Thu, 4 August 2016

The monitoring of energy consumption in the residential sector

Application context

A new residential building where a total housing recovery has been performed. Today the building is an Active House: over a year, it produces more energy from renewable sources than it consumes. It does not need a traditional heating system: room comfort is guaranteed by sunrays, building characteristics and a mechanical ventilation system fitted with heat recovery.

Project requirements

The customer requested a system able to manage lighting, blinds, temperature control and consumption metering. Specifically, energy and water consumption on the house’s general meter, as well as cold and hot sanitary water consumption. Moreover, both the planner and the commissioner requested installation of KNX, the international system for home & building automation. This solution features a full scalability and a very low obsolescence over time, thus making the system flexible even for supervision purposes. 

Ekinex solutions

The Ekinex products selected for this application are the following:

EK-ME1-80T energy meter with EK-MC1-TP KNX interface, which allows measuring the power values and makes them available on the bus for supervision, in order to easily manage the priorities of the building’s main loads.

EK-BM1-TP-20 M-Bus - KNX gateway (up to 20 M-Bus devices), which acquires the consumption values on dedicated meters (3 in this building) equipped with M-Bus interface. Once again, this solution allows the field supervisor to manage all consumptions values.

Reasons for choosing Ekinex

This Active House won a regional contest for its design and plant’s characteristics, but has to prove its achievements on a periodical basis. For this reason, all measurements have to be as precise as possible, and so all instruments have to be certified to perform such measurements. Ekinex offers a range of gateways allowing the communication between the most widespread automation protocols (Modbus, M-Bus, Profinet, etc…) thus making acquisition and integration management easier, without losing any feature of any bus involved.By using the M-Bus – KNX gateway, then, all technical characteristics of the instruments are retained, without altering the measurements and making them available for all system functions interacting with them.Moreover, Ekinex energy meter is MID certified. MID ("Measuring Instruments Directive") is a certification for measurement instruments used for commercial purposes and metric-legal use, thus suitable to certify measures as in this particular case.


A properly designed system allows a full monitoring of all building’s plants, and confirms the fact that home & building automation can really help to reduce consumptions. In this particular context, Ekinex products have been chosen and used to be integrated with KNX system for their quality and technical characteristics, which are not common and superior to other products in the market.

Giuseppe Calcagno - R&D ekinex

Industrial Expert and KNX tutor, has also a passion for singing and acoustic guitars. During his working experience, he has dealt with situations and problems regarding the integration of automation systems. In the focus he talks about this subject: “Ekinex gateways, in this particular case EK-BM1-TP-20 , allow integrating different systems through KNX protocol, thus making design easier. Moreover, they are an opportunity for system integrators because of their simple and intuitive configuration.”

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