Optoelectronics

Energy harvesting light switch module installed

13th May 2021
Alex Lynn

Airports in China have become the topics of sustainability, flexibility and energy efficiency in the lighting sector. Thanks to the wireless and battery-free light switch module from ZF, lights are controlled by using the KNX-RF radio protocol at Beijing and Xinjiang airports.

The first KNX light switch modules from ZF were installed and used in July 2016 at Hetian Airport in the city of Xinjiang. Due to the positive results, Beijing International Airport also expressed interest in the innovative modules. In September 2020 the time came - the energy harvesting light switches from ZF now control the lighting of the VIP rooms at the airport of the Chinese capital.

The reasons for using these innovative ZF light switch modules are varied, but simple. Based on RF and completely free of batteries and cables, the modules can be integrated into a KNX network. After short training, lights can be controlled via the ZF light switch in the same way as traditionally wired light switches. KNX-RF commands transmitted by the switches can be easily transformed into KNX-TP by means of a media coupler.

As a wireless solution, however, the ZF light switch offers great flexibility and the option of redesigning the room division in the airport according to individual requirements. This avoids not only maintenance work in the future but also time-consuming measures for battery replacement and disposal.

The technical core component of the ZF light switch module is located inside. A small, compact generator (20.1x7.3x14.3mm) generates enough energy by mechanical actuation due to the inductive principle. This ensures a reliable radio transmission of commands. With a lifetime of over 1,000,000 switching cycles, it can be operated for many years without any problems.

The wireless light switch module from ZF is available for the KNX-RF wireless standard without an additional gateway. Due to the KNX protocol structure, the generator requires a high energy yield. With up to 330µWs, the generator from ZF is suited for this application.

In addition to KNX-RF, the ZF light switch module also supports the EnOcean3.0 wireless standard and the Bluetooth5.0 Low Energy. It is compatible with commercially available standard frames and can also be combined with customer-specific operating and design panels.

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