EnOcean Wireless Technology

- the EnOcean wireless technology harvests wireless energy that is uses to power its device. In this way separate recharging is not required.

EnOcean wireless technology uses a combination of energy harvesting and very low power wireless communications to enable virtually indefinite communications to be maintained without the need for recharging.

The EnOcean technology is used for wireless sensors, controllers and gateways.

One of the key issues with small machines is the need for ensuring that batteries are maintained charged. In traditional systems, either mains power was required, or batteries needed to be replaced, even if only infrequently. The use of EnOcean removes the need for power to be directly applied thereby reducing the cost of the system operation.

EnOcean standards - ISO / IEC 14543-3-10

In order to provide a common standard to which a variety of products can be made the EnOcean standard was developed.

Then in March 2012 the EnOcean wireless standard was ratified as the international standard ISO/IEC 14543-3-10.

This standard covers the OSI, or Open Systems Interconnection. Layers 1 - 3, i.e. the physical layer, the data link layer and networking layer are all defined. Higher layers are not covered as these are device specific.

Although there are patents on the technology, EnOcean licenses the patented elements to enable others to participate and build the number of products that are available.

In order to promote the technology, the EnOcean Alliance was formed. Consisting initially of EnOcean, Texas Instruments, Omnio, Sylvania, Masco, and MK Electric, it is a non-profit mutual benefit association that aims to promote the technology internationally.


EnOcean Layer Architecture
Layer Data element Details Standard
7. Application Data   Not in standard
6. Presentation Data   Not in standard
5. Session Data   Not in standard
4. Transport Segment   Not in standard
3. Network Packet Sub Telegram Timing, Media Access CSMA-CA (LBT) Defined in standard
2. Data link Frame Sub-Telegram structure, Hash Algorithms, Header Compression Defined in standard
1. Physical Bit Frequency, Modulation, Preamble, Sync, Coding, Length Defined in standard
.

Key EnOcean elements

The EnOcean standard is unique in that it encourages the use of energy harvesting to maintain the operation. Accordingly there are several different areas of interest within the overall EnOcean system:

  • Energy harvesting:   One of the key elements of EnOcean is the ability to harvest local energy to power the remote devices. This overcomes key issues encountered by other systems. A number of energy harvesting systems are covered.
  • Radio Interface:   The radio interface has been designed to provide optimum data transfer over the required distances using very low power levels. This makes the overall system sustainable, even with very small amounts of energy harvesting.
  • Data layers:   The data needs to be transferred in an optimum way to ensure that the EnOcean system is able to provide robust communications.

The EnOcean standard for M2M, IoT style communications has many positive elements. Not only is it a low power transmission standard, but it also addresses the challenge of power by incorporating energy harvesting.

By Ian Poole


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