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EnOcean Alliance Takes Interoperability to the Next Level

Tue, 11/19/2013 - 3:02pm
EnOcean Alliance

Generic Profiles define a new communication convention for the data exchange in energy harvesting wireless networks, allowing a broader range of EnOcean-based solutions

San Ramon, CA – November 14, 2013 – The EnOcean Alliance has specified the first generic language for the communication of energy harvesting wireless solutions: Generic Profiles. These enable product manufacturers (OEMs) to develop new interoperable EnOcean-based solutions easier and faster; for example a greater variety of multi-purpose wireless sensors. Generic Profiles define the grammatical rules for all options of data encoding for ultra-low power and energy harvesting radio communication. Due to this generic language, the same product can be mapped dynamically to different applications. As a result, Generic Profiles offer a standardized path for future applications. A summary of Generic Profiles can be found at www.enocean-alliance.org/en/enocean_standard. Members of the EnOcean Alliance can download the complete version in the member portal.

Energy harvesting wireless technology from EnOcean uses energy from the surroundings to power sensors and actuators, combining the flexibility of wireless solutions without batteries and maintenance. This makes EnOcean-based solutions highly attractive for automation systems for commercial buildings, for industry applications, smart homes or machine-to-machine applications.

Generic Communication Rules

The increasing number of energy harvesting wireless product providers in the EnOcean Alliance results in increased application variety for batteryless wireless communication. These are covered by the EnOcean Equipment Profiles (EEP), which define the structure of the communication content for particular applications. Generic Profiles extend this spectrum by defining a generalized language. This is particularly suitable for new product designs, which are intended to describe the energy harvesting wireless data encoding independently of the application.

“In the future, new product developments can use the generic system specification for seamless interoperable communication. This applies above all to dynamic solutions, such as temperature sensors which can be used in warm or cold environments. Here, the sensors need the flexibility to cover different ranges of temperature. OEMs can now insert the generic language definition, instead of several profiles for the various use cases,” says Marian Hönsch, Product Marketing – Software Architect, EnOcean GmbH, and Generic Profiles Team Leader, EnOcean Alliance. “Depending on the use case, OEMs have the freedom of choice to integrate specific EEPs, Generic Profiles or both.”

Integrated Approach

Networks can combine EEP-based devices with products using Generic Profiles. In this case, only the receiving side, e.g. a controller solution, needs to cover both wireless interfaces. Wired systems that process batteryless radio don’t need any change as the data interface remains transparent. This brings unique flexibility to new batteryless product developments and ensures the future-proof characteristics of existing ones.

Using Generic Profiles, multi-purpose sensors, which measure temperature, humidity and presence, can now send their future data communication format in the teach-in telegram to the receiving system. There, the data is connected on the application level. The application automatically adjusts to this generic definition and sends back the information to the sensors, which values it needs or can process. If devices work bidirectionally, they can negotiate the accepted channels in a dialogue.

Future-proof Interoperability

“Generic Profiles allow easier and faster product development but meet stronger certification requirements. This is a significant leap in ensuring the interoperability of future energy harvesting wireless solutions – even when the variations of application increase,” says Norbert Metzner, Chairman Technical Working Group, EnOcean Alliance, and Head of R&D, MSR Solutions GmbH. “Leading members of the EnOcean Alliance have contributed their implementation know-how to this new convention specification. This paves the way for a broad acceptance in the automation industry.” 

For more information, visit www.enocean-alliance.org

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