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The temperature is rising, the days are getting longer, and it's the perfect weather to go for a swim. You can cool off and relax in the lake or the pool – but what if you're stuck working in your home office? At the height of summer, the temperatures can cause your concentration to wane. The owner of this property at Lake Constance knew about this problem all too well. His home office is located in a fully-glazed top floor room that heats up very quickly. To ensure that he could keep a cool head, he invested in an intelligent climate system: A smart weather station, heating system, solar panels and climate control system are connected to the rest of the cutting-edge technology fitted in the building. We paid a visit to the house on Lake Constance to find out how a house with large panoramic windows can automatically control its own optimum temperature.
The path up to the luxury property – and its enormous windows and spacious rooms – leads through the garden, which is complete with a pool and water features. On warm summer days, electric blinds protect the rooms against the strong sunlight to prevent the temperature inside from rising above comfortable levels. Particularly practical: The blinds are connected to the smart weather station. The station transmits its measured values directly to the blinds, which are automatically raised or lowered in response. In winter, the smart weather station takes on another role in the climate system of the luxury home: During the colder seasons of the year, the rooms are heated not by the sun, but by the heating system. The smart weather station helps out the heating system by informing it when the outdoor temperature is falling. In response, the heating system powers up when a pre-defined limit temperature is reached. The smart weather station also checks how much energy is being generated by the solar panels via a global solar irradiance sensor, to inform the owner of potential faults as soon as possible after they arise.
When planning his smart home, the owner and architect Hartmut Matzke decided to install a KNX system. One of the main features of this smart home solution is that the networked devices communicate via a special cable, which is laid parallel to the power cable. The house has two Gira KNX weather station Plus units – one fitted on the right and one fitted on the left of the property – enabling it to reliably detect any changes in weather. From both sides, the smart weather station can record a range of weather data: It measures wind speed, precipitation, wind direction, outdoor temperature, nightfall, relative humidity and air pressure, and has four sensors to detect the position of the sun, based on its direction. For example, the KNX weather station measures the outdoor temperature and wind speed and sends this information to the Control Client 9 and 19 touch screens, where the owner can view all of his networked technology in one place.
The touch screen displays a visual representation of the house and all of its connected smart home devices. From this display, the owner can select a function, such as heating, and set his preferred temperature in the living room and bathroom, while also checking how much energy the solar panels are generating.
The owner can also use the display to check the current position of the blinds on his windows. If the weather station detects an impending change in the weather based on the relative humidity, sun position or temperature, the blinds respond immediately by automatically lifting up or down. This makes life easier for the owner, as he doesn't have to keep an eye on the weather.
The smart home on Lake Constance is just one example of how a fully-glazed room can be kept comfortable and cool with an intelligent climate system, even at the height of summer. The smart weather station from Gira is a central component of this system, enabling the owner of the house to stay focused in his home office when temperatures rise.
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