HVAC Breaking News

May 19, 2011: EnOcean Alliance Now Supports IP-Based Wireless Energy Harvesting Sensors and Controls

May 19, 2011
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SAN RAMON, Calif. - The EnOcean Alliance, a consortium of companies working to standardize energy harvesting wireless technology for green intelligent buildings, announced that its wireless, battery-less energy harvesting sensors and associated control systems are now fully interoperable with TCP/IP. The alliance said it has responded to increasing customer demand to manage and monitor building automation controls over IP networks, enabling building owners to fully leverage the flexibility of IP technologies that offer interoperability and convergence advantages to more effectively manage their facilities’ energy consumption.

By establishing TCP/IP interoperability with its wireless, battery-less enabled end-devices and their associated IP-based control systems, the EnOcean Alliance said it offers a complete building management solution for maximum energy and operational efficiency. Building owners and facility managers can now monitor, manage, and control these systems centrally and from any web-enabled device, from anywhere in the world.

“This trend to centralize and converge building energy management is key, given the fact that only 5 percent of small and medium-sized buildings (100,000 square feet or less) are equipped with a building management system,” said Kirsten West, principal analyst at West Technology Research. “Small and medium-sized facilities account for 98 percent of all buildings and 65 percent of floor space, making this segment the largest underserved market in the industry by far. That’s why the ability to populate a facility with sensors that can communicate over TCP/IP to a centralized building automation system is key to this greenfield market segment.”

Small-to-medium sized buildings are seldom equipped with building automation systems because of the relatively high upfront costs and longer payback periods, noted the alliance. Upfront, fixed costs, such as software and dedicated servers, are proportionally more burdensome for smaller installations. In contrast, IP and web-based solutions offer an alternative to these hurdles either through more cost-effective building management systems or more mobile and accessible interfaces. Variable costs incurred by labor have also limited the penetration rate of building automation systems, making IP-based sensor and control technologies more attractive. EnOcean Alliance-based wireless technologies can greatly reduce labor costs related to wiring, including opening and closing walls to connect and network devices together.

With the U.S. smart grid adopting IP to interconnect smart energy components such as smart meters and thermostats, which could amount to 300-500 million devices, said the alliance, the potential market opportunities are considerable.

More than 170 companies currently belong to the EnOcean Alliance. For more information, visit www.enocean-alliance.org/en/.

Publication date: 05/16/2011

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