Wireless mesh networking replaces RS-485 cabling

Burlington, MA—Millennial Net Inc. has released its Mesh485, which it reports is the first complete wireless sensor networking system developed specifically to replace RS-485 network cabling.

By Control Engineering Staff January 25, 2005

Burlington, MA— Millennial Net Inc. has released its Mesh485, which it reports is the first complete wireless sensor networking system developed specifically to replace RS-485 network cabling. This type of cabling is used in commercial buildings and industrial environments for energy management and building automation applications.

Millenial Net says Mesh485 delivers benefits tosive or impractical. Mesh485 has already been added to and tested with energy management applications by users in the building automation and energy management systems market, including WebGen Systems, TCS Basys, and Tridium.

“Millennial Net’s wireless networking platform integrates well with IUE our enterprise energy management system,’ says Dirk Mahling, WebGen’s chief technology officer. ‘Some of our customers, with smaller or complex commercial buildings, can now choose wireless technology to implement our energy management system in their buildings without the expense or disruption associated with wiring. This allows us to easily and quickly install our system.’ WebGen provides advanced software for energy conservation and control in commercial buildings.

Mesh485 includes software and hardware components for OEM integration. The system’s software, which is tuned for energy management and building automation control systems, provides a low-power, self-configuring networking protocol with redundant paths. The hardware modules are packaged to work with industry-standard building automation control devices. Presently, the system has been optimized for interface with control devices from TCS, WebGen, and Tridium’s JACE platform. Support for other devices and controllers is being developed for future release.

Millennial Net adds that the ad hoc mesh architecture created by the Mesh485 system provides a highly reliable, extremely robust network that is highly fault tolerant, since each control point and sensor node has multiple paths back to the gateway and to other nodes. If an obstruction to an established RF path occurs, the network will reconfigure itself automatically.

‘At TCS Basys, we’ve added Millennial Net’s Mesh485 wireless platform as a key element of our extensive controls product family,’ said Jack Toal, TCS’ CEO. ‘Employing Millennial Net’s mesh networking platform has lowered the system cost to our customers and has improved the speed and ease at which our systems can be installed by our integration partners. This has had a significant positive effect on our deployment of our Ubiquity networking solution.’

Mark Pacelle, Millennial Net’s marketing VP, adds that, ‘The completeness of the Millennial Net wireless networking platform helps our customers move quickly through the prototyping and development stage to product installation. The potential for wireless sensor networking capabilities is very broad. Our building automation initiative is focused on identifying the needs in these industries, and delivering the solutions as we have with Mesh485. This includes adding other devices and controllers to the Mesh485 product line, as well as adding new product lines to support other physical networking standards and protocols.’

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jim Montague, news editor