC, Omron, Vimar and NTT. The Alliance's core technology consists of the EnOcean batteryless wireless technology, which is based on the international standard ISO/IEC 14543-3-10. The technology has been integrated into 1000 interoperable products. In this context, smart home solutions are emerging as a new trend.

Utilising energy harvesting techniques, EnOcean's wireless technology requires neither cables nor batteries. The modules generate the energy required for transmitting a wireless signal from movement, light or temperature differences. The EnOcean Alliance represents an association of companies that implement products or system solutions using this energy harvesting wireless technology. The independent organisation aims to make buildings more energy-efficient, flexible and cost-effective with intelligent automation solutions.

The market has great potential. “In 2011, wireless sensors accounted for just over 15% of the 21 million building automation sensors shipped in the EMEA and the Americas markets combined. The number of wireless sensors is forecast to increase to over 25% of total building automation sensors in EMEA and the Americas by 2015,” states William Rhodes, Senior Market Analyst at IMS Research (recently acquired by IHS (NYSE:IHS)).

International success

With the ISO/IEC 14543-3-10 certification, EnOcean wireless technology has been ratified as an international standard. This forms a key basis for the continued development of the already very successful and quickly growing EnOcean Alliance ecosystem: the interoperability of products. Using this standard as a foundation, the EnOcean Alliance develops specifications for respective applications (EnOcean Equipment Profiles – EEPs), establishing a fully interoperable and open wireless technology that allows products to communicate with each other regardless of the manufacturer.

"The success of the EnOcean Alliance shows that we are still a long way from exhausting the application opportunities for energy harvesting wireless technology in buildings and other application fields. More and more companies worldwide are recognising the potential of this maintenance-free technology for the development of intelligent and energy-efficient solutions. The international standard and exchange opportunities within the Alliance offer the ideal platform in this regard," says Graham Martin, Chairman of the EnOcean Alliance. "In addition to the core markets in Europe and North America, we are also strongly committed to Japan and China – a region from which 25 new members joined the EnOcean Alliance within six months."

Batteryless in a smart home

Smart home systems represent a new application field for EnOcean-based solutions. The newest developments from EnOcean Alliance members include:

On-call building automation

BSC Computer GmbH offers software and hardware solutions for building automation, energy management and ambient assisted living (AAL). The control software BSC-BoSe and a sensor network, based on batteryless wireless technology, now make it possible to operate building technology using the voice control function of smartphones and tablets, allowing users to control shutters, light, heating and air-conditioning, as well as applications for ambient assisted living virtually on an on-call basis. In addition, the system also supports smart grid applications, offering encrypted communication via M2M solutions and the required hardware.

Intelligent furniture

With IQ Chair and IQ Mat, IQfy has developed two products for easier everyday living. The IQ Chair features integrated wireless technology that uses a batteryless motion sensor to control lighting, heating and ventilation based on presence. This automation function can save up to 40 percent of electricity and energy costs in offices – without any negative effects on employees' work routines. With IQ Mat, the thinking mattress, IQfy has further developed this principle. A motion sensor integrated into the mattress registers the presence of someone in the bed, and automatically controls lighting, heating or electrical devices. For example, night lighting may be triggered if the physical load on the mattress is removed during night hours. Both developments received the "Innovation Prize for Architecture and Technology" at the 2012 Light+Building, since "they make an important contribution to sustainability in architecture".

On the "MilkyWay"

Idea SpA (Gruppo Giordano) brings the smart home in a box: The MilkyWay starter kits ClimeBUDDY and eNRGmate contain all plug & play components for the automated control and monitoring of heating and air-conditioning, including visualisation, also via smartphones and tablets. Thanks to EnOcean wireless technology, all sensors and actuators can be flexibly mounted inside the house. In addition, the MilkyWay system is also ready for integration into future smart grid applications.

About EnOcean Alliance

Leading companies worldwide from the building sector collected to form the EnOcean Alliance and establish innovative automation solutions for sustainable building projects – and so to make buildings more energy-efficient, more flexible and lower in cost. The core technology of the Alliance is energy harvesting wireless technology for flexibly positioned and service-free sensor solutions. The EnOcean Alliance aims to internationalise the energy harvesting wireless technology, and is dedicated to creating interoperability between the products of OEM partners. Basis for this is the international standard ISO/IEC 14543-3-10, which is optimised for wireless solutions with ultra-low power consumption and energy harvesting. 300 companies currently belong to the EnOcean Alliance. The headquarters of the non-profit organisation is located in San Ramon, California.


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