Home automation (domotics) is an interdisciplinary science that studies building automation techniques. This term identifies the integration of technologies that allow a series of operations to be automated within a building, with the aim of increasing comfort, security, giving greater control over energy saving and simplifying day-to-day activities in a fast and intuitive way that is available for everyone.
The great advantage of this “intelligent methodology” lies in the ability to control all the various subsystems through the use of the so-called communication bus.
Thanks to the remote control over the Internet, even when you are away, you can make sure everything is under control and safe, by “questioning” your home about the status of all the elements that make it, or by requiring to perform a remote action.
The home automation system optimizes the management, performance and energy efficiency of the following subsystems:
- winter and summer air conditioning;;
- mechanical ventilation;
- lighting and handling of electric loads;
- command of motorized devices;
- control of environmental parameters;
- access control;
- management of audio and video plants;
- alarm management and building security.
Specifically for Active Houses, Home Automation is intended as an intuitive system for building management and monitoring, and it is an important factor in achieving and maintaining the goals of efficiency and environmental comfort.
Nowadays, the most widely used approach, uses the open protocol KNX (Konnex) that does not depend on the proprietary protocol of the system builder/vendor and is based on a distributed bus/ device distributed system, that ensures scalability, reliability, versatility and fast adaptability to new realities.
KNX is the standard of automation for residential and commercial buildings, approved according to EN50090 – EN 13321-1 and ISO / IEC 14543, and is the only international standard for Building Automation and Domotics approved all over the world.
This is a unified and open platform capable of ensuring the interoperability and the integrated operation of certified devices, regardless of the type of manufacturer.
A single software module called ETS (Engineering Tool Software) handles all the steps: planning, designing, installing KNX certified devices.
KNX is a globally recognized system, used in most installations.
This ensures a widespread support network that can provide optimal designs and maintenance operations anywhere in the world.
In 2002, the European Union issued Directive 2002/91 / EC on energy efficiency of buildings, which was updated in 2010 with the EPBD Directive 2010/31 / EU, which, in accordance with the Kyoto Protocol. It aims at reducing energy consumption and pollution.
With regard to buildings, the resulting energy consumption is 40% of the total. Consequently, considering consumption constraints, the European standard EN 15232 “Building energy performance: the incidence of automation, regulation and technical management of buildings” was deployed in 2007; it allows a comprehensive evaluation of the effect of automation and technical management on energy consumption in a building.
Currently, the use of automation systems within residential and commercial buildings is constantly evolving, boosted by tangible benefits in terms of energy savings.
The European standard is in the direction of establishing Conventions and Methods for an estimate of the impact of the automation on building and management systems (Building Automation Control System – BACS) and of the technical management of buildings (Technical Building Management – TBM) on energy performances and on the use of energy in buildings.
For this purpose have been introduced four efficiency classes for Building Automation Control (BAC) systems, identified by A to D:
- A: high efficiency ie Building Control and Automation System (BACS) and Technical Performance Management (TBM) with high energy savings;
- B: advanced automation ie advanced BACS and TBM;
- C: standard automation ie BACS in the standard;
- D: without automationovvero ie BACS that are not efficient at energy level.
A building, depending on its automation system and installed control, is assigned to one of these classes. Potential savings of thermal and electrical energy can be calculated for each class based on the type of building and its use.
As an example of home automation for energy efficiency, we consider the design of solar (time and season) control. It is entrusted to a sunblind system that is controlled by KNX actuators exploiting a schedule that regulates solar inputs according to the hour, the month, the orientation and input from radiation, temperature, illumination sensors.
Recent regulations (such as BACS UNI EN15232) confirm that the use of home automation improves the efficiency of the building up to 26% for heating/cooling and up to 16% for the use of electricity.
The further integration of renewable energy technologies (photovoltaic, solar thermal, geothermal) in KNX, enables intuitive management and supervision through smart phones.
Home automation also allows continuous monitoring of the building with alarm messages when occupant behavior is not virtuous or when there are anomalies in the operation of the equipment that compromise the efficiency of the set.
ZEB is able to provide you with the ideal tool to shape the building’s behavior according to your specific needs, adapting itself to the lifestyle you most enjoy.
ZEB makes you talk to your smart home!
Yes, that’s right!
You can give voice commands and ask for information verbally.