The multifaceted field of building automation can be divided into the functionalities for lighting and room lighting, air conditioning and ventilation, security and alarm technologies, communication and entertainment technologies, as well as the technologies for kitchen appliances that fall into the"white goods" group, namely refrigerators, ovens, washing machines etc.
These separate trades are interconnected in building automation in a cross-trade network via intelligent building functions. The aim of building automation is to save energy, reduce investment costs, increase safety and make the building more flexible with regard to further uses.
Field buses for building automation
The technical realization of building automation can take place by means of field buses, but also wirelessly with radio technologies or also over the mains voltage lines with Powerline.
The field bus systems for building automation are conceptually based on one or more field bus systems for the field level and the control level. The field bus does not necessarily have to have a bus topology, but can also have a ring topology or star topology. As a transmission medium, building buses use TP cables, the power grid with Powerline or special cables to which the field and control devices are connected directly via transceivers or via radio links. The field devices can be multi- chip modules with integrated sensors, but they can also be microwave, ultrasonic, infrared or acoustic modules. The range of sensors can detect light, gas, motion, temperature, pressure and many more. The same applies to actuators. For both groups of field devices, there are solutions based on the IP protocol, enabling external control and monitoring via the Internet.
Concepts for access and presence control
Depending on the building automation concept, access control and presence detection can be integrated into it, as well as emergency call systems and alarm systems, status control of systems, building security, telecommunication technologies, networks and infotainment. Network sizes of up to 30,000 nodes are feasible.
Well-known fieldbuses for building automation are the European Installation Bus( EIB), LON bus, BACnet, BatiBUS, M-Bus, the European Home Systems( EHS) and the Konnex bus( KNX). The different fieldbus concepts have specific advantages in commercial and administrative buildings as well as in future-oriented residential buildings. Other concepts that use the power grid itself for transmission are Powerline and Digitalstrom.
In addition to these wired systems, there are radio-based systems that operate in the ISM bands, such as ZigBee, EnOcean, Bluetooth, WiFi, Insteon and Z-Wave. Some of these systems support the Internet of Things( IoT). In this context, the IP500 Alliance standardization initiative should be mentioned, which is establishing a secure radio standard for commercial buildings and smart homes.