Media Partner’s Corner: KNX HVAC Solutions Conference – Review and Presentations

KNX is a future-proof standardised technology that works in all areas of home and building control automation, including HVAC (Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning). To help inform the market about how powerful KNX is in this area, KNX Association hosted the “KNX HVAC Solutions Conference” on 30th and 31st of March 2021. The event comprised an expo area featuring promotional videos for sponsors, a reception, a networking area, the main stage and a session area. Chat and Q&A facilities for each session were also provided.

The following summarises the delivered presentations:

The Future Landscape of HVAC Integration with KNX – Watch here –

In this keynote, KNX Association Marketing Manager, Casto Cañavate, acknowledged how HVAC integration has always been a complex application to include in smart home and building projects, but that it is more important than ever to provide a more sustainable approach to smart homes and smart buildings as HVAC moves away from the use of fossil fuels to electrification. The presentation explained important concepts such as KNX IoT, services with KNX and energy management.

KNX Energy Management with KNX Classic and KNX IoT in Relation to the EN50491-12-2 Standard – Watch here –

KNX Association CTO, Joost Demarest, explained how KNX Classic has been controlling HVAC since the 1990s, and went on to provide an insight into the objectives of the EN 50491-12-2 standard. This aims to standardise energy flexibilities between a central customer energy manager (CEM) and devices or systems in a home or building. The presentation also clarified that KNX IoT is an extension built upon KNX Classic, does not replace KNX Classic and will not be included in ETS6 when it is released (expected Autumn 2021).

KNX Solutions for Integrated HVAC Control and Monitoring in Residential Buildings – Watch here –

Roberto Rocco, Business Development & OEM Account in Building Automation at Ekinex, explained that the case for KNX smart solutions is becoming ever more compelling as the focus intensifies on indoor environmental quality (IEQ), sustainability and energy-efficient integrated HVAC systems. Among the topics covered in his presentation were air renewal with energy recovery, demand-controlled ventilation and dehumidification.

HVAC Solutions and KNX Sensor Control Elements – Watch here –

Thorsten Reibel, Global Support and Training Specialist at ABB, discussed management, generation, distribution and consumption using ABB and Busch-Jaeger HVAC solutions for commercial buildings. For smaller or less complex buildings, he gave the ABB ClimaECO as an example of a configurable, water-based HVAC solution using KNX. For more advanced requirements, he showed how the company’s recent acquisition, Cylon Controls, provides freely-programmable, comprehensive HVAC and building management solutions using BACnet.

Full HVAC Integration by Airzone – Watch here –

Airzone’s Project Engineer & Key Account Manager, Daniel Nuño, and Engineer & Training Specialist, Aarti Khemlani, presented the company’s latest Smart HVAC Control KNX Gateway and controller for small- and medium-sized residential and commercial projects. They discussed control of different types of HVAC technologies including direct expansion, fan coils, air-to-water heat pumps etc.

The ION App Remotely Controllable Room Controller – Watch here –

Elmar Löffler, Head of Technical Support & Services for Theben AG entreated everyone to be excited by the fact that the room controller solution he demonstrated for heating, ventilation and lighting could take advantage of smartphone apps without the additional cost of a visualisation server.

Siemens HVAC Use Cases with the Touch Control TC5 Room Unit – Watch here –

Global Product Manager at Siemens Infrastructure, Jorge Sanchis Barcenilla, presented several HVAC applications using the new Siemens Touch Control TC5 room unit.

HVAC Control to Reduce Covid-19 Spread – Watch here –

Intesis Marketing Team Leader & Brand Development Manager, Maria Elena Cabello, and Product Management Director at BU Intesis, HMS Networks, Sofia Oses Moreno, began by discussing how the pandemic is affecting all of our businesses, how clean air is required in public buildings and how the increased use of the home office means greater need for comfort and energy savings. The session looked at Intesis KNX technology and tools to help systems integrators to control all parameters of an HVAC system.

The KNX Room Controller – the Ultimate Solution for HVAC and Home Control – Watch here –

KNX Tutor for Bemco, Gordon Fry, described the benefits of using a KNX room controller in simplifying the user experience. It can bring together all of the aspects of room functionality, reduce the number of wall-mounted devices required, and hide any control ‘complication’ whilst providing full system control through a simple and elegant user interface. Examples were given of controlling lighting, blinds and curtains, heating (underfloor and radiator) and AC (including fan coil).

