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EETE SEPTEMBER 2012

The technology, now part of the ISO/IEC 14543-3-10 standard, has been integrated into 1000 interoperable products so far with smart home solutions emerging as a new trend. “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,” said William Rhodes, Senior Market Analyst at IHS IMS Research. “The success of the EnOcean Alliance shows that we are still a long way from exhausting the application opportunities for en- ergy harvesting wireless technology in buildings and other ap- plication fields,” said Graham Martin, chairman of the EnOcean Alliance. “More and more companies worldwide are recognising the potential of this maintenance-free technology for the devel- opment of intelligent and energy-efficient solutions.” German system developer IQfy has developed two smart home systems using energy harvesting. 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, a motion sensor integrated into a mattress registers the presence of someone in the bed, and automatically controls lighting, heat- ing or electrical devices. For example, night lighting may be triggered if the physical load on the mattress is removed during night hours. This week in Birmingham, UK, Ecologix Controls is demon- strating its latest energy harvesting CO2, temperature and hu- midity sensor alongside its Eco-Sphere Energy Manager to help streamline the operational costs of buildings, while leading UK Fig. 2: Using energy harvesting in a bus bell push from BMAC. switch supplier MK Electric is using the EnOcean technology to place switches anywhere without having to worry about wiring. Battery powered push buttons also prove inadequate as they Its Echo range of energy harvesting wireless switches make require routine replacement, regular maintenance and have a use of the energy generated by slight changes in pressure, light negative impact on the environment, especially in their waste levels or temperature. cycle,” says Andy Overend, Sales Manager at BMAC. “With the batteryless wireless technology we have developed a totally electro mechanical Wireless Bell Push system – solving all these problems.” Other technology suppliers are also focussing on energy harvesting for its lower costs and long lifetime. Silicon Labs has integrated DC-DC converters into its 8-bit wireless microcon- trollers, simplifying energy harvesting system development. “Energy harvesting technology has grown quite popular and is expected to become even more prevalent in the coming years for the many benefits it provides to embedded system designs,” said Farris Bar, Senior Applications Engineer at Silicon Laboratories. “Properly designed energy harvesting systems are capable of operating perpetually once they overcome the initial power-on reset. With careful system design, the lifespan of energy harvesting systems can be extended to more than 20 years.” The company’s recent acquisition of Ember provides 32-bit microcontroller and Zigbee wireless expertise through a team in Cambridge, UK. This will form the base of a 32-bit wireless capability that can be powered by energy harvesting sensors. BMAC used modules from German energy harvesting spe- cialist EnOcean, which opened up its technology in an open standard earlier in the year. This has boosted the EnOcean Alliance to around 300 members, adding companies such as Table 1: International Energy Efficiency Scorecard by the Somfy, Telefunken Smart Building, Deuta Controls, Weinzierl, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). Dooya, Viessmann, Waldmann, NEC, Omron, Vimar and NTT. www.electronics-eetimes.com Electronic Engineering Times Europe September 2012 27


EETE SEPTEMBER 2012
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