Schneider Electric South Africa has announced the launch of KNX, a smart system that elevates buildings to new heights in automation.
“The KNX system offers comfort, efficiency and safety in residential, small commercial and large and critical structures through its wiser convergence, IP connectivity and smooth integration into existing systems,” explains James Calmeyer, Vice President Building, Southern Africa International Operations, Schneider Electric.
“We see its strengths in lighting & room control, HVAC control and safety & access control. Typical applications include smoke alarms, door entry systems, emergency lighting systems and SAE sensors.”
KNX is a bus system, manufactured to world standards, which brings building functions together and offers flexibility, safety, comfort and cost efficiency. In a conventional system, every function must be realised with one or more cables, must be planned in detail before installation and, if a function needs changing, the physical installation has to be changed. Each device is used for one function only and even low-level interaction between different functions become complex and cost intensive.
However, with the bus system, there is a separation of information and energy, so only one cable (the bus) is used for all information, resulting in fewer control cables. The functions depend on programming; therefore, logical connections between inputs and outputs replace physical connections. Users can change functions without touching the installation, it enables multiple uses of single devices and complex interactions between different functions are easy.
The applications within the building industry are numerous. Commonly, these include on and off lighting and dimming and on and off and continuous functions in heating/cooling/ventilation, such as valves, heaters, dampers, and fans. The mechanical control of Venetian blinds and shutters in large buildings or homes enables energy savings. In addition, use in the security field, such as surveillance and alarms, monitoring gateways and access is vital. Finally, the system lends itself to superior facilities management through measuring and metering air conditioning, electrical and water usage; building management and SCADA systems.
The system is beautiful on the outside and intelligent on the inside. It consists of components to build the communicating network, sensors to detect an external event and transform it to KNX-information and actuators to receive the telegram from the bus, process the information and execute the function.
Its value proposition offers design & UX interoperability, ease in commissioning connectivity, comfort, efficiency, and safety. We see these systems integrating into office buildings, private apartments, schools and public buildings, commercial buildings, hotels & restaurants, laboratories and industry, hospitals and retirement homes, leisure facilities & sports arenas and public buildings such as museums.
“At Schneider Electric, we look forward to introducing the ease of KNX operations into the wider South African construction industry, with our global expertise available locally,” concludes Calmeyer.