Zigbee turns up the heat - Embedded.com

Zigbee turns up the heat

LONDON — A ZigBee-based heating control system using Ember’s wireless networking technology promises to bring the convenience of remote control and energy savings to millions of European residents who today operate their radiators manually.

4-NOKS (Conegliano, Italy) has developed a number of ZigBee-based devices that enable manufacturers of heating and refrigeration products to add wireless monitoring and control capabilities.

The first commercial product using the technology is the Cyclope interactive thermostat control from Kalirel, a French radiator manufacturer, for monitoring and control of radiators in the home. Taking advantage of ZigBee’s mesh networking and two-way communications capabilities, Cyclope can receive, display and alter the current room temperature and radiator settings.

ZigBee radios in each radiator throughout a house or apartment create a self-forming, self-healing wireless network that lets each radiator communicate with the remote control anywhere in the residence.

Cyclope also enables users to record how much heat they have consumed over time. With these controls and information, users can optimize their thermostat settings to save heating costs and conserve energy. Additional 4-NOKS products are also being integrated into a soon-to-be-announced wireless sensing system from a major refrigeration company.

The 4-NOKS modules were developed on Ember’s first-generation ZigBee-compliant platform, the EM2420 radio coupled with EmberZNet networking software. The company plans to use the next generation ZigBee-compliant EM250 ZigBee system-on-a-chip (SoC) going forward. This 802.15.4/ZigBee-based semiconductor system integrates a programmable microprocessor, RF radio, network protocol stack and memory into a single-chip solution smaller than a shirt button.

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