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Show Report: KNXperience 2021 conference highlights

The second KNXperience took place online over three days from 28-30 September 2021. Yasmin Hashmi picks highlights from the conference presentations.

KNXperience 2021 took place online from 28-30 September.

Opening Speech: KNX is Innovation, Innovation is KNX

Franz Kammerl, President, KNX Association, opened proceedings by saying how innovation is the DNA of KNX. He then announced key innovations, including the highlight of KNXperience 2021 – the launch of the new generation ETS6, which he described as the only software tool on the market that combines planning, designing, commissioning and diagnostics. He added that a big step this year was the approval and release of the vendor-independent KNX IoT third-party API standard, and that the first KNX IoT devices are expected very soon. Furthermore, the KNX Point API, KNX Association’s IP field bus communication solution, will soon be announced too. He noted, “My personal main KNX target is to create solutions and to build a more sustainable future for smart living”, and concluded that “energy management with KNX is best placed to make use of digital infrastructures for the transition to emission-free energy.”

Keynote: ETS – Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

Heinz Lux, CEO, KNX Association, explained that in order to satisfy the latest technical, economic and global demands, the KNX Association has now completely redesigned its Engineering Tool Software (ETS) and added numerous functions. As he put it, “ETS6 makes building automation with KNX even smarter, more secure and more open than ever, through numerous innovations.” He pointed out that ETS today is currently available in 19 languages and 190 countries, can be used for the installation of more than 8000 KNX-certified devices from more than 500 different manufacturers, and is being used  in over 10 million projects by KNX system integrators, all over the world. As a surprise guest, Lux interviewed the 100,000th certified KNX Partner, Joan Emo from Spain, who explained that he was first introduced to KNX in school. Lux then formally launched ETS6 as “One tool. All you need.”

Heinz Lux interviewing the 100,000th certified KNX Partner, Joan Emo from Spain.

ETS6 Professional – Smart, Secure, Open

Hailing ETS6 “the most important KNX software tool to date”, Vassilios Lourdas, Tools Leader, KNX Association, went on to describe ETS6 Professional as far more than a new version, “It is smart, secure and open, and available today.” He explained its numerous innovations, including an improved user experience through an optimised user interface, and fully-implemented KNX secure functions and security proxy functionality. Lourdas provided a useful overview of what we can expect from the new software, including how ETS6 fully taps the potential of KNX IoT, with the option of exporting all relevant semantic data to the KNX IoT third-party API, making KNX systems even more interoperable with any third-party client.

KNX Energy Management – realisation of the prEN50491-12-2 in KNX Classic

The target audience for this presentation by Joost Demarest, CTO, KNX Association, was KNX product managers and developers wishing to realise KNX solutions for the upcoming EN50491-12-2 standard for home and building electronic systems (HBES) and building automation and control systems (BACS) with respect to the smart grid. Demarest explained that whilst KNX energy management concentrates mostly on collecting momentary values in a central and/or visualisation device, the prEN50491-12-2 will introduce mechanisms to allow devices to communicate their energy flexibility, i.e. to indicate what they are likely to produce or consume in the immediate foreseeable future, for improved energy management in the home or building. He discussed the different control modes defined in the prEN50491-12-2 using KNX Classic group communication, and the use of extended frames, which will also be supported in ETS6.

KNX IoT – opening up new development possibilities for existing and potential KNX Members

This was another presentation by Joost Demarest, CTO, KNX Association, that was aimed at KNX product managers and developers, this time for those wishing to extend their portfolio with KNX IoT solutions. Demarest outlined the reasons behind KNX IoT, the overall system architecture and the new development possibilities offered with KNX IoT. He went on to explain that whilst KNX Classic technology (TP, RF, KNXnet/IP) continues to be successful after more than 30 years, manufacturers from different domains often want to use alternatives to TP such as Thread. He concluded that KNX IoT extensions in the form of the 3rd Party API and the Point API facilitate this and make KNX even more attractive for industrial companies.

The conference also included some fantastic manufacturer-specific sessions that gave an insight into some great new products and applications. These included:

  • KNX DALI Gateway Premium DG/Sx.64.5.1 – powerful functions with the new ETS application by Juergen Schilder of Busch-Jaeger.
  • The CasaConnect KNX home control centre  – a high degree of automation simply implemented by Bastian Elsner of Elsner Elektronik GmbH.
  • ABB i-bus® Tool – a professional service tool for KNX system integrators and installers by Thorsten Reibel of ABB.
  • Expansion of harmonised DIN rail-mounted devices with new binary inputs by Olaf Krüger of Siemens AG
  • X1 or HomeServer – which visualisation server is the right one for my project? by Lars Kirchhoff and Alexander Gärtner of Gira.
  • Intelligent living with KNX and the Smart Visu Server by Jan Winters of Albrecht Jung GmbH & Co.KG.
  • Integrating other Protocols with KNX: the importance of good translation by Ignacio García of HMS/Intesis.
  • Secure coupling of KNX systems via the MQTT protocol and the Timberwolf Server by Stefan Werner of Elaborated Networks GmbH.
  • thePixa – the first optical KNX presence sensor by Elmar Löffler of Theben AG.
  • How safe is the environment in a classroom? The True Presence Aerosol gives the answer by Sharon Neugebauer and Louis Schlüter of Steinel.
  • ise SMART CONNECT KNX e-charge II – electromobility in the KNX smart home by Danny Zeiler of ise Individuelle Software und Elektronik GmbH.
  • Sustainable homes using SpaceLogic KNX by Marc Gusta Bonastre of Schneider Electric.
  • HVAC Control in KNX Buildings – how efficient is yours? by Fernando Ventura of Intesis.
  • KNX RF valve drive for wireless room temperature control by Peter Sperlich of Smart Building Services GmbH.
  • Energy Management through KNX and Modbus integration using the Timberwolf Server by Stefan Werner of Elaborated Networks GmbH.
  • What KNX ventilation is, and why it is currently so important by Elmar Löffler of Theben AG.
  • DALI-2 Certification for KNX/DALI gateways by Jorge Sanchis Barcenilla of Siemens AG.
  • More than Twisted Pair – the differences between TP and IP and the benefits of RF by Johannes Geiss of Weinzierl.
  • Tapko Technologies GmbH – the KNX OEM provider by Peter Sperlich of Tapko.
  • Remote maintenance of the KNX system via IPS Remote by Thomas Rothenhäusler of Albrecht Jung GmbH.
  • KNX IoT and Energy Management with W4K-sL by Thomas Rohde of Schneider Electric.

Outside the conference

There was so much to do and see at KNXperience 2021. In addition to the conference, two halls hosted 35 booths from KNX members and training centres, plus the opportunity to meet experts and join in Q&As, network and chat with others, and participate in games and win prizes.

KNX Association’s Christian Stahn announcing the winners of one of the exciting Kahoot games.


Congratulations all round to everyone who helped make this an informative, accessible, fun and inspiring event, and to all of those who worked tirelessly on making the show’s main highlight happen – the launch of ETS6.

As KNX systems integrator, Alaeddine Bouabid, put it in the chat at the end of the show, “Thank you for this great KNXperience. Thank you for the vouchers and especially for all the information that we have been able to accumulate during these three days.”

(Left) KNX professional Alaeddine Bouabid and (right) Sara Fan of KNX Marketing.

The final words must go to Sara Fan, of KNX Marketing, who said, “I would like thank you all for being part of this event. Shout out to our event sponsors who put together great content for the show, KNX team who did a wonderful job in making it happen, and last but not least, all the participants who actively took part in the activities we organised. Together we build memories.”

Yasmin Hashmi is the Editor of KNXtoday magazine. Access to the KNXperience conference presentations can be found by signing in or registering using the link below.

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