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Systems for sustainable buildings

01 July 2008

The EnOcean Alliance has been formed with the aim of standardising wireless sensor systems for sustainable buildings. Major international companies have united to create a broad range of interoperable wireless monitoring and control products

A group of key companies across Europe and North America have united to form the EnOcean Alliance with the mission to enable intelligent green buildings based on EnOcean energy harvesting wireless technology. The Alliance chose the light + building show in Messe Frankfurt, held in April this year, as the platform for the official launch. Founding promoters include Distech, MK Electric, EnOcean, Masco, Omnio and Thermokon. Additional member companies are joining from over 70 product partners currently deploying EnOcean enabled products.

The foundation of the EnOcean Alliance addresses the demand in today’s environment for a wireless eco-system that combines a broad range of interoperable, flexible and uncomplicated monitoring and control products for use in and around residential, commercial and industrial buildings. In wireless building automation EnOcean self-powered wireless technology is thought to have the largest installed base worldwide - with over 70 shipping customers, 300 available products, and tens of thousands of equipped buildings, many with thousands of interoperable nodes.

The potential for sustainable wireless communications is enormous. For facility managers and property developers, low power wireless technology is not only energy efficient but also reduces cabling, saves installation time and cost, removes the need for batteries, eliminates maintenance and provides unlimited freedom and flexibility.

To further develop EnOcean technology, the Alliance will focus on formalising the specifications for the interoperability of the sensor profiles for the wireless products operating in unlicensed frequency bands, and subsequently ratify as an international standard. The Alliance has three membership classes:

* Promoters - innovators and key players who will lead, define and drive the Alliance

* Participants - companies and suppliers providing product and services using the Alliance technology

* Associate Members - building professionals, academics and smaller distribution partners interested in the technology, advancements, examples, training and so on.

"The EnOcean Alliance will provide significant advantages to members through the use of future-oriented maintenance-free wireless monitoring and control technology," says EnOcean Alliance founder, Graham Martin. "Building professionals benefit from unlimited flexibility by allowing selection of a broad base of interoperable products thus enabling simple, speedy and cost-attractive adaptation to changing requirements."

The technology
EnOcean’s simple yet intelligent, self-powered wireless sensors are powered by energy drawn from movement, light or even changes in temperature rather than batteries. This harvested energy is used for transmitting sensor data over a distance of up to 30m within a building to control lighting, blinds, heating or air conditioning without the need for cabling. In addition to its eco-friendliness, the technology is easily installed and maintenance-free, ensuring complete flexibility at the lowest investment and operational cost for sustainable buildings.

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