EnOcean – Batteries are a thing of the past

homee now offers 6 different cubes that can make your home smarter, more comfortable and secure . The number of devices and technologies supported by homee grows with (almost) every update - because we are constantly working on the integration of new devices. This load of technology, concepts, and devices can be overwhelming for smart home beginners. That is why we bring a little light into the smart darkness. So you are fully informed and can make a conscious decision when buying your smart home. 

In this series, we will introduce you to our various cubes - and thus the wireless standards - in more detail. 

We start with our turquoise buddy, the EnOcean Cube.

EnOcean- is the name of the radio technology that was patented by the EnOcean GmbH company in 2001 and has been further developed by the EnOcean Alliance since 2008. The real idea behind EnOcean technology is that it should require very little energy becomes.

So little energy that she
should be taken directly from the environment. can be won. For example, the physical press of a button is sufficient to generate enough energy to send a signal through the so-called piezo effect - the occurrence of electrical voltage when mechanical pressure is exerted on a solid body.

The situation is similar when sending a temperature measurement value. Here the ambient brightness is used to generate enough energy for the signal by means of small solar cells. 

Since only a very limited amount of energy is available, the device cannot handle complex processes. The signals sent are therefore not encrypted and communication is not confirmed by both sides. This can lead to occasional dropouts - which, however, as we will see later, does not have to be a disadvantage.

What about the range?

As mentioned at the beginning, EnOcean uses the simplest possible signals. Of course, this also means that there are no sophisticated mechanisms for forwarding signals. The computing effort and the associated power consumption would be too high for that. Fortunately, there are so-called repeaters: these are devices that simply repeat all received messages - and thus reinforce it. This type of expansion of the network range is called repeating. With the clever use of repeaters in the right places in the house, an EnOcean network can also be stretched across a larger building. However, the rule here applies: less is more! Using as many repeaters as possible is rather counterproductive. The devices would interfere with each other. However, when used in a targeted manner, they are a great solution for improving radio coverage.

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So for which devices is EnOcean particularly suitable?

  • Do you want to know how warm it is in the living room? - EnOcean
  • Do you want to know if all doors and windows are closed? - EnOcean
  • Do you want to know if someone is at home? - EnOcean

In short: EnOcean is actually suitable for everything that relates to sensors. If a temperature or humidity value should be lost due to a brief failure, that is no problem, and the devices with EnOcean usually run completely self-sufficient and maintenance-free. This not only saves you a lot of money, but also time!

Advantages of EnOcean

The unmistakable advantage of EnOcean technology is of course that it can be operated without batteries and cables. EnOcean can communicate with all existing bus systems such as KNX or BACnet via gateways.

In addition, the number of sensors is limitless. If you want to distribute these around the house, you don't have to pick up a drill, but can quickly and easily stick the switches and sensors anywhere. This makes EnOcean ideal for renovations in buildings in which it is difficult to lay cables. For example in the Semperoper in Dresden, where EnOcean-based products were installed because areas of the building are listed and cabling is prohibited.

The short transmission time of the signals makes the radio standard not only energy efficient, but also low in radiation.

EnOcean Pros and Cons
EnOcean Pros and Cons

Disadvantages of EnOcean

Most EnOcean devices send unencrypted or with an extremely simple type of encryption.

Its hard to ensure - with almost any EnOcean gadget - that your command actually reached the device.

Many devices are only unidirectional. This means that they can either only send (sensors) or only receive (actuators).

Since EnOcean offers both unidirectional and bidirectional radio modules, i.e. not all devices can communicate in all directions, it only uses the mesh network to a limited extent. So-called EEP (EnOcean Equipment Profiles) are used to ensure successful communication.

Of course, this does not mean that all EnOcean devices have these disadvantages. There are solutions that are constantly connected to a power supply or have a battery (which, however, destroys the battery-free operation of EnOcean again). Such devices are also capable of various forms of bidirectional communication. 

And of course there are also encryption methods for EnOcean. 

The whole thing might sound not very smart and not at all suitable for your smart home. But that would be prematurely judged! Like any other technology, EnOcean technology offers advantages and disadvantages. With the knowledge of these, however, applications and tasks can be found that exploit the advantages and avoid the disadvantages! 

In addition, EnOcean devices have another great advantage: With "normal" battery-operated devices, the battery must be changed after about a year or a season. Most of them EnOcean devices this process is completely eliminated.

Our EnOcean Cube

With the EnOcean Cube from homee you connect a wide variety of brands, such as Afriso, Eltako, NodOn and many more. In connection with our other cubes (Zigbee, Z-Wave, Hörmann BiSecurWAREMA WMS) you can control a wide variety of devices from a wide variety of radio protocols and brands via one system.

Here you come directly to our EnOcean Cube. 

If you have any questions or suggestions, you can join our great homee Community or send a question to support@homee.de Together we can make every house smarter.

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