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KNX and building energy efficiency: a major standard on the market

3/24/2017
The construction business, after having suffered the effects of the heavy economic crisis of the real estate market over the past years, is now slowly recovering and adapting to people’s new demands about energy efficiency, safety and comfort.

The use of technology in renovations allows creating of a new value for buildings, thus raising their revenue. Moreover, thanks to smart automation systems it is now possible to keep a building’s management costs down over time.

We are witnessing a growth in demand of energy redevelopment of buildings, both for renovations (thanks to Ecobonuses and tax incentives) and new constructions, making them more attractive to buyers.

Engineers and designers are called to hold a key role in selecting protocols and standards for an automated and decentralized management of technical plants. In fact, a standard not only accelerates the diffusion of technology in a building, but also simplifies the creation of an integrated system and lowers its costs because it facilitates the whole technical activity for the integration of different systems such as lighting, temperature control, safety, etc.

KNX designers are already one step ahead because KNX products and systems can be used in every house and building control applications and functions: from lighting to blind control, from safety to heating monitoring, from ventilation to air conditioning, from water an alarm control to energy monitoring, etc.

Today, KNX is a global standard, open and compliant to the main European and international rules, and allows the automated and decentralized management of a broad range of technical plants: commercial buildings, industries, offices, houses, public premises, schools and many more.

KNX improves comfort and security and strongly participates in energy saving (up to 50% for lighting and heating control) and environmental impact reduction. Besides, it can be implemented in both new and existing buildings, no matter their size. All KNX installations can be easily extended and adapted depending on new demands, in a short time and with low costs.

A case study
The use of EK-HE1-TP, an Ekinex® product for temperature control, allows a management of temperature in every zone and/or room of a house. Having a different temperature for each zone allows achieving the desired comfort conditions, by splitting the house into different climatic zones according to their destination of use, hours, orientation and solar irradiation, in order to raise the building’s thermal isolation. Moreover, managing a temperature with scenes allows an optimization of consumptions and a significant energy saving.

The use of EK-FE1-TP actuators innovates and widens the usual operation of blinds, venetians and curtains. From simple elements for privacy and external finishing, these devices become the main actors for a better, more coordinated building management. During summer they block solar irradiation coming from glass surfaces, thus reducing the amount of thermal load to be removed by air conditioning. During winter they can work the opposite way, enabling sun rays to come in, thus heating the environment for free.

In combination with the information coming from a connected weather station, the home automation system can bring all shadowing systems in safety position when rain is approaching, or block the direct sun irradiation on a single side of the building in order to avoid glare and allowing a more comfortable view of PC and TV screens.

Ekinex® products for KNX applications
Ekinex® are developed and produced according to KNX standard; its catalog includes all kinds of devices for building automation applications: wall mounting devices, system devices, simple on/off actuators, blinds and dimmers, dedicated actuators for temperature control and a series of gateways and meters. All controls and functions can be remotely accessed thanks to Ekinex® Delégo supervision system.

Ekinex® wall mounting devices can be selected between two different series, FF and ’71, both of them including pushbuttons, thermostats, touchscreen multifunction panels designed to fulfil every application demands. Plates and frames, compatible with the most common civilian series on the market, complete the product range and allow the aesthetic conformation of all junction and command boxes.

Ekinex® offer also includes system devices such as bus line couplers or interfaces between KNX and devices equipped with an USB port. These devices are useful to build an efficient communication structure and allow integrating the system in different environments. Ekinex® actuators for panel mounting are able to command and control the intensity of lighting devices as well as the position of motorized actuators.

Ekinex® temperature control products are grouped into fancoil, electrothermal actuator and mixing group controllers. Fancoil controllers are KNX devices acting as actuators or both actuators and temperature regulators for air terminals such as fans, convectors and fancoils. Ekinex® products for controlling electrothermal actuators and/or zone valve servomotors can be also installed on distribution collectors in radiant systems or radiators.

The mixing group controller regulates the supply temperature of the heating fluid with selectable regulation modes, separately for heating and cooling. Ekinex® gateways provide the data exchange between one or more devices with different communication protocols such as ModBus, Bacnet, M-bus and Profinet.
Ekinex® has also designed gateways for lighting control protocols such as DMX and DALI.

Ekinex® metering products include energy meters, communication modules and network analyzers. Energy meters are used to measure energy in industrial and civilian environments; they is available with MID certificate and, besides energy, they can measure the main electrical parameters and make them available on their KNX port. Communication modules allow collecting and transmitting to a remote station all the values measured by connected meters. Network analyzers measure and store the electrical parameters.

The Ekinex® catalog also includes wall mounting motion sensors and ceiling mounting motion/presence sensors. These products allow the automatization of lights or controlling the temperature of an environment, thus making the building more energy efficient.

Delégo supervision system
Delégo is a system which allows control and supervision of a KNX home automation system from mobile devices (smartphones) running Apple iOS or Android. The system is based on a dedicated hardware platform loaded with a simple and intuitive configuration web interface. Through this interface it is possible to perform a system setup in few minutes, by directly importing the project made with ETS: once importing is done, the user can start to control and monitor the home automation functions of the Delégo application.
Available functions are: lighting, motorized blinds, temperature control, scenes, video-surveillance, remote controls, anti-intrusion, metering.