KNX National Group Australia chair, Ian Richardson, explains the benefits of KNX and why it is so important to network room automation functions, especially heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.

In addition to classic lighting and sun protection control, applications for heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) in particular form an essential part of modern room and building automation.

As a worldwide standard for home and building system technology, KNX also integrates further applications.

Considering that home and building automation accounts for 40% of the total energy consumption, energy efficiency is paramount, alongside improved comfort.

The energy efficiency of buildings as well as the influence of building automation is described by the European Committee for Standardisation in the European standard EN 15232.

Whilst this is an international publication it is very thorough and addresses all the methods used to evaluate both the impact of building automation and technical building management with regards to energy consumption.

The standard classifies building automation and control systems into four energy efficiency classes ‘A’ to ‘D’.

While efficiency class ‘C’ only requires the minimum legal standard without energy-saving automation, the networking of energy-efficient room automation functions is necessary for all applications (heating, cooling, ventilation, lighting and sun protection) and demand-oriented control to achieve class ‘A’.

KNX offers not only the technical requirement for the integration and communication of the different applications and products but has already shown in a variety of studies and projects that savings of 50% to 60% can be achieved through individual room control and ventilation control alone.

Through the networking of sensors, actuators and intelligent controllers via KNX, information and
data can be simultaneously used in several applications.

Presence detectors, for example, are not only used to regulate lighting output, but provide the room climate control system and the sun protection system with important information about the occupancy of the room.

The previously separate light switches and room thermostats are merged into one room controller which can be used to control all the functions in a room.

The integration of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning technology in the home and building
automation has long been part of the standard KNX applications.

Currently more than 70 manufacturers have registered KNX products with heating, ventilation and air conditioning applications with the KNX Association.

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About the author

Ian Richardson is Chairman of the KNX National Group Australia since 2010 and is also Training and Technical Manager with ABB Australia. He has previously held roles in product management and marketing for low voltage power distribution products and has more than 40 years of industry experience including building automation and power distribution.

Ian is an active member of a number of Standards Australia Technical Committees including CT-001, EL-004, EL-006 and EL-064.

He is also a member of the Australian Industry Group Electrical Advisory Panel, Electrical Equipment Manufacturers and Suppliers Forum and the Chairman’s Advisory Group.  Ian has worked with the RMIT Sustainable Engineering Industry Forum, RMIT Industry Advisory Committee, Voltimum Australia ‘Ask the Expert’ panel and is currently involved in the development of electric vehicle charging infrastructure in Australia.

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