The Long Road to Smart Buildings
Digitalized building automation will bring a number of benefits with it. But the road to get there is a long one. It's a road that takes in cabling and requires consolidation of building networks. Everything could run over Ethernet/IP.
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Reducing operating costs in the smart building by 40 %
Today, buildings are full of sensors, networks, electronics and controllers. Different transmission technologies connect the individual building technology systems. The vision of intelligent, digitalized buildings is virtually impossible to realize with the diversity that has developed over time. These are the results of R&M market surveys.
All over IP – one infrastructure for everything
It would be fantastic if building system networking could be consolidated. This is how the idea of communicating using a single protocol came about. For example, over the local data network (LAN) on the basis of the standardized Internet Protocol (IP) and affordable Ethernet network technology, building systems would be able to
- exchange information more easily,
- be controlled from a distance over the Internet, and
- save significantly on energy and resources.
Operating expenses in buildings can be reduced by up to 40 % with Ethernet/IP, something demonstrated by research carried out by universities. This is why R&M is convinced that the key to smart buildings is LAN cabling and is thus providing appropriate solutions.
LAN as the backbone for building technology
LAN cabling technology is currently taking massive evolutionary steps which are also going to help when it comes to smart buildings. Examples:
- Power over Ethernet (PoE) can supply power to building technology components, sensors, controllers etc. over the data network.
- With a suitable cabling structure, the LAN becomes the backbone for the entire building automation.
- Digital ceiling makes it possible to install a number of service outlets at regular intervals on room ceilings. WLAN access points, LED lamps, building technology modules and distributed network switches can be connected at these service outlets in a flash whenever required.
A further evolution that will soon be penetrating the market is Single Pair Ethernet (SPE).
A combination of the digital ceiling concept with an SPE connector system which could be integrated in the RJ45 world offers new options. Four times as many end devices could be integrated into a LAN as was previously the case. Digitalization could thus be taken to every last corner of a building cost effectively, making it ready to face the future.