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Home Automation

Home automation means design systems and si concretizza in the application of information and communication technologies (ICT) inside houses,offices and buildings in general. It’s about the possibility to make the several devices in the house communicate with a protocol of digital communication. The components, designed like this, are able to go through evolved functions as well as being controlled by innovative interfaces and software solution. Moreover, the utilization of a digital communication protocol allows a component to go through many functions, depending on how it is designed.
The functioning can also be modified when the contest and the ambiental condition change. Ex. un sensore ad infrarossi può svolgere la funzione di rilevatore di presenza per l’antifurto (quando è inserito), can turn on the lights at night and turn off the heating plant when there aren’t people in the room, so you can prevent any unnecessary energy waste. All this implies a remarkable saving of numbers of components to use and necessary wiring. Communication between components can be through several hardware:

  1. Communication cable,
  2. Radio waves,
  3. Line carier.
  • Communication cable: amongst others, bus cable (twisted pair: type 1), UTP5 Cable, Cable FTP5. In this case the plant is spread within a dedicated cable the signal and data between components. Generally, the cable also leads voltage for feeding components. It 's the most reliable and secure, but also the most expensive and used only when the course is being construction or renovation.
  • Radio waves: standard 433MHz, 833MHz, 868MHz. The characteristic of these frequencies are being liberal at the international level (they are not occupied by other types of communication), they also operate at low frequency that does not erode the batteries of the system components. And it is the only solution in situations where it’s not possible to go through the wiring, but is strongly affected by physical obstructions and interference due to the presence of other communications.
  • Line carrier: the communication takes place on the same cables (220V) exploiting the technical characteristics of alternating current. And is one of the easiest solution for installation, but there are some difficulties in old systems or in case of three-phase systems.

A home automation system consists of 3 main elements:
1 - A command
2 - an actuator
3 - a medium.
Here's an example of a home automation system: a sensor of presence (the command) sends a digital code to a component (the 'actuator) that close the contact to switch on a light. Communication between the sensor and the implementation should be through a medium transmission. For the system functions is necessary for control and actuator to have the same protocol: in other words, they need to exchange data understandable by both devices. Communication protocols are essential because more than any other factor, they affect the system's quality and cost. Currently there are 2 different categories of protocols for home automation:

  • Proprietary protocols (a company creates and registers its own protocol which will be used only with their products). Among others: SCS, EasyDom, Nice, World Data Bus, DYNALI, Lutron.
  • Open protocols (protocols that can be used by any manufacturer for their products). Among others: Bluetooth, KNX, EHS, Logybus, ZiggBee, Ethernet, X10.
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