Wireless home control

26 August 2008

A home construction company is incorporating wireless technology into its designs.

WeberHaus, a German-based eco construction company, is implementing new installation concepts in sustainable homes using EnOcean wireless sensor technology.

The construction company is offering four home automation models that can be combined to match specific self-build specifications and requirements. These include single room and central control of lighting, under floor heating, blinds and window monitoring, door entry security, and central monitoring.

The EnOcean-enabled system of heating control consists of solar powered sensors that constantly gauge room temperature through an individually positioned thermostat, which sends commands to a receiver on the heating circuit distributor. No maintenance of these is required as the sensors are powered by solar cells and the energy accumulator is scaled for 60 hours. Room temperature control can also be combined with the supervision of windows so that the heating is regulated appropriately if windows are open. This level of monitoring takes the form of window handles featuring integrated transmitter modules that send a signal to the monitoring centre when they are opened or closed.

The door entry phone is the central monitoring and control system for home lighting, blinds, windows and doors. Functions include an indoor and outdoor communication station with voice or video, all lighting on/off via a central switch, central or group blind open/close, and door/window status. The system has an integrated display with 10 LEDs and push buttons, which can be extended to 30, and all functions are programmable. This, claims the company, means complete, central control of the home network at a glance. The electrical systems’ automation model monitors and controls all the blinds, lighting and heating, as well as energy-efficiency, comfort and security functions.

The comfort function includes an automatic timer module for control of blinds and lighting; useful for imitating occupancy whilst absent. Extra handheld remote controls are available, and switches can be mounted anywhere, allowing for flexible room configuration and retrofit without drilling or cabling.

By doing away with batteries and wires, the result is an energy efficient and economic system. Despite the arguments cited against wireless technology (such as the radiation produced), EnOcean claims that the short transmission times of its radios offer an advantage. It states that the Ecolog Institute found that the high-frequency fields produced by self-powered EnOcean switches was one hundred times weaker than those of conventional switches. This means that the radiation pulse (electrosmog) dissolves in the air and low-frequency (50/60Hz) electromagnetic emissions are also reduced.

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