Wireless and battery-less interface elevates smart industrial switches

Using the ZF Friedrichshafen compact generator in its industrial Harmony ZBRT wireless and battery-less interface Schneider Electric believes it has developed a simple and quick way to modify existing control units for smart industrial switches.

The self-powered Harmony ZBRT transmitter is modular and compatible with Schneider’s Harmony XB4 and XB5 control units.

Flexibility is an essential feature for industrial enterprises says Schneider, as logistical changes are often required, leading to an upgrade of equipment and control systems. Using a wireless and battery-free pushbutton is the simplest and quickest way to modify existing control units, says Schenider Electric.

New functions can be added to the system by simply adding an energy harvesting pushbutton. Each RF switch has a unique ID and can be associated to a specific function or machine. This retrofit option saves time and costs in wiring, programming, and it avoids maintenance work for changing batteries. The Harmony ZBRT interface is compatible with standard electrical contacts, so it can be set up very quickly. A duplication of function is also possible to control additional equipment with an existing pushbutton. While attaching the self-powered pushbutton on an existing switch, it is possible to initiate two associated processes with one push, for example. The advantage of this feature is that there is no change for the existing wiring and no new wiring is required.

The ZF energy harvesting switch is a compact design, measuring just 20.1 x 7.3 x 14.3mm, enabling it to be integrated directly into the plastic housing of the Harmony ZBRT. The ZF radio switch generates a voltage pulse by mechanical actuation, as it relies on the inductive principle and without any additional power source. RF commands can be reliably sent via commercially available radio protocols such as Zigbee Green Power at 2.4GHz (IEEE 802.15.4), which is used by the smart Harmony system of Schneider Electric.


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