Improved radio for greater energy efficiency and climate protection #WeKnowHow

31. März 2023 | The five letters SKAMO represent a key milestone on the path toward energy-efficient building management and, therefore, reduced costs and CO2 emissions.

Imagine if all sensors and control mechanisms – of which there are thousands in large buildings – could be operated intelligently and in coordination with one another. This would avoid miscommunication between the sensor and thermostat, for example, and heating systems would not operate at full blast when windows were open. How can this be achieved, however? Firstly, with frictionless communication and, secondly, with clear identification of all participating sensors and control mechanisms.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS launched the project “Scalable system monitoring in large properties” (SKAMO) in collaboration with Munich Airport, WEPTECH elektronik GmbH, and Volue ASA. On the one hand, SKAMO is based on the wireless LPWAN technology mioty® from Fraunhofer IIS, which can connect a large number of sensor nodes over long distances for use in the Internet of Things (IoT). mioty® uses the telegram splitting multiple access (TSMA) technique for the energy-efficient and reliable transmission of sensor data. Using mioty®, several hundreds of thousands of sensors can be operated with a single base station, paving the way for everything from centralized and interconnected control of subsystems to energy-efficient operation. On the other hand, in addition to optimized radio technology, SKAMO also called for a standardized description of the individual sensor and control units. To this end, semantic technologies were used to develop a software architecture in which every component of the building services is described in a manner that is understandable to a machine, thereby allowing automatic identification and communication between components. 

SKAMO can be applied to system monitoring in any kind of complex building – from apartment blocks to airports. Andreas Wilde and Ferdinand Kemeth from Fraunhofer IIS believe that SKAMO has the potential to achieve energy savings of 10 to 30 percent. The project is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action.

Article by Patricia Staudacher-Sauer


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