Wireless Can Make for a More Energy-Efficient BAS System

September 29, 2015 By Karen Henry

wireless icon Energy ManageAs building automation systems become more common, so are wireless implementations. Wired and wireless systems have the same reliability requirements; however, wireless technology is more flexible, making it more appealing for retrofit work, according to an article in Consulting-Specifying Engineer.

While WiFi is the most well-known and most frequently specified wireless technology, it is comparatively more expensive to deploy and consumes more energy than other available technologies.

ZigBee, for example, is an IEEE 802.15.4-based wireless standard that can conveniently and affordably control a wide range of devices to improve comfort, security and convenience for consumers. Because ZigBee uses low data rates — 250 kB/sec maximum — it consumes less energy than WiFi. Unlike WiFi, which typically uses wired power, ZigBee uses battery power.

EnOcean devices, on the other hand, use energy-harvesting wireless sensor technology. With data transmission rates of 120 kB/sec, these devices use very little energy. The elimination of battery cost makes them potentially more cost effective than battery-operated systems.

Construction materials can have a significant impact on wireless performance, and since buildings materials cannot easily be changed in a renovation project, reduced battery life can be a concern.

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