The Odisee University College in Ghent, Belgium, has been holding KNX in high regard for over a decade as a KNX Scientific Partner as well as providing certified training. Its 2019 project for the Energy Technology education programme was to make a house with an existing KNX installation, off-grid. This project was carried out in the home automation simulation house at the college's premises by the Professor of Energy Technology, Joachim Goeminne, and four research students, namely Andreas Schepens, Alexander De Geyter, Sam Vanpoucke and Laurent Laplace. The project is the winner of the 2020 KNX Awards category for Young.
The main focus of this project was on sustainability and the aim was to make the simulation house able to run on its own generated power. New hardware and software for energy generation, monitoring and management were to be added to the existing KNX installation that includes lighting and blind control.
Solar panels were installed on the roof for energy production, and a home battery was installed for storage. To make this small house more realistic as a heavy energy user, a heat pump with two indoor units was also added. Each of these units is connected to a KNX module, which in turn, was connected to the existing KNX installation using twisted pair cabling. This makes them easy to program. A KNX module was also integrated with a smart meter in order to make data available on the bus, so that energy consumption could be monitored and optimised.
In an age when climate change and energy consumption is top of the agenda, this project shows that, using the right technology, is it possible to live off-grid and limit our impact on the environment.
Benefits of using KNX
This project required not only a reliable system, but one that can be easily interfaced with other systems used in the project. In addition, the home automation simulation house is a work in progress, so it has to be based on technology that is future proof. KNX was therefore the obvious choice.
Key products and technologies used
Jung Schneider Electric Crestron
Project: Off-Grid Smart Home
Contact: Joachim Goeminne