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First open specification for battery-less wireless sensors

12 November 2009

The EnOcean Alliance is publishing the first global, open specification for energy harvesting wireless sensors which ensures interoperability between products of different manufacturers: EnOcean equipment profiles (EEPs). The specification, devised jointly by the members of the EnOcean Alliance, is public and accessible for anyone. It contains 50 equipment profiles supporting the development of a variety of solutions for building automation, such as switches, remote controls, sensors, sensor combinations and data of every kind. Publication of the specification is the first step taken by the EnOcean Alliance towards an international standard.
Non-proprietary communication
Interoperability is a prerequisite for enabling equipment from different manufacturers to communicate and work together in a building automation system. It calls for adherence to clearly defined rules and standards. All components must use the same data formats or protocols, for example, and these are set down in what are called profile definitions. In a system with interoperable components that work according to a profile definition, it is possible to combine a receiver from manufacturer A with a sensor from manufacturer B and a sensor from manufacturer C performing the same function. In this way you can implement non-proprietary and cross-facility, smart solutions for energy-efficient building automation.
The members of the EnOcean Alliance are currently offering some 350 different items of equipment based on EnOcean technology. All these solutions already work by firmly defined profiles, making them interoperable.
First open specification for energy harvesting wireless sensors
At present the published specification contains some 50 EEPs describing different switching functions, remote controls, sensors and combinations of sensors for temperature, brightness, motion and humidity. In addition to those for sensors, EEPs are also defined for actuators, such as switching actuators and dimmers. Further EEPs are due to be added to the specification, for example for SMART ACK, Smart Grid and Demand Response.
EnOcean equipment profiles define the functionality of EnOcean-enabled equipment independently of their manufacturer. To ensure the interoperability of all EnOcean-enabled products, every manufacturer must make a binding declaration before introducing a product that their solution meets the EnOcean Alliance specification. In other words they must be able to demonstrate that the product complies with one or more of the EEPs.
The new document is the first official specification to compile and publish the EEPs paving the way for a worldwide spread of EnOcean technology plus the development and manufacture of new types of equipment. For users, the directive means that they have an even greater selection and more implementation possibilities as a result of a growing number of products and suppliers.
Jointly devised specification
The specification was devised by the technical working group (TWG) of the EnOcean Alliance, which undertook the task of standardising EnOcean technology on the international front, and assuring the interoperability of different equipment. 
"Publication of the first specification for EnOcean sensors is extremely important for the EnOcean Alliance because it ensures continuing seamless interoperability between EnOcean-enabled equipment from different manufacturers. And it's the first step taken by the Alliance towards formal recognition as an international standard", declares Graham Martin, chairman and CEO of the EnOcean Alliance.

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