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Article Date: 10th December 2014

ABB LV - Comfortable by Design: ABB Helps Hotels Ensure Maximum Guest Comfort

Building Control - Building Systems - Energy Management - Electrical Distribution

ABB i-bus KNX

Hotels like Neu Heidelberg in Germany want to offer their guests the highest level of comfort. The intelligent building control with ABB i-bus® KNX* offers an ideal solution for hotels to control lights, blinds and heating in each room. These systems are also easy to use and ensure energy efficient operation.

Even on a hot day with temperatures up to +35° Celsius (or 95° Fahrenheit), there is no sign of heat or sticky air in Hotel Neu Heidelberg: The guests enter a well-tempered room that is protected by the sun but still bright. When hotelier David Schwaninger decided to expand his facility, he chose to install the KNX technology to ensure the comfort of his guests. With KNX, the hotel can control lighting, ventilation, heating and blinds based on room occupancy or external environments.

One device for all functions

As a part of the KNX building systems technology, the Room Master RM/S 2.1 from ABB forms the basis for the automatic control. It offers a variety of possibilities to control building automation in a more convenient and energy efficient way - particularly in buildings with many similar rooms such as hotels, hospitals or housing communities.

In Hotel Neu Heidelberg, the device is hidden in the distribution board in each guestroom and simultaneously forms an independent system, where all electrical circuits run together. The advantage: Instead of having several KNX components installed, now only one single device is required to bring together all the different actuator and sensor functions.

Facility-wide data connects with each room

The Room Master is connected to the KNX bus system, which is networked with the electrical installation of all rooms and hotel areas. Additional devices for functions in public areas are installed decentralized or in the technical center of the hotel.

For instance, an ABB weather station on the roof measures the intensity of sun light, temperature as well as wind and rain. The measured data is transmitted through the KNX bus system to the Room Master. According to the programming the devices react to the commands: If the sun shines and the temperature exceeds the values, shutter and blinds move automatically downwards. “A big advantage of KNX is its flexibility, because the functions are not restricted to specific circuits”, explained Thorsten Reibel, KNX Marketing at ABB STOTZ-KONTAKT.

Automated processes yet individual controls

Hotelier David Schwaninger is able to reprogram the automated processes, if necessary, or interrupt the program at any point. On the PC or on a tablet, he is able to see which rooms are occupied, which temperature was selected by the guest and which temperature is actually reached.

When the guests are in their rooms, KNX transmits that information through the keycard, which is stuck in the card reader to activate the electricity in each room. Therefore, the hotelier knows which rooms can be cleaned without disturbing the guests. The KNX-visualization at the reception enables the employees to switch the heating for newly arrived guests from stand-by-mode to comfort-mode.

Once the guest enters the room, only he/she has full control. “We do not want to disturb our guests”, the hotelier says. Each guest can set the temperature, blinds and lighting according to individual needs. If the guest inserts the keycard again in the card reader, the system automatically switches from stand-by-mode back to the guest’s settings.

Less manual work and lower energy costs

KNX contributes not only to more efficient hotel operations, it also eases the work load for the personnel. With timer functions and a digital calendar, processes are programmable for certain days of the week or for longer periods. The access for the parking area opens and closes at pre-defined times and the heated entrance steps stay ice-free automatically if the weather station reports freeze and humidity.

Hotel Neu Heidelberg is located very close to ABB STOTZ-KONTAKT. But the geographical proximity was not the main reason for the decision to use ABB's KNX devices. “We have had a good business relationship with ABB for decades”, says David Schwaninger. “Many ABB employees are guests in our hotel and I heard from them about KNX technology. But in the end, ABB had the best offer with its Room Master.”

The investment is paying off as Hotel Neu Heidelberg pays less than two percent of their net sales for energy costs while the industry standard pays on average three to six percent.

*The ABB i-bus® KNX system is based on KNX technology, which is the worldwide standard for intelligent building control (ISO/IEC 14543).

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