December 2021
Interview

AutomatedBuildings.com

Babel Buster Network Gateways: Big Features. Small Price.
Control Solutions, Inc. - Minnesota

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   Comments by Ken Sinclair
Publisher - AutomatedBuildings.com

EMAIL INTERVIEWWhat future do you see for EnOcean?

Raoul Wijgergangs was appointed CEO of EnOcean in August 2021. The Dutch IoT expert has over 20 years of experience in the IoT industry, having led two successful exits through acquisition as well as one by a joint venture. Before joining EnOcean, he was CEO at Disruptive Technologies in Oslo and worked as Vice President/General Manager at Silicon Labs as well as Vice President/General Manager of the Z-Wave business unit at Sigma Designs in Copenhagen, to name but a few positions. He is also a co-founder of the Z-Wave Alliance.


                    


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Sinclair Can you give us a brief introduction about EnOcean and the energy harvesting technology?

Raoul Wijgergangs - EnOcean provides self-powered IoT sensors and actuators, mostly for commercial office spaces. These devices are maintenance-free because they uniquely harvest the power that is around them. They don’t need wires or batteries, which is like pure magic. But it’s a simple principle called energy harvesting. We use kinetic energy, solar and temperature differences as the power source. For example, the finger push on a switch releases enough energy to send a radio protocol and to turn on lights. Our IoT sensors have tiny solar cells built in -- that’s their power source.

EnOcean has a massive eco-system of more than 400 partners that have EnOcean-based products in all types, shapes, and sizes in their portfolios. We call this the EnOcean Alliance. So, the list of possible uses cases is basically endless.

 

Sinclair What opportunities do you see for your business in the IoT space?


Raoul Wijgergangs - EnOcean has pioneered the space for energy harvesting IoT for two decades and we continue to see great potential for our technology, especially in the field of commercial office spaces. The COVID pandemic has taught us a lot in terms of digitization and alternative working models. Now, we see employees start to return to their offices and both employers and employees want this to happen in a secure and healthy way. Air quality, social distancing and clean, disinfected areas are key for that. Our sensors help exactly with that. Presence sensors detect the amount of people in a meeting room, vibration sensors know which desks are currently occupied and need cleaning afterwards, to name a few examples.

Another great and utterly important opportunity is the reduction of carbon emissions caused by buildings. They are responsible for 39% of worldwide CO2 emissions, which is a huge number. We can do much better by focusing on digitizing buildings and making them more energy efficient. Our sensors provide exactly the data that is needed for that hand-in-hand cooperation with our eco-system partners for building automation.

 

Sinclair How important are data and data analysis for the IoT?


Raoul Wijgergangs - For sure, data