Building automation designates the entirety of all monitoring, control, regulation and optimisation devices in buildings. The objective of building automation is to implement a comprehensive, automatic system capable of realising predefined setpoint values (timer/limit values) and to simplify their central operation or monitoring. All sensors, actuators, control circuit elements, loads and other components in the building are networked to one another. An important feature of modern building automation are the distributed control units as well as the continuous, open networking of a standard building fieldbus system such as KNX, LON, BACnet and increasingly even Ethernet.
Fieldbus systems for buildings
KNX describes how distributed control units, sensors and actuators can be interconnected via a bus system in the building installation. The KNX bus has been conceived as the successor to the EIB, BatiBUS and EHS bus systems. KNX exists at the current time in three variants:
- as a Powernet utilising the existing installed power cables,
- as a version using separate bus cables for new installations and
- as a remote control bus (radio bus).
KNX is compatible to the predecessor EN 50090 standard, which complies with the EIB standard.
In the building automation field, Eaton offers sensors and actuators both for its own radio bus system as well as for standard EIB (KNX) with the xComfort series. A component of this series includes the operating and monitoring device Home Manager that can be used to automate small to medium-sized commercial buildings, as well as larger residential buildings. The Home Manager features PC ports (RS 232) and optional radio bus or EIB interfaces.
For larger building automation tasks, Eaton offers the XC series as central, modular controls and the panel series XVC with Soft-PLC. For distributed control, devices such as the easy Control series using the XV panel series for local display/operation are used.