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When Gerald Havelka of Baumgarten, Austria, makes himself comfortable on his sofa after work, he doesn’t want to be blinded by the light of the setting sun. And instead of having to lower each roller blind individually by hand, they automatically roll down thanks to an astronomical time switch – or they can be manually controlled from a smartphone. Hannes Engelhardt also relies on home automation. If the Austrian entrepreneur leaves home early in the morning when it is still dark, he can switch off all lighting centrally with a single switch while only the lamps in his stairwell stay on for another minute, allowing him to leave safely and in an unhurried manner.
These are just a few of the functions that can be integrated into building automation. The central role is played by the controller, in which settings are stored and that activate functions at precisely the right time. It is also important for homeowners that a system is easy to install and operate – as well as being easy on the wallet. The LOGO! logic module offers numerous options here.
“Thanks to the integrated web server of LOGO! 8, I can access the building management system at any time and from anywhere via the Internet,” Havelka explains with enthusiasm. “With a website I can design as I like, it is also easy to query conditions and control functions.” As a result of the extensive networking capabilities, Engelhardt also enjoys being able to operate and monitor all automated functions of the building from a central Simatic HMI KTP700 Basic Panel on the ground floor. Remote control and monitoring can also be accessed via the Internet using a Smart-Server license.
And LOGO! 8 allows even more convenient features: “As a trained electrician, I had worked with the EIB/KNX building system bus and originally wanted a solution with switch actuators for our house,” recalls Havelka. “With LOGO! 8 however, conventional switches can be used, which are significantly more cost-efficient. And thanks to the CMK2000 communication module, I can still also integrate KNX components in my solution and control them using the logic module.”
Siemens product manager Rainer Göbel recommends LOGO! 8 to anyone who wants to build on a cost-conscious basis yet achieve optimum performance: “Home automation with LOGO! 8 is priced between a conventional installation and a complete KNX solution,” he explains. Since all the lamp outlets, socket outlets, and pushbuttons are routed directly into the floor distribution boards to the controller, you admittedly need more tubes, cables, and lines than with a conventional installation. “However, there are virtually no junction boxes in the walls and thus fewer sources of error, and the extra work involved in laying pipes and cabling pays off, because the freely programmable logic module enables the same building management functions to be implemented as with KNX – but at a lower cost.”
Engelhardt and his family use a socket outlet in the basement especially for ironing, one that is usually without power. “When ironing needs to be done, the socket outlet can be switched on by a button or cellphone,” says the homeowner. “The trick here is that after a preset time of twenty minutes, LOGO! switches the socket outlet off again. If we forget to turn off the iron, it’s not a problem.” With the aim of making the controller as energy-efficient as possible, he plans to record the energy consumption data of his home using Sentron energy measuring devices, transfer them to the logic module via Modbus TCP/IP, and record them using data logging.
Gerald Havelka also uses his system for indirect, multi-colored illumination of the stairwells and kitchen with RGB LED lights. “In this case, LOGO! uses analog output signals between 0 and 10 volts to control an intermediate pulse-width modulation (PWM) controller, which converts these signals into PWM signals providing sufficient power for the RGB LED lights,” explains Göbel. In this way, LOGO! can control the color as well as the intensity of the indirect illumination.
If a controller is retrofitted – for garden irrigation, for example – it can be easily integrated into the existing network. That has already happened with Engelhardt’s garage; when he opens it, the logic module of the garage door controller sends a message via wireless repeater to the basement lighting controller. This controller then switches on the light in the garage automatically – and switches it off again when the garage is closed. Engelhardt also uses his house as a flagship example of building automation applications for customers of his company, Enkon Klimatechnik GmbH. “My employees and I are absolutely convinced by LOGO!. It is unbelievable what this small, very inexpensive device can do,” he says enthusiastically. “Apart from that, you can expect absolute reliability not only from the technical components of Siemens but also from the people who stand behind them!”
Note on industrial security:
Appropriate security measures (e.g., network segmentation) must be taken to ensure secure operation of the system. Find out more about industrial security.
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