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Domotic home systems

Safety and comfort in the intelligent house. The X-10 protocol or standard

By: Webmaster | Published: 30/10/2009 09:14 | |

The word domotics derives from the Latin term domus, home, and the term robot, a translation to English of the Czech word robota that means forced worker. It refers to the automation of the different facilities of a house and the application of automation techniques for the comfort and security of its dwellers. The comfort of an intelligent house.

Domotics can be applied to inumerable tasks at home and what it really contributes is a high degree of comfort. Depending on the technological level that we apply, the functions carried out can change widely.

Domotic systems can control lights, blinds, and awnings, adjusting them automatically to the intensity of light throughout the day. They can even control the automatic turning on and off of the lights in passageways when someone goes past them.

They can control the temperature of the dwelling, both the systems of air conditioning and heating, which can suppose an important saving. They can also control anti-burglar alarm systems, fire alarms, water leakage alarms, gas escapes, etc.

All this is done automatically, following a pre-established programming, or under supervision of the user who can send orders by means of a keyboard, a phone, or even the Internet. Actually, the possibilities are almost unlimited. The different domotic systems are based on three types of different modules:

  • Control module. The control module of a domotic system is the central unit that receives the information and sends the orders to the rest of modules. It is also the module in charge of establishing communication with the user (by means of tactile screens, keyboards, phone, computer, etc.). The control module is really not essential to install a domotic system, but the flexibility and serviceability that it offers is very high.
  • Actuators. The actuators are the different devices that will execute the orders that come from the control module, for example, to raise or lower a blind, or to modify the light intensity of a lamp.
  • Sensors. The sensors are devices destined to gather information from their environment, as for example the intensity of light or temperature, and to send it to the control module so that it makes the correct decision on the matter.

A simple and economical domotic system is one based on X-10 technology, called current carriers, which implies using the electrical network of the house to transmit information between the different elements that make up the domotic system.

It is a simple and limited communications protocol, but it nevertheless allows us to install an adequate home domotic system. With the X-10 system we might control up to a maximum of 256 different elements grouped into a maximum of 16 different areas, and all this with the advantage of using the already existing electrical wiring in the house.

The orders that this protocol allows for are basic: turn on, turn off, increase, reduce, switch everything on, and switch everything off. As you can see, you are not going to be able to ask for information, or ask about the state of a sensor or an actuator, but with these 6 basic instructions you can cover a good part of your needs.