Building Automation

EnOcean Alliance, BACnet to Develop Interop Spec

January 26, 2010

The collaboration will integrate EnOcean's energy-harvesting nodes into the BACnet protocol for wireless/wired building systems.

SAN RAMON, CA and ATLANTA, GA -- BACnet International and the EnOcean Alliance, an international consortium of 130 companies from the building sector, announced its cooperation with BACnet's Wireless Networking-Working Group (WN-WG) to develop a vendor independent gateway specification for integrating EnOcean-based wireless energy-harvesting nodes into the world's leading data communications protocol for building automation and control. As the only wireless standard offering self-powered operation, EnOcean technology requires neither batteries nor maintenance, thus opening the floodgate to wide-scale deployment of wireless sensing-solutions in commercial buildings, including BACnet-based building automation systems.

Recent meetings between the two organizations have opened the door to the full integration of wireless EnOcean and wired BACnet-enabled technologies, with the result that an EnOcean interoperability proposal has been drafted for the BACnet committee meeting at AHR Expo in Orlando, FL. BACnet—a data communication protocol for building automation and control networks is defined in the ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 135-2008 and also the international standard ISO 16484-5.

The working group's current standardization efforts aim to ensure the interoperability of multiple EnOcean and BACnet solutions available today or in development, as well as future implementations. "The task at hand is to define common implementation rules for an EnOcean/BACnet gateway," said Dave Robin, Chairman of the BACnet Technical Working Group. "This will entail a number of issues, including specifying the network topology and the BACnet/EnOcean objectives needed to define a single model so that all implementations will be interoperable."

As the organization responsible for promoting the use of BACnet technologies for building automation, BACnet International sees this as a significant achievement. "The world has evolved towards a wired and wireless infrastructure, and it is a significant step to bridge these together with a standard mechanism for building automation suppliers and users," said Andy McMillan, President of BACnet International and President/CEO of Teletrol Systems. He added, "In the IT world, wired and wireless interoperability has long since been accomplished. I am very happy to be involved in the effort to make this available for the building automation industry."

Leveraging the strengths of both technologies will create long-term value by allowing the existing wired BACnet infrastructure to seamlessly add wireless devices for additional functionality and greater energy savings. "As a practical, wireless extension of BACnet solutions, EnOcean technology is ideal for lowering cost of ownership in retrofits and new buildings," said Graham Martin, Chairman and CEO of EnOcean Alliance. "As a field-proven solution for the BACnet environment, many facilities have already successfully deployed wireless solutions in which EnOcean and BACnet technologies are interoperating to reduce installation and maintenance costs, along with providing energy savings beyond 30 percent."

A number of EnOcean Alliance partners will be exhibiting a range of interoperable EnOcean wireless devices for the BACnet platform at AHR Expo (Orlando, FL, Jan 25–27), including Distech Controls, winner of an AHR Honorary Mention Award for this platform.

Founded in 1894, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) is a nonprofit technical organization whose 51,000 members influence the direction of heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC&R) technology by creating industry standards and recommended procedures and guidelines, developing research and writing technical information.

About BACnet
Developed under the auspices of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), BACnet is an ASHRAE, ANSI and ISO data communications protocol for building automation and control networks. Tracing its development back to 1987, the BACnet protocol allows heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, lighting, security, fire detection and other building automation and control systems to communicate and exchange information, regardless of service performed. For the latest information, visit:

About BACnet International
BACnet International is an industry association that facilitates the successful use of the BACnet protocol in building automation and control systems through interoperability testing, educational programs, and promotional activities. The BACnet standard was developed by ASHRAE and has been made publicly available so that manufacturers can create interoperable systems of products. BACnet International complements the work of the ASHRAE standards committee and BACnet-related interest groups around the world. BACnet International members include building owners, consulting engineers and facility managers, as well as companies involved in the design, manufacturing installation, commissioning, and maintenance of control equipment that uses BACnet for communication.

About the EnOcean Alliance
EnOcean Alliance, a consortium of currently 130 international corporations, shares the common goal of standardizing wireless control systems for sustainable building applications. The core technology of the Alliance centers around EnOcean's patented energy harvesting and radio-frequency technology offering self-powered wireless operation in the form of flexibly positioned, maintenance-free sensor solutions. The goal of the EnOcean Alliance is to standardize and internationalize EnOcean wireless technology through the creation of true interoperability between all products produced by the Alliance's OEM partners. EnOcean Alliance is a California 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation headquartered in San Ramon, CA.

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