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EnOcean roller shutter drives – cost savings for buildings & integration into Apple HomeKit systems

11.01.2021

EnOcean is a manufacturer-independent standard for battery-free wireless sensors for home and building automation. It stands out above all due to its low energy consumption and supports the principle of energy harvesting, whereby the sensors and switches are primarily self-powered and draw their energy from the immediate environment, such as from movement, light or differences in temperature.

EnOcean drive from Becker
Becker has had a drive in its product range that “speaks” the EnOcean radio standard for some time now. A corresponding radio receiver is directly installed in the drive and can be operated with all devices and control units that support the relevant roller shutter profile. These control units are typically EnOcean wall-mounted transmitters or gateways (central interfaces). The exciting possibility here is that the drive can now also be directly programmed to take account of open window handles or smoke detectors. This makes it possible, for example, to set up a lock-out protection function, so that any automatic time-based commands are prevented if a door is open, or to automatically open and clear escape routes if the smoke alarm is triggered.

EnOcean technology is especially suitable for the prefabricated house sector and has already become an established standard for some suppliers. However, a drive for roller shutters or Venetian blinds with an integrated radio receiver had not been available in this sector up to now. The previous solution needed an external actuator that was fitted e.g. in a switch box with a line to the window. This required a huge amount of installation work and extensive pre-planning especially with respect to the prefabricated design. The EnOcean drive from Becker does not require this type of external actuator because the functional module is directly installed in the drive. By avoiding the need for the actuator and extensive cabling work, customers are able to save a considerable amount of time and money with the EnOcean drive from Becker.

Smart home automation
Naturally, the EnOcean radio module can also be integrated into a central home automation system. On the one hand, it is ideal for the mediola® system – an open-source, integrative and future-proof all-in-one smart home solution. This system offers easy installation, continuous extendibility and countless cross-brand combination options.

On the other hand, the EnOcean drive from Becker can also be integrated into the Apple HomeKit via the OPUS SmartHome Gateway from the company JÄGER DIREKT. This allows Apple users to easily integrate their roller shutter drives into their HomeKit app. The HomeKit app enables intuitive and convenient programming and control of the roller shutter functions, such as setting the automation or controlling the interplay between the roller shutters and sensors.

Gathering our own experience
When an office building at Becker was in need of renovation, the company took the opportunity to install EnOcean drives in the building. The entire building control system was set up using the OPUS range, which is operated via Apple HomeKit. Suitable periphery devices from this product range were also installed. “In order to integrate the existing awnings/Venetian blinds into the system, we used external actuators from Jäger Direkt called OPUS Bridges, while the roller shutters were fitted with our EnOcean drives. In addition, smoke detectors and components to control the lighting were also installed”, explains Daniel Wagner who oversaw the project planning. Sustainability and cost savings were very important factors in the redesign of the office building. The EnOcean system offers both of these advantages and is a modern control solution for building automation at the same time. The installed components ensure that the workplaces are perfectly shaded and lit – irrespective of whether it is summer or winter.

“The building is a sort of test lab for our own products and has also allowed us to gain even more expertise about the entire system”, adds Patrick Happ, Project Manager for EnOcean drives. It is now possible to retrofit other smart home components without any major effort because the basic installation has already been realised. The company is still planning to install sensors on the window handles to detect whether they are open or closed and also to fit radiator valves to optimise energy consumption.