Category Archives: Energy Harvesting Technology

ZF’s RF Energy Harvesting Switches Integrate Windows and Doors into Smart Home Systems

Is the window open or closed? For smart homes this is a simple question but when it comes to energy efficiency and safety, it is a critical one. Thanks to the battery-free and wireless RF technology from ZF this question can be answered reliably.

With an integrated energy harvesting switch, there is the possibility to record each locking and unlocking actuation of a window. A leading company in the window system industry has revolutionized the connectivity between windows and smart home control systems with an innovative concept.

The window specialist Schüco International KG based in Germany has designed a solution for integrating the ZF RF switch in a locking latch, the so called “SensTrack wireless”. This RF locking latch is attached to the window frame. When opening or closing the window, the fitting will be moved. This leads to the extension and retraction of the locking roller which actuates the ZF radio switch in the locking latch. The mechanical activation is enough to generate a small voltage based on induction which leads to the transmission of several telegrams of the EnOcean3.0 protocol. The signal is processed in a smart home control unit which then triggers customised functions such as climate control. In large buildings this can be especially helpful to monitor the window state and therefore save on energy costs.

The concept benefits from the compact design with high energy output of the ZF energy harvesting switch. With its size of 20.1 x 7.3 x 14.3 mm, it is ideal for applications with limited space requirements. In addition, due to its durable use with a lifetime of one million switching cycles, there is no maintenance work required to frequently change the components within the window frame.

The RF Switch is battery-free and the wireless technology provides flexibility in use. It can be utilized with different RF protocols – BLE5.0, EnOcean3.0 or ZigBee. The system can also be implemented for diverse applications in the smart home, building and industrial automation sectors, for applications such as lighting, shutters, and doors. With the help of these ZF products, comfort, safety and energy efficiency can be increased and improved in a smart way.

 

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ZF Energy Harvesting Switch Solutions Technology

Self-Sufficient RF Transmission of Switch Signals Without Battery and Wires.

Energy Harvesting Switch Solutions Technology is an energy harvesting switch which reacts to its environment without a need for energy. This solution developed by ZF is based on the principle of Energy Harvesting and does not require any wires. Energy Harvesting can be described as an ‘operation without any auxiliary energy’. Instead of generating auxiliary energy through an integrated energy source or adding it via an external energy supply, energy that is available in the surrounding environment or that is acting on the system is converted. Therefore an Energy Harvester generally speaking is an energy converter.

The wireless RF switch system from ZF based on an energy harvester transforms the mechanical input energy of the actuation into electrical energy, which then transmits, for example, a switching signal to a wireless receiver via RF electronics. The advantages of the system are that the switch can be placed anywhere without the need for any wires. Over its whole life cycle it will fulfill its function completely maintenance free and without any need to replace a battery. The RF switch is fed with different input parameters and is capable of reacting to its environment.

The energy harvesting RF-switches from ZF can be used in a variety of applications such as industrial automation and building automation, smart home or medical technology. Designed for global use, the switches provide an excellent alternative to wired or battery-powered systems.

System Advantages:
Reduction of connection systems
Flexibility for inaccessible locations
No complex wire assembly
Maintenance-free – no batteries need to be changed
Network-compatible
High energy efficiency
Long mechanical life
Flexible “Pairing” allows the operation of several receivers with one switch (and vice versa)
Unique ID excludes a mutual interference between different RF-switches

 

Description
> Compact & highly efficient Energy harvesting wireless system consisting of a generator and receiver.
> Network compatible wireless data transfer via RF-technology.
> “Unique ID” excludes interference between RF-switches.
> Several frequency bands allow global use within different applications.
> Flexible “Pairing” allows the operation of several receivers with one switch (and vice versa).
> Environmentally friendly – no batteries need to be changed or disposed of.
> Long mechanical life (up to 1.000.000 operations).

Receiver
> Integrated receiver (in existing ECU) or as a separate unit (in a housing/as a plug-in receiver PCB).
> Antenna integrated or external
> Output interfaces: Low voltage relay 230V / 0.5A; RS 232 TTL Bus; RS 485 TTL Bus; Digital interface (high/low) / SPI; USB

Product Range
> The product is available in the form of a “raw” energy harvesting generator or generator with PCB and antenna system, as a rocker switch, snap switch or light switch module.
> A Wireless Switch Module fulfilling KNX-RF 2.0 is also available.

 

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Home Page: http://www.epreston.co.uk/epblog/