Developing HVAC solutions with KNX – Watch here –

KNX Association’s Membership & Business Development Manager, Jesus Arias, gave an impressive overview that addressed systems integrators and companies interested in targeting the HVAC industry. He described how KNX offers numerous opportunities to create outstanding HVAC solutions: from field devices to full services that rely on the rich data produced by KNX installations. The presentation looked at the process of developing HVAC products, from single devices, through boilers, to complex systems using KNX IoT. It also covered sustainability, green building certification, services, advanced analytics to save money, and predictive maintenance. Among the examples of HVAC products given were sensors, room controllers, valves (including wireless using KNX RF), fan coil controllers with simple switches or inclusive thermostatic functions, boiler interfaces, AC interfaces, dew point sensors for cooling systems, and temperature probes for protection (for underfloor heating for example).

Indoor Well-being and Efficiency with Schneider Electric SpaceLogic KNX – Watch here –

With a focus on occupant comfort, Schneider Electric’s Global Business Development Director, Marco Banzato, and Application Specialist – Smart Space, Global Competency Centre, Hashim Assanar, presented the company’s latest KNX SpaceLogic product range. They emphasised HVAC control at room level, whilst integrating to a BMS for end-to-end control from the plant room to the room level. The range includes 24-230V and 0-10V fan coil actuators; a valve driver controller for heating and cooling.

ClimaECO: ABB i-bus KNX and HVAC – Watch here –

ABB’s Global Support and Training Specialist, Thorsten Reibel, explained how the ABB ClimaECO offers a holistic approach to HVAC using KNX, including room control, heating/cooling circuit control, boiler/chiller interfacing, central automation and seamless integration into higher-level management systems. Various examples of different types of HVAC system were provided, including a water-based heating and cooling system with detailed diagrams of flow and return.

ise Gateways for Convenient Integration of Heating Systems – Watch here –

ise Individuelle Software und Elektronik GmbH makes a wide range of KNX gateways for proprietary building control systems for a variety of applications. In this presentation, ise Head of Product Management and Technical Support, Robin Geide, looked at KNX gateways specifically for HVAC systems including Vaillant, Saunier Duval and Viega. He described their key features and gave plenty of practical examples of their application.

KNX Connectivity for HVAC Applications via Modbus – Watch here –

Demonstrating how easily Modbus devices can be connected to KNX, Weinzierl Engineering’s CEO, Thomas Weinzierl, and Software Developer, Stefan Matsche presented the Weinzierl KNX Modbus RTU Gateway 886, which allows connection via RTU protocol (RS-485), whilst the new KNX Modbus TCP Gateway 716 offers a TCP/IP link. It was noted that data mapping from Modbus to KNX was one of the challenging parts of the development.

KNX RF Valve Drive for Wireless Room Temperature Control – Watch here –

Peter Sperlich, MD of Smart Building Services, pointed out that there are more than 20 companies that have developed KNX RF devices, and there are at least 80 KNX RF products already on the market. For wireless control of convector radiators, Peter talked us through the energy-self-sufficient KNXdrive4u valve drive from Smart Building Services. This uses KNX RF S-Mode to wirelessly integrate with KNX room temperature control.

Connected Room Automation for the Ultimate Occupant Experience – Watch here –

Eelectron Chief Technical Assistant & Product Specialist, Andrea Pontoglio, discussed the latest solutions and devices from Eelectron, that include human-centric design for automatic management and guaranteed continuous integrated control, whilst lowering energy costs and improving efficiency. Examples of hotel and residential applications were given, as well as COVID-19-specific applications involving air quality and occupancy monitoring.

Siemens RDG200 Range: KNX Communicating Room Thermostats – Watch here –

Product Manager for Room Automation and Smart Thermostat for Siemens, Guido Antonini, gave an informative account of the Siemens RDG200 communicating room thermostat range. The presentation contained examples of applications in classrooms and office spaces and told us that master/slave functionality and a local time program for residential applications are planned for the autumn.

Conclusion

The KNX HVAC Solutions Conference was considered a great success. Focussing on a specific application provides more in-depth and high-quality information that can really benefit KNX professionals and those interested in finding out just how powerful KNX is.

The programme of presentations was an informative mix of topics that provided a good overview of trends, inspiration for areas in which business can be developed and useful technical information on a range of products and their application. Sessions were generally very engaging and not too long, with plenty of time for Q&As at the end. There was also the opportunity to be matched randomly, through the time-limited face-to-face meetings, in the Networking Area – a nice way to meet old and new acquaintances.

Recordings of the above presentations can be found at the KNX YouTube channel.

 

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