Flexing its muscles

August 03, 2016 by John Hatcher
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Flexing its muscles

flexROOM is an intelligent solution for flexible automation of lighting, window blinds and room control, including heating and cooling. It is used to quickly and easily realise energy-efficient and standard-compliant building automation in nearly all office and administrative buildings. The system’s ease of use means that configuration and reconfiguration tasks can be carried out in-house, saving time and reducing costs.
 

The system uses standard predefined hardware and pre-built software which simultaneously allows sufficient flexibility for building automation based on the spatial axes of a building. A distribution box contains all required functions for shading, lighting control and single-room control for up to 24 axes. Multiple distribution boxes can be networked together to provide full building coverage. All required controller components are already integrated in the decentralized flexROOM distribution box and ready for use.
flexROOM is based on the WAGO-I/O System 750 which, depending on the application, can be combined with the necessary components, like power supplies, switches, relays, junction boxes and rail-mounted terminal blocks, as well as connectors, to form complete system distribution boxes.
flexROOM is oriented according to room segments. A segment is the smallest common denominator and represents the part of a room that has a window. This enables a configuration that varies according to building usage. As such, each room segment includes functions for controlling lighting, sun protection and temperature regulation. Walls can be intuitively and quickly moved with a few mouse clicks, rooms can be re-arranged, and lighting and shading groups can be configured. Individually setting the parameters assigned for lighting, sun shade and room controls can be undertaken on tablets and smartphones, through the web interface based on HTML5. Not only investors, builders and planners benefit, but also system operators and building occupants since parameters and shortcuts can be changed for different room configurations with ease.
The WINSTA connection system can be used for fast and error-free connection of sensors and actuators. DALI is used to control and query the status of lighting, as well as for motion and brightness detection. Each light is individually switchable and dimmable and light scenes can be configured and called up. The integrated Ethernet interfaces (100 Mbit/s) are used for communication with higher-level building technology or to network directly with other building systems. The EnOcean radio technology integrated in the distribution box not only connects sensors wirelessly, e.g., buttons for lighting and sun protection, but also ensures long range and low maintenance. In addition to buttons, room operating units are supported for actual temperature detection and setpoint specifications.
According to WAGO’s Steve Emberton, “Automated heating controls can deliver energy savings of up to 30 percent in office buildings, 39 percent in hotels and restaurants, and 14 percent in hospitals, all of which translates to significant cost savings. With flexROOM settings can be configured according to occupancy rates, for example by automatically switching lights on or off depending on the presence of people within a room. This can yield potential lighting energy savings of up to 40-50 percent.”

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