GE and EnOcean Announce Partnership

PARIS /BUSINESS WIRE/ -- Making buildings intelligent is becoming easier thanks to a new partnership between GE and German technology company EnOcean.

GE's HabiTEQ delivers enhanced energy efficiency and consumer convenience through the control and automation of energy usage in domestic and commercial buildings. With the addition of EnOcean's battery-free wireless technology, it will be possible to install HabiTEQ systems in locations where it is currently impractical to connect with existing devices using wires or batteries.

HabiTEQ is a flexible integrated system that runs a building's functional subsystems, including lighting, heating, ventilation, blinds, and security, from a central control unit, operated via a control panel or online. Wireless technology makes installation cheaper and simpler and also provides aesthetic and practical benefits, such as the ability to fit devices such as sensors in historic buildings or ultra-thin switches on glass panels.

EnOcean equipped devices are zero maintenance and harvest energy from ambient heat and light or from a switch being pressed which, together with the reduced need for batteries, makes them an environmentally friendly way of increasing efficiency.

GE Energy's partnership with EnOcean was announced during an event for French press and trade, June 6, at the Eiffel Tower in Paris, which showcased prelaunch examples from a range of more than 50 HabiTEQ wireless products, which will be made available later in 2011.

Welcoming the new partnership, Todd Johnstone, Chief Executive Officer of GE Energy's Industrial Solutions business in Europe, Middle East, and Africa said: "The combination of GE HabiTEQ systems and EnOcean technology will enable families and commercial property managers to reduce their costs and energy consumption while increasing comfort and convenience. That is a very attractive proposition at a time when we are all very much aware of rising energy prices and pressures to reduce our impact on the environment."

HabiTEQ can be programmed with a personal computer and also can operate automatically or in response to environmental stimulus; e.g. changing the heating in a room in response to changes in external temperature, time of day or human presence. This enables the sort of energy efficient interaction between the subsystems that is almost impossible with conventional technology. In addition, most HabiTEQ devices are equipped to measure energy usage, enabling users to identify further opportunities to reduce costs.

Each HabiTEQ system is bespoke made to deliver the combination of flexibility, energy efficiency and convenience that each building and customer requires. It can incorporate a building's electrical protection and arrives on site as a pre prepared "plug and play" system requiring only a competent electrician to get things up and running. It also can be configured to manage inputs such as solar panels or electric vehicle chargers and enables utilities implement the smart energy technologies.

GE Energy also has joined the EnOcean Alliance, a consortium of companies working to develop and promote self-powered wireless monitoring and control systems by establishing common standards.

About GE
GE is an advanced technology, services, and finance company taking on the world's toughest challenges. Dedicated to innovation in energy, health, transportation, and infrastructure, GE operates in more than 100 countries and employs about 300,000 people worldwide.

GE also serves the energy sector by providing technology and service solutions based on a commitment to quality and innovation. The company continues to invest in new technology solutions and grow through strategic acquisitions to strengthen its local presence and better serve customers around the world. The businesses that comprise GE Energy—GE Power & Water, GE Energy Services and GE Oil & Gas—work together, with more than 90,000 global employees and 2010 revenues of $38 billion, to provide integrated product and service solutions in all areas of the energy industry, including coal, oil, natural gas, and nuclear energy; renewable resources, such as water, wind, solar and biogas; as well as other alternative fuels and new grid modernization technologies to meet 21st century energy needs.

About EnOcean Technology
EnOcean GmbH is the originator of patented self-powered wireless technology. Headquartered in Oberhaching near Munich, the company manufactures and markets maintenance-free wireless sensor solutions for use in buildings and industrial installations. EnOcean solutions are based on miniaturized energy converters, ultra-low-power electronic circuitry, and reliable wireless. Combining these elements enables EnOcean and its product partners to offer sensor systems that are fundamental for energy-efficient buildings and innovative industry.

The basic idea behind the innovative technology stems from a simple observation: where sensors capture measured values, the energy state constantly changes. When a switch is pressed, the temperature alters or the luminance level varies. All these operations generate enough energy to transmit wireless signals. Instead of batteries, EnOcean consequently uses miniaturized energy converters to supply power: linear motion converters, solar cells, and thermal converters. These allow wireless operation in very different surroundings. Intelligent software stacks enable straightforward and simple integration of EnOcean technology in a large variety of user applications.

The EnOcean wireless signal uses the 868 MHz and 315 MHz frequency bands, making it suitable for use worldwide. Telegrams are just 1 ms in duration and are transmitted at a rate of 125 Kbps. Plus, to eliminate transmission errors, a telegram is repeated twice in the space of 30 ms. Data packets are transmitted at random intervals, so the probability of collision is extremely small. The range of EnOcean wireless sensors is about 300 meters in the open and up to 30 meters inside buildings. Each EnOcean module comes with a unique 32-bit identification number to exclude any possibility of overlap with other wireless switches.

The use of self-powered wireless technology enables businesses in different sectors to achieve savings of as much as 40% in energy and operating costs—for the same performance.

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