Wireless Communication in Home and Building Automation

Author: Christian Reinisch
Supervisor: Wolfgang Kastner ,  Georg Neugschwandtner
Type: Master Thesis
Finished: 2007-02-13


The use of wireless technologies in home and building automation (HBA) systems offers attractive benefits, but also introduces a number of technological challenges. Today, mostly wired automation installations exist. In the future, the challenge has to be seen especially in augmenting these existing installations with wireless technology to hybrid systems.

This thesis gives an overview of requirements and challenges characteristic for the HBA domain that come along with the employment of wireless systems. A comparative discussion of wireless protocols suited for the use in HBA is done. Next, two case studies showing possible integration approaches of wireless technology into an existing wired automation system are presented. Tunneling devices allow enhancement of a wired KNX network with wireless ZigBee nodes. Their design is geared towards zero-configuration and supports easy integration of security mechanisms.

The approaches reveal that communication could be optimized with the use of multicast communication. Hence, different multicast protocols are surveyed and compared afterwards. Additionally, they are classified according to criteria identified during research. Finally, a multicast enhancement for the ZigBee protocol, based on a mapping of the Dynamic Core Multicast Protocol to ZigBee, is proposed.

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