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Part 1: Pros and Cons of Wireless Building Automation Systems
Part 2: WiFi, Zigbee, EnOcean Are Most Common Wireless Technologies
Part 3: Construction Materials Can Interfere With Wireless BAS Signals
By Gislene D. Weig
March 2013 -
Building Automation Article Use Policy
While wired building automation systems (BAS) are both successful and easily implemented when planned in advance and installed during new construction, they are not always a viable solution when dealing with existing or historical buildings, where adding cables can be challenging, costly or aesthetically unappealing. In instances such as this, wireless systems or hybrid systems (a combination of wired and wireless) are often the ideal solution, there are pros and cons of wireless building automation systems to be considered.
In a BAS network there are mainly three tiers. Tier 1 (top level — primary bus) is where devices such as logic controllers, workstation terminals, Web servers, and other supervisory devices are networked. Tier 2 (the secondary bus) connects to major mechanical, electrical, and plumbing components like the central plant controller, air volume box controller (VAV), boiler controller, and lighting controller. The third tier is where end devices like thermostats, lighting sensors and other sensors are located. The most common implementation for wireless BAS has been at the sensor level (tier 3) due to the ease of installation, flexibility, and lower installed cost.
From an IT perspective, there are six key components for wireless: available technology types, reliability, wireless link, interference, security, and battery life.
— Edward Sullivan, editor
There are many reasons to consider wireless building automation systems (BAS).
— Gislene D. Weig