Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Home Smart Home - Understanding The Home Automation System

What is Home automation?

“The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify inefficiency”.
- Bill Gates

What is Home Automation:

Home automation is automation of the home, housework or household activity. Home automation may include centralized control of lighting, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning), appliances, and other systems, to provide improved convenience, comfort, energy efficiency, and security.
The concept of home automation has been around for a long time and products have been on the market for decades, though no one solution has broken through to the mainstream yet. Home automation for the elderly and disabled can provide increased quality of life for persons who might otherwise require caregivers or institutional care. It can also provide a remote interface to home appliances or the automation system itself, via a telephone line, wireless transmission or the internet, to provide control and monitoring via a smartphone or web browser.
What is Home automation?

Home Automation using cloud network is a system that uses computers or mobile devices to control basic home functions and features automatically through the internet from anywhere around the world, an automated home is sometimes called a smart home. This network uses a consolidation of a mobile phone application and PC based program to provide the means of the user interface to the consumer. The home automation system differs from another system by allowing the user to operate the system from anywhere around the world through an internet connection.

History of Home Automation:

  • The history of home automation began in 1975, where X10 was developed as the as the first wireless communication protocol for home automation devices which used electrical power lines to send bursts of digital signals to control home appliances.
  • By 1978, X10 vendors developed more computer-controlled technologies such as lightning switches and thermostat controllers. 
  • In 1984, smart home technologies included garage door controllers, entertainment devices, remote controllers, and security systems.
  • In 1998, home automation gained more popularity and different technologies emerged and became viable integrated with new household technologies, home instruments, and networking.
  • By the end of 2012, the number of smart houses in the United States exceeded 1.5 million.

Core Components of Home Automation System:

The main components of home automation are wireless technologies, including Wavenis, ZWave, ZigBee, Bluetooth, DECT-ULE, EnOcean, Insteon, KNX, Thread, and WI-FI. These technologies share common RF frequency bands, have long battery life, long-distance connection, low bit rate, and transmit RF energy signals in all directions. The issue of radiated power emitted by wireless devices due to its effect on human health has been a concern for a long time.

Home Automation

  1. Wavenis – Coronis Systems developed Wavenis technology to provide ultra-low power (ULP) battery consumption and long-range wireless devices. Wavenis supports a wide variety of wireless devices that form Wireless Personal Area Networks (WPAN), Wireless Local Area Network WLAN and Wireless Wide Area Network WWANs with both tree and star topologies. It also extends the standard Bluetooth to build ad hoc networks (Peer-to-Peer), extended range with ULP devices.
  2. ZigBee – ZigBee is a family of low power and low data rate devices; based on IEEE 802.15.4, wireless standards, that build WPANs for home automation. ZigBee operates in Unlicensed ISM frequency bands of 868, 915, and 2400 MHz, with data rates between 20, 40 and 250 kbps, the RF range is between 10 and 20 meters a with transmitted power of 8 dBm. The ZigBee supports Star, Peer-to-Peer, Mesh, and Tree networks. Every ZigBee network has one coordinator device.
  3. Near Feild Communication (NFC) – NFC, developed by NXP, Infineon and Sony, is a set of protocols to enable two wireless devices to establish a connection within short range. NFC utilizes ISO/IEC 14443 A&B and JIS-X 6319-4 contactless technology. NFC operates in the 13.56 MHz frequency band, with data rates between 106, 212, 424 kbps and 848 Kbps, the RF range is less than 10cm with a transmitted power of 20-23 dBm. The operating modes of NFC are a device, reader/writer, Peer-to-Peer, and card emulation.
  4. Thread – The thread stack, developed by Thread group, is an open standard for Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communication protocols that run over IPv6 Low-Power Wireless Personal Area (6LoWPAN) to enable low-power home automation devices to connect wirelessly to the Internet. Thread devices works either in Peer-to- Peer or mesh networks.
  5. Bluetooth – Bluetooth, invented by Ericsson and managed by Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), is a wireless technology standard for exchanging data between short range mobile devices to build WPANs. There exist many profiles of Bluetooth: 1.0, 1.1, 1.2, 2, 2.1, 3, 4, 4.1, 4.2 and 5.0. Bluetooth versions 4.2 and 5 are members of the Bluetooth Low Energy family (Bluetooth Smart) and are designed for low power, low data rates, and support 6LoWPAN. This research will focus on these versions, as they are targeted for IoT home automation.
  6. EnOcean – EnOcean was developed by Siemens Inc. This technology is based on energy harvesting: it efficiently utilizes any slight variation in the environment—either thermal, mechanical or illumination—and then implements proper converters to transform these variations into electrical power. Thus, EnOcean devices are selfpowered (battery free).
  7. Wireless Fidelity (WI-FI) –is a set of wireless local area network (WLAN) standards. IEEE created the first WLN standard (802.11b) that supports 11 Mbps data rate and works in the ISM 2.4 GHz unlicensed band. The second standard was 802.11a with 54 Mbps data rate and works in the 5GHz band. The third successor standard was the 802.11g that supports 54 Mbps data rate and works in the 2.4 GHz band.
  8. Microcontrollers: Microcontrollers are the brains in these systems which will coordinate with sensors to gather data and understand what next has to be done. These data collected from the sensors can be given through instructions by the user from his or her smartphone connected through wifi or Bluetooth (for a shorter distance). Once received the instruction, they send signals to collect the fresh data from the sensors. Now, these sensors will send the data and that will be compared and sent to the user, accordingly which he or she can next step. These controllers can be Raspberry Pi, Arduino, ST Microelectronics etc.
  9. Relays: A relay is an electronically operated switch. Many relays use an electromagnet to mechanically operate a switch, but other operating principles are also used such as solid state relays. 
  10. Sensors: Sensors are like transducers which finally gives the result in the form of electrical signals. There are various types of sensors which can be used for home automation some of them which are discussed below:
  • Temperature Sensor: Temperature sensor essentially measures the heat/cold developed by an object for which it is connected. It then implements a proportional resistance current or voltage as an output. The output of the sensor which is converted to digital is easy to connect with the microcontroller. LM35 is a well-known low cost temperature sensor which is directly calibrated in Degrees Celsius, meaning that the output voltage is directly proportional to Degrees Celsius readings.
  • Fire Sensor: The fire sensor senses a weak DC signal from the ac power sent to the ignitor through flame rectification in the polarity of power through a flame rectified DC. The fire sensor consists of an Infra-Red (IR) sensor, comparator and LED. It can detect the flame or wavelength at 760 nm range of light. The lighter the test flame distance is, the greater the distance-test. It is connected to the motor via a microcontroller, so when the fire is detected the motor sprinkler will automatically be switched-on and alerts by sending a message to a particular mobile.
  • Gas Sensor: The gas detector detects the presence of gases in an area as a part of a safety system. It can detect H2, LPG, Smoke, Propane based on its fast response time. It identifies hazardous gas leaks by a sensor. When is gas is detected it employs an alarm to alert people. MQ2 flammable gas sensor detects the concentrations of volatile gas in the air and provides analog voltage as an output.
Home Automation

Also read: Google Maps - How Live Traffic Works?

Benefits of Home Automation:

  • Savings: Smart thermostats and smart lightbulbs save energy, cutting utility costs over time. Smart home automation technologies monitor water usage, too, helping to prevent exorbitant water bills.
  • Safety: Many home automation systems fall under the umbrella of home security.
  • Convenience: Because home automation performs rote tasks automatically, the end user experience is a great convenience in itself.
  • Control and Comfort

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