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Battery Free Wireless Light Switches


April 14, 2005

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April 15, 2005 - EnOcean, a company focussed on energy-harvesting wireless sensor solutions, introduced a battery free, wireless switch at Lightfair International 2005 this week in New York. EnOcean’s switches are unique in combining two advanced technologies. First, they scavenge minute amounts of energy when a light switch is pressed, then, that energy is used to rapidly transmit high power RF signals (up to 10mW power output) to wirelessly control lighting.

‘EnOcean-enabled’ switches are an excellent alternative to the traditional wired switch as they are designed to last equally long but require no maintenance and no wiring, not even a box in the wall behind the switch.

“EnOcean is poised to build value not only in our initial building automation markets but also to address additional industry opportunities,” says Markus Brehler, CEO of EnOcean. “The addressable market for building automation alone is well above $2 Billion.” Detlef Kurras, Head of Electronics/IT for Obermeyer P&B;, stated “As planning engineers, we aim to take account of the entire life cycle of a building.

A radio system like that offered by EnOcean gives us maximum flexibility when accommodating individual tenants’ requirements. This installation structure is extremely useful, particularly when there is a change of tenant.”

An EnOcean-enabled lighting system is comprised of battery-less wireless switches & dimmers (PTM200) and receivers (RCM 120) that are integrated into lights or controllers and signal repeaters (TCM120) to span larger facilities. The EnOcean system eliminates the need to run cable from the switch to the light or controller.

This enhances flexibility, reduces electrical contractor installation time and costs, and facilitates convenient switch location regardless of building construction e.g. log homes, marble entryways, etc. One can locate switches on virtually any surface including glass, stone or wood with convenient double sided tape. When coupled with EnOcean wireless temperature sensors, architects and developers can flexibly relocate interior walls without costly, intrusive rewiring. EnOcean switches support dimming applications as well as control of window shades and blinds.

In addition, EnOcean systems are simple to configure, and reconfigure, by pressing a Learn button on the receiver. One switch can control one or multiple lights, and multiple switches can control one light. The wireless signals avoid the crowded 2.4 GHz frequency resulting in less interference and reliable performance. Each button press initiates multiple telegrams to further enhance reliability. Combining unique IDs, rapid transmissions and multiple broadcasts, EnOcean switches can be deployed in high density applications. Facilities with over 500 co-located switches are operating successfully.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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