A modem allowing information exchange between domestic appliances over mains cabling and a software component for small microcontrollers, makes a reality a cost effective and flexible home automation system.
The European Home System (EHS) is a home automation network designed to interconnect devices in the home such as heating, energy management, lighting and security equipment. Typically, various appliances, utility controls, telephone interfaces and TV displays exchange data through the powerline. The silicon component developed in this project, the ST7537 modem (for high volume consumer markets), not only allows appliances to transmit data over domestic powerlines without the need of extra cabling but also allows appliances to be connected to the "network" simply by plugging them into the nearest wall socket. The latest development is a software library, HS-Lib, which can be used by small microcontrollers and provides a full, optimised and easy to use implementation of the EHS protocol.
The move towards home automation is increasing, with consumers looking for more 'intelligent' and safer homes. This is delivered by the EHS protocol and the modem chip, already being used in a new family of domestic appliances that are not only "smart" in responding to their surroundings, but which also communicate with each other. For example, if a fire sensor is triggered, then a warning is sent over the powerline and picked up by electrically controlled gas valves which cut off the gas supply; simultaneously an alarm system alerts anyone in the house and the telephone interface issues an automatic call to the emergency services. Apart from the obvious saving in installation cost, the virtual network provided by the ST7537 modem chip also makes modification and enhancement very simple, since new devices just 'plug-in'; the release of HS-Lib will aid in the implementation of this technology into a variety of domestic appliances.
The extremely powerful EHS protocol includes sophisticated network management functions for the automatic configuration of nodes (plug and play) and an object-oriented command language allowing applications to communicate and interoperate. It covers several media such as powerlines, coaxial and twisted pair cables, as well as infrared and radio transmission. HS-Lib is a comprehensive library of communications software, currently available for 8051, ST9 and H8 microcontrollers for two EHS media, powerline and twisted pair 1. The software is capable of operating on monochip versions without external RAM (Random Access Memory) or ROM (Read Only Memory), simplifying design and reducing component costs. EHS is an open technology, so hardware and software can be supplied by different manufacturers and interoperability is ensured, enhancing consumer choice.
e-mail : (email removed)Ulrich Fielder SGS Thomson Bretonischer Ring 4 D-85630 Grasbrunn bei.München Germany
e-mail (email removed)Bruno Jean Bart Trialog 25 rue du Général Foy F-75008 Paris France
e-mail (email removed)
Research Area Technology and Components for Subsystems
Related Results MOMENTUM
Keywords home automation systems; interconnect; modems for domestic appliances;
|Daimler Benz Research DE|
|EDF (Electricité de France) FR|
|EHSA (European Home Systems Association) NL|
|I&T COM FR|
|Landis & Gyr FR|
|Schneider Electric FR|
|SGS Thomson FR|
|Thomson Multimedia FR|
|Thorn EMI CRL UK|
|University of Bristol UK|
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