Frequently Asked Questions
This section contains a list of frequent asked questions about home and building automation systems.
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The lones association is a European association that consists of manufacturers of different groups that seek to integrate in the electrical equipment from multiple and different sectors so that they can interact among them, ease the installation, loosen it and communicate through a bus multimedia communication.
The Low Voltage Electrotechnical Regulations in ITC-051 is the beginning of standardization for the automation of buildings and homes in Spain.
The Spanish and European standard EN-50090 in all its parts has also marked a milestone in the standardization of systems.
AENOR Specification EA-026 will allow the certification of automation systems in homes and buildings so as to ensure their implementation and their subsequent maintenance.
The Technical Building Code in Spain (CTE) is going to favor energy conservation and implementation of automation systems.
The Government's action plans to develop the energy saving and renewable energy facilities will normally allow more automate installations.
The KNX system meets the above regulations and promotes the implementation of multiple solutions-oriented facilities of energy saving and efficiency.
Any professional who meets the Low Voltage regulation for this product is capable to install the product KNX.
As for the product configuration, you must have previously done a training course called KNX Partner in a training center certified by the KNX Association with headquarters in Brussels and its corresponding national association in Spain.
We can access the list of professionals KNX Partner in Spain through www.knx.org.
Absolutely and without any type of difficulty. It is as simple as connecting to the installation the necessary tool and configure it without rewiring. Normally the installation is connected to a PC. This is made by the integrator and/or the installer of the installation, and can be done remotely if it has been planned from the beginning, needing the permission of the user every time to do so.
It is clear that the possibility of disconnecting multiple circuits when they are not necessary and reducing the heating and air conditioning are just some of the measures that will bring some substantial energy saving. It also improves the efficiency and sustainability of the building, and it will help quickly amortize the equipment of the facility.
Using the KNX System can help us obtain an increase in the energy rating scale of our home or building, obtaining with it all the associated benefits, from existing grants to a greater conservation of the environment.
Because more than one hundred major European companies all pointing in the same direction, with products targeted to the same system, with compatibility between the products of all firms in the same facility, with an association and laboratories that certify products, make it an investment in the future for all manufacturers.
The peace of mind of knowing he is backed up with leading companies, with compatible products according to national and international standards, and with a solid future prospect for every product he sells the client.
The value he brings to the house with the installation of the product and the benefits of comfort, savings and security that gives his customer, the user.
The architect will be able to adapt the design of the building or house with energy saving criteria or criteria derived from a subsequent home automation installation.
For example, the architect can provide a sunny front of a building a major glass coverage if he knows that he can have automatic blinds that will ensure that in summer it protects the interior of the sun, that in winter it will be able to temper the inside and that during all stations it will provide the possibility to interact with the blinds for additional lighting.
Having a multimedia standard which allows you to automate a large part of the building's electrical equipment with a multimedia system, available from many manufacturers from different sectors.
Be able to make the necessary modifications during the design and implementation phases of the building and in the shortest possible time.
Enjoy an installation that gives plenty of time, comfort, saving and safety and that also guarantees the maintenance and upgrades with products which have a continuity in the market and a constant evolution.
Take part in the installation and integration of a product that is helping develop the electrical installation and that will provide the installer the opportunity to participate in the business development for these type of installations.
Offer the end user a facility that brings plenty of time, comfort, saving and safety as well as ensure the maintenance and extensions of the installation with quality products in constant evolution.
Basically the difference is that home automation is fully oriented to housing (Domus, Latin for house) and building automation is focused on larger buildings (hotels, hospitals, sports centers, subways, ...). This does not mean that the products used for building automation can not be used for home control, and vice versa.
The difference is that when we work in the control of homes, automatons are simple (technologically speaking), something more affordable, and aimed to specific home functions (actuator of blinds, adjustable lights, ...). Size also influences because all the housing controller devices are usually small, always keeping in mind of not introducing overly large equipment in a home.
However, in the field of building automation the automatons and programming software are more complex and powerful, tend to be more expensive, in most cases they are not associated with any specific function of operation (only inputs and outputs set by the integrator ) and, in size, we may find large equipment which are often located in control rooms or similar.
This is still the "million dollar question" as we head into the world of home automation. The answer, as you can tell, is nothing but concrete, as the elements and areas that we can control are unlimited in the home automation (lighting, blinds, air conditioning, ...).For illustrative purposes, it does exist a small calculation, and is that a home with mid-range home automation, not an extra-full, should be around 3% of the housing costs. For that price we would be looking at an appropriate amount of money in the home automation business.
