Technology2014/01/16

What should I pay attention to when designing a smart system?

Projekt instalacji inteligentnego domu instalacja elektryczna architekt

When deciding to build a smart house you are facing a challenge: how to design your wiring so that it accommodates the smart system? Of course, this short text will not allow us to cover all questions related to designing your wiring layout for a smart building, but we will do our best to give you some advice that will make it easier to plan it with a designer preparing your wiring layout and make the right decisions.

 

Wiring architecture

The first question you have to ask is: what type of a smart building installation should you choose from among the available options. It is one of the most important decisions to make when building a house, because it decides what system you will be able to install.

There are many building automation systems available on the market using various architectures. Most leading systems are based around a central switch box that controls all the switches, lamps, sockets and other objects.

You have more flexibility in choosing your system when going for an installation controlled via switch cabinet.

This type of architecture should not be mistaken with a system controlled via central device, as it uses circuits ending in a switch cabinet where devices working in a mesh network operate, instead of a single device controlling most of the smart house systems.

There are many benefits related to installing most of the modules in a single switch cabinet. The most basic one is the ability to choose from among a variety of smart house systems based around different standards. Even if you are not certain, which system you want to install when building your house, you will have a number of options at your disposal when the time to choose comes. Another benefit of this solution is the ability to activate your electric installation without a building automation system and then add it a long time after you move in.

It is also important to know, that building automation systems intended for switch cabinets are usually less expensive when accounting for every input/output device than the radio modules or modules installed in flush-mounted panel boxes.

 

Cables and switch cabinet

In order to avoid mistakes, you should carefully consider during the planning phase, what elements of the building will you want to connect to the system and place wiring where you know it will be needed. Every smart house owner will tell you that it's better to have too many wires than too little. This is why even if you are not currently planning to have the system control things like blinds, you might want to have cables running up to it in order to avoid any additional construction work in the future.

It is a good idea to branch out your wiring to wherever it may be needed in the future.

People also often ask what cable diameter they should use for smart house systems. For 230V circuits it is quite simple: just use cables that are in accordance with the standards in force. For switches and sensors you need to pick cables that match the circuit voltage. GRENTON system can use switches connected using low voltage cables (such as YTDY 4x0.5 cables), significantly reducing installation costs.

When going for a setup with a switch cabinet you should choose the optimal size of the cabinet (there isn't such a thing as too much room for modules), most importantly the cabinet depth, because if the cabinet is not deep enough, some modules may be impossible to install. You should also carefully consider where you want the cabinet installed. Proper location can significantly shorten the distance between the cabinet and circuit ends, allowing for savings made on shorter connection cables.

Connecting smart house modules located outside of the cabinet is another matter completely. In this case, you should use a UTP cable that can be used for connecting not only the smart house modules, but also your Thernet network, used currently by TV sets and home cinema sets.


Boxes

If you are planning on installing smart house modules in flush-mounted panel boxes, you have to check space required for individual modules to be installed within the box and their connection cables. The best choice here are the 70 or 80 mm diameter, deep boxes. They aren't significantly more expensive than the regular ones and might come in handy in the future. Even though some manufacturers praise the small size of the modules, using a larger box will make it easier to install your modules.

 

Costs

In most regular buildings, a setup with a switch cabinet only seems more expensive than the classical wiring scheme. This is due to the fact, that switches can be connected using cheap, low-voltage cables with small diameters, as the voltage flowing through them is very small, which is also a factor when calculating costs.