Siemens Smart Infrastructure has launched an ARM-based IoT box for small smart buildings that connects up to 11 different building protocols to the cloud.
The Connect Box is designed to manage small to medium-sized buildings with a user-friendly approach for monitoring building performance that has the potential to optimize energy efficiency by up to 30 percent and to substantially improve indoor air quality.
The Connect Box is based on an ARM Cortex-A7 processor running Linux with 512Mbytes of RAM and 4GBytes of flash memory. A smart converter supports 11 communication protocols, both standard and proprietary, wired or wireless, including LoRaWAN, BACnet, Modbus and KNX. A cellular interface connects the box to the cloud.
Upgrading buildings with more monitoring and control is increasingly important. In Europe the EPBD (Energy Performance for Buildings Directive) is supporting the EU’s goal of climate-neutral building operations by 2050, forcing building owners and operators to take action.
Installation is plug and play, so system integrators, technicians and facility managers do not need engineering skills to set up, configure and operate the system. The included software library contains more than 500 ready-to-connect field devices and is constantly growing, from both Siemens and third parties.
This allows users to accomplish essential daily building management tasks from one place via a cloud-based interface with no additional gateway or software. Alarm notifications for potential issues as well as graphics that visualize historical trends provide meaningful insights into the building performance at any time, supporting the optimization of building operations.
As an example, the IAQ (indoor air quality) multi-sensor which Siemens has recently introduced, works as a plug and play solution with Connect Box to provide crucial data on room air quality. The multi-sensor measures air quality in real time, checking key metrics like temperature and humidity, CO₂ saturation, VOC and PM2.5 emissions, as well as light and noise level (dBA). Building operators benefit by getting full transparency on air quality in their building and can make sure that they provide a healthy environment for tenants, visitors or staff.
Connect Box offers two licensing models. The Cloud license allows users to store their building data in the Connect Box online database, while the On-premise license enables users to easily integrate the data collected from wired and IoT devices into an existing automation system, building management system, or external cloud. Both variants are managed remotely and updated over the air.