Efficiency In The Palm Of Your Hand
Near Field Communication (NFC) is a low powered wireless communication technology that allows devices to exchange information from just a few centimetres away. There’s a good chance you have already used NFC yourself, maybe without even realising it.
If you’ve used;
- touch-and-go travel cards like the London Underground’s Oyster Card
- a contactless bank card to tap on a card reader
- used Apple Pay or Google Wallet to make a purchase in a shop
- used Nintendo Amiibo or Lego Dimensions physical toys to interact with computer games
…then you certainly have, all these utilise NFC technology to transfer data.
Time switch manufacturer Sangamo, well known for their Round Pattern Time Switch (RPTS) range that they’ve made in the UK for over 65 years, have a new range of DIN rail mounted digital time switches that include NFC capability.
NFC Time Switches
Using the free Sangamo Connect app on an Android NFC enabled smartphone allows you to;
- upload a created programming schedule
- download an existing schedule to store or amend
- transfer programs from one switch to another
While this is a more user friendly programming method on its own it opens up more possibilities for housing associations and facilities managers; a new program could be created in a central office and emailed out to staff at several locations to get all switches working to the same schedule very quickly.
Because the app uses a low-powered NFC chip, the switch uses much less energy than comparable technologies like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and RF.
The app is currently only available for Android as Apple devices currently have their internal NFC chip locked only for use with Apple Pay but this seems likely to change in the future as the technology becomes more widely used.
There’s also more to the energy-saving features than just a low-powered NFC chip too; the switches come with a new self-optimised consumption, meaning the switch continually checks it’s using as little energy as it can for the programming status it’s in, from a maximum of 1.0W down to as little as 0.2W in standby mode – a saving of between 44-75% over standard digital time switches.
While it’s great to save a little energy on one switch, the savings over a building, council area or even the whole country becomes significant both in terms of cost of running and the environment.
The Sangamo range includes three new astro (also known as astrological or solar) switches;
- 72102 NFC (1 channel - 24 hour)
- 72103 NFC (1 channel - 7 day)
- 72203 NFC (2 channel - 7 day)
These switches automatically adjust their on and off times to match sunset and sunrise times. This can be achieved by selecting from one of the 16 pre-set UK cities or by inputting your exact co-ordinates for more precise switching times.
These switches are perfect for lighting, be it corridor/communal areas, external street and car park lighting or even decorative and festive lighting applications. The switches are rated 16A or 10A inductive load which can handle 2,000W halogen, 1,000W fluorescent or 200W of LED lighting per channel.
The two standard fixed-time switches;
- 72113 NFC (1 channel - 7 day)
- 72213 NFC (2 channel - 7 day)
These general purpose timers complete the range and have the same 16A rating. These switches are generally used to control heating, ventilation, door entry systems and, thanks to the pulse programming feature, school and church bell systems. Both switches can be set with up to 56 operations per channel.
Sangamo can also work with your preferred wholesaler to provide these products at very competitive pricing for your project and are happy to discuss customisation of products to your requirements.
This article first appeared in the Apr 2017 Edition of HA Magazine.
- Gary Black