Energy harvesting switches for wireless control applications

November 29, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
For use in ‘smart homes’, and providing flexible, battery free wireless controls for building and industrial systems, these switches from ZF support KNX, ZigBee and GreenPower protocols.

ZF Friedrichshafen AG recently completed rebranding of the long established switch and sensors manufacturer Cherry Industrial Solutions to the ZF brand. From 1st January 2017, all products sold via the Industrial Solutions product line will be branded ZF. The company’s intention is to strengthen its efforts to develop new potential markets, with a focus on industry and building automation. With a comprehensive switch product portfolio, sensors, and these switch products incorporating energy harvesting technology, these new markets offer excellent growth potential, ZF comments.

The energy harvesting wireless switches, using a magnetic coil/permanent magnet construction, generate a useful amount of energy from the action of the user operating the switch; they are simple and effective to use and are installed without cables or batteries. The harvested energy can power a wireless transaction in a choice of protocols.

ZF says its Energy Harvesting switches offer system designers and architects simple and aesthetically pleasing installation even on surfaces including glass, wood, or concrete. With the multi-pushbutton module ZF has eliminated the need for embedding cables in walls or the use of cable trunking and external power requirements.

ZF energy harvesting switches may be supplied as simple to install complete systems or in a number of component forms for OEM system integration and support a wide range of wireless standards including ZF proprietary, ZigBee, GreenPower, KNX or customer specific protocols if required.