For example, lets imagine a 240,000 Euros home. Then the installation and programming of the mid-range home automation, could be around 7,200 Euros. Considering though, that the advantages in functionality, comfort and energy savings of a home automation installation would amortize this cost in a short time.
We find many types of home automation systems. The most widely used and known today are:
- home automation by bus over twisted pair (2 cables)
- with radio frequency (no cables)
- through the house line (poweline type or X10), where no new wires are needed, since the the information is transmitted by the existing low voltage cable housing.
Our recommendation is the bus over twisted pair. It is the most robust, but not the cheapest, since the use of radio frequency saves all the wiring and in the last type we make use of the existing wiring.
However, in the case of radio frequency we may find that sometimes the transmission is not entirely reliable and we can lose some information by the arrangement of obstacles, as it may be the case for the walls in the home. Yet another slight disadvantage is that these devices often use batteries, which usually offer 3-year lifetime, but nevertheless it can be an inconvenience having to replace batteries from time to time.
For the moment, the distribution over the power cable does not seem reliable, because it is common to have problems such as power surges. However, the transmission by twisted pair uses a 2-wire bus exclusively for information which will be used for the device´s power (28V) with the reliability advantages that this entails.
The Digital Home Multisectoral Committee of ASIMELEC defines:
The Digital Home is the place where the needs of its habitants, in terms of security and control, communications, leisure and comfort, environmental integration and accessibility, are served through the convergence of services, infrastructures and equipments.
The Digital Home helps to improve the quality of life for its users by providing services aimed to meet or improve needs such as:
- Energy saving
- Leisure and entertainment
- Environmental adaptation and sustainability for buildings
The scope of the Digital Home concept covers not only buildings of any social level, but also offices and businesses that are part of residential type buildings.
Buildings that meet the requirements of the Multisectoral Commission's Digital Home of ASIMELEC (Multisectoral Association of Information Technology, Communications and Electronics) have the "Quality Digital Home Stamp".
Companies that are legally authorized to perform the type of facilities required for Digital Home services (telecommunications installation companies, security companies, utilities, ...)
Given the diversity of installation companies involved in implementing an IHD project, the figure of a project manager is required to oversee and coordinate its actions, ensuring that the IHD is installed and functioning according to the Technical Project. This figure is the Residential Integrator. They are the knowledge holders and are capable of providing solutions to end users and developers based on their needs and requirements and their economic possibilities.
Standards bodies both national (AENOR) and European (CENELEC) are currently working on developing standards for the Digital Home. The Administration, represented by the Secretary of State for Telecommunications and Information Society (SETSI) and ASIMELEC are represented in both organisms providing expertise and documentation to the development of these standards.
The SETSI has created the Advisory Commission for the deployment of lnfrastructure of Ultrarapid Access (IAU), which includes among its objectives, the update of ICT rules to facilitate the incorporation of the functionality of the Digital Home to the houses, relying on IAU3.
Note: At the time of publication of the User's Guide to Digital Home (Source of this FAQ), the Secretary of State for Telecommunications and Information Society (SETSI) is developing a new regulation of the Ultrafast Access Infrastructure that will replace the existing regulations of the Common Telecommunications Infrastructure (ICT) in buildings and that will include an annex containing recommendatory on the Digital Home.
The Digital Home Multisectoral Commission of ASIMELEC has defined three levels or categories of Digital Home (Basic, Intermediate and Superior) to suit different situations or needs of the users. The Annex I of this Guide lists the services being considered for the different levels, based on the assumption of an ICT building.
In any case, the infrastructure of the Digital Home, even if the Basic level is designed so that the incorporation of additional services to the highest level, can be done easily by adding the corresponding elements without the need for construction in the home.
The cost of Digital Home Services depends on the building characteristics and the level of the Digital Home. However, at present, the cost of the projects carried out have a price range between 1 and 2 % of the cost of the house, and it seems predictable that, as the Digital Home concept expands, its cost will be under the 1 %.
The housing development must have been provided with the Quality Stamp given by the competent authority.
In addition, the SETSI (State Department for Telecommunications and Information Society) is working in regulating the different levels of the Digital Home to label these homes as such.
Verifying that the building has the Stamp of Quality Digital Home, given by ASIMELEC.
The Association of the Property Owners must receive from the promoter the technical documentation concerning the IHD (Digital Home Infrastructure) completion (technical project, installation bulletin, final completion certificate and testing protocol) as well as the User Manual for the IHD Services, which will include the instructions for the operation and maintenance of the IHD. In addition, the housing may have been provided with maintenance services for the Residential Integrator.