Building Lighting Automation through the Integration of DALI with Wireless Sensor Networks
Abstract — This paper focuses on the integration of Digital Addressable Lighting Interface (DALI) devices in wireless sensor networks. Since different manufacturers usually deal with one aspect of building automation - e.g. heating ventilation and air conditioning, lighting control, different kinds of alarms, etc. - final building automation system has different subsystems which are finally taken to an integrated building management system. The cost of this process is consequently increased due to additional hardware investment. Our main purpose is to provide the end consumer with an economical fully centralized system in which home appliances are managed by
A building automation (BA) system (BAS) deals with monitoring and control of building services, such as heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), lighting, alarms, etc. Not only is it the system bound to operate in HVAC appliances and lamps, but HVAC and lighting control can also be obtained by more natural and efficient ways, e.g. starting a motor to open blinds.
BAS were initially developed to control HVAC systems. Through time we have gone through several kinds of controllers, e.g. pneumatics, analog circuits, microprocessors, etc. At the time of its beginning, BA’s purpose was the comfort of end consumers and afterwards (early 1970s), energy efficiency criteria were also considered . Even though other home systems like lighting should also use automation, they are usually installed in a different system than HVAC. This division of the two subsystems increases the end consumer cost due to additional investment in communication hardware and software for integrating HVAC and lighting in a single control point.
As it was previously stated, building services are usually controlled separately, making BA the set of control and communication technologies which link those different subsystems and make them work from a centralized monitoring and control center . The main purpose of having a single control point which provides access to all building services is the costs reduction. A remote monitoring allows the quick detection of failing devices without needing long searches and wasting personal time. This continuous monitoring enables a preventive, or predictive as well, maintenance, which results in a reduction of operational and maintenance costs. Since it is estimated that the operational cost of a building is about seven times the initial investment, taking into consideration the global life-cycle an additional initial cost is worth the effort .
The need of a centralized monitoring control center makes necessary the integration of all BA applications. The number of proprietary solutions has increased since the beginning of BA, but now we have several open standards (BACnet, LonWorks, KNX, DALI, ZigBee…) which make the integration process easier.
Our work focuses on the development of a prototype to be used in a wireless sensor network (WSN) which also integrates DALI protocol. Since DALI is a well-established standard and it has been adopted by major electronic ballasts’ suppliers it is very easy to find DALI compliant devices. Despite it is designed for lighting control, DALI has also been adapted to other applications, such as motor or fan controllers, proximity alarms, etc. . Adapting the standard to a WSN allows integrating DALI devices as a part of the WSN, expanding the traditional DALI bus and removing wires (DALI devices require a dedicated bus for data transmission), which results in a reduction of installation costs. A WSN as part of a home automation system is also known as a wireless home automation...