June 26, 2017 | Written by: Niklaus Waser
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Last month, the first ever Plugfest took place on the 23rd floor of the IBM Watson Internet of Things Center in Munich – IBM’s global headquarters of its Watson IoT business unit. Using the EEBUS standard for communication between products, various manufacturers completed a test-run for digital heating systems.
The EEBus Initiative e.V. is an independent association with over 60 members: which predominantly includes leading European manufacturers in the fields of smart home, connected home automation, electromobility and energy. The association and its members develop the open EEBUS standard − the world language of energy for the Internet of Things.
Successful test at Plugfest
A “Plugfest” is an event based on a certain industry standard, which tests the interoperability of products or designs from many different manufacturers. This was the first Plugfest with the EEBUS communication for Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) systems. With this standard, devices and systems can communicate with each other, aiming for efficient use of energy.
Vaillant, Viessmann and Wolf Heiztechnik, three of Germany’s major heating manufacturers, participated in the EEBUS Plugfest. On-site were also SMA Solar Technology, eQ-3 AG, as well as the VDE Institute, with its latest test suite 2.0 conformity assessment. Representatives from other member companies such as Bosch Thermotechnik, French smart home platform provider Overkiz, and numerous automotive manufacturers attended the Plugfest to incorporate the experience in their own developments.
It was a highly focused atmosphere, with teams of developers connecting their heating control systems to Smart Home system software. After many discussions, frowns, and rattling keyboards, finally: success, followed by clinking coffee cups and high fives. After two days of intense testing, the participating companies celebrated a productive Plugfest, in which the EEBUS standard had been implemented, allowing their products to communicate successfully. The EEBUS interfaces involved heating controllers, energy managers and Smart Home systems, which all worked flawlessly, and are now fit for the mass market.
IBM Watson IoT Center and the EEBUS Initiative
Since its inauguration in February 2017, the IBM Watson IoT Center in Munich has been a member of the EEBUS Initiative and has maintained close relations with the association.
“In the Watson IoT Center, we are working in many application areas of cloud-based intelligent solutions for the Internet of Things,” said Sébastian Chaumiole, Electronics Leader at the Watson IoT Industry Lab. He emphasized: “Energy is one of the most important issues. EEBUS, with its open standard and strong network, is a particularly important partner for us. Our Plugfest was also a starting point for joint development projects, enabling EEBUS to offer even more effective applications in energy management and smart home, thanks to the cloud-based data analysis and artificial intelligence of the Watson IoT Cloud.
Follow @IBMIoT and #WatsonIoT, as well as @EEBUS_org to stay tuned on the #EEBus news, and read about the announcement of IBM on joining the EEBus initiative.