With the increasing use of sensors and user interfaces in residential heating and ventilation systems, trouble-free communication is critical. When a wired solution is not an option, communication via our wireless RF protocol is the solution. It allows for 2-way communication between any components of the system. In case of a third-party control unit, our add-on bridge will take care of communication between the control unit and other components.
868MHz: This is the RF frequency that has been adopted by Europe as to be the frequency that if used must then operate within agreed criteria, for example standards for this frequency specify the communication power levels and dictate the number of times a product can transmit (cycle) over a given time period. It is a well controlled relatively ‘quiet’ band used by manufacturers. It allows Airios to provide wireless capability offering the greatest protection from outside interference but also ensuring that these wireless controls do not have an effect on other wireless products.
The expected range of communications: Within a typical house wireless products should communicate reliably within a 30m range. It is important to take into consideration that walls and ceilings will reduce the RF signal.
How do we design our devices to minimize the risk of reduced efficiency in areas where other wireless signals are operating?
Our wireless communications are robust and do not interfere with other wireless technologies that can be found in normal domestic situations;
Our products do not broadcast continuously;
We transmit only on a single band with a high data transmission rate which minimizes the transmission time which reduces the risk of conflict with other transmissions in the area;
The output power of the wireless devices is, dependent on the device, between 200 to 400 times less than a mobile phone;
Our products conform with the demanding class 2 receiver requirements as defined by ETSI EN300220-1.
How reliable is 2-way RF communication?
The 2-way RF communication is extremely robust and reliable. When installed correctly the signal strength test feature allows the Installer to locate the system components where mutual signal reception is strong.
During communication, signals are sent several times to ensure receipt, and if any message is garbled, the error detection software recognizes this and ensures the message is repeated again. The benefit of the two way RF is that symbols showing successful communications and systems operation can appear on both transmitter and receiver, making testing and fault finding easy.
How are our devices designed to minimize the risk of causing reduced efficiency in other wireless devices?
In order to ensure that other devices do not get wireless instructions that may interfere with their operation we have developed our own protocol (language) so that even if a message is received by another device it will not act upon it as it will not recognize the instructions, thus ensuring we avoid conflict with other products in same frequency band.
To maximize transmission reliability the transmission times are randomized. In this way the risk that some transmissions will ‘collide’ is minimized.
The comprehensive specifications of our wireless products mean that:
They are suitable for many types of buildings including single homes; apartments; multi occupancy homes; shops & small businesses. The wireless signal is proven to work through a wide variety of building materials (Concrete, brick, wood, etc).
We have tested the devices and our stated wireless ranges are:
Open field range approximately 100 metres
In home range 30 metres
The wireless signals will operate through one concrete floor up and down.
A repeater is a transceiver installation that receives a signal and retransmits it in real time. You can place the repeater inbetween two Airios products that can not connect to eachother due to distance. The aim is to obtain a greater range and thus enable communication over greater distances. In fact you can double the range by placing the repeater in the middle. The BRDG-02M11 is a perfect example. This works ideally to extend the range and makes sure that all products have a strong connection.
Bluetooth and Wi-Fi
Bluetooth and Wi-Fi have some similar applications: setting up networks, printing, or transferring files. Wi-Fi is intended as a replacement for high-speed cabling for general local area network access in work areas or home. This category of applications is sometimes called wireless local area networks (WLAN). Bluetooth was intended for portable equipment and its applications. The category of applications is outlined as the wireless personal area network (WPAN). Bluetooth is a replacement for cabling in various personally carried applications in any setting and also works for fixed location applications such as smart energy functionality in the home (thermostats, etc.).
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are to some extent complementary in their applications and usage. Wi-Fi is usually access point-centered, with an asymmetrical client-server connection with all traffic routed through the access point, while Bluetooth is usually symmetrical, between two Bluetooth devices. Bluetooth serves well in simple applications where two devices need to connect with a minimal configuration like a button press while Wi-Fi suits better in applications where some degree of client configuration is possible and high speeds are required, especially for network access through an access node. However, Bluetooth access points do exist, and ad hoc connections are possible with Wi-Fi though not as simply as with Bluetooth.
We are constantly looking for both opportunities to be implemented in our products where necessary.
The Add-On bridge gives you the opportunity to extend your products with all RF 868 components. It can be used to add wireless sensors to your ventilation system or to add wireless heating products to your setup. Also integrate it in your gateway to the outside world for mobile application. It provides you an easy way to have a complete wireless product portfolio to your products/systems. The data can be read out and written accordingly with a variant of the Modbus protocol, a widely spread communication protocol.
OpenTherm testing tool
OpenTherm is a non-manufacturer-dependent system of communication between modulating HVAC heating appliances and room thermostats. It consists of a communication protocol and an interface specification. OpenTherm is a futuristic technology combining simple installation procedure with high functionality and future expansion possibilities.
Thermostats operated with a traditional on/off controller can be exchanged easily, regardless of whether they are regular thermostats or clock controllers. The same applies for the compatibility of central heating appliances operated by on/off controllers. This provides a wider choice to the fitters when determining the components of a heating system.
Yet when manufacturers of heating systems apply extra functions, more sophisticated communication protocols are needed. The various products are then no longer necessarily interchangeable. In this case, products (i.e. a central heating appliance and a controller) can only operate together provided that they use the same manufacturer-specific protocol.
On the other hand, if manufacturers of both central heating appliances and controllers all maintain a common standard protocol, their respective products can easily operate together. Hence, opting for a standard protocol means opting for a larger market and more freedom of choice for all market participants.
Standards for heating controllers
The communication protocol describes the way digital information is exchanged between central heating appliances and room thermostats. The way this protocol is implemented, and any extra functionality resulting from the use of OpenTherm, is determined entirely by manufacturers of central heating appliances and room thermostats.
Product documentations should state which system functions are available for particular combinations of products. In any case, using OpenTherm guarantees a minimum level of compatibility.
The following applies to the OpenTherm protocol:
OpenTherm is a multi point to point communication protocol for use in residential heating.
OpenTherm requires a standard type of connection like in any modern installation practice, i.e. a 2-wire low voltage and polarity-free connection.
OpenTherm can also be used as a wireless protocol.
Expanding the functionality
The OpenTherm communication protocol is primarily designed to control modulating heating appliances. As stated above, the protocol offers expansion possibilities which enable the manufacturer to build extra functions into their control devices or appliances as well as the basic function which is compulsory for all OpenTherm implementations. As such they can distinguish themselves from other suppliers and increase the freedom of choice for installers and consumers.
For certification you can reach out to the Opentherm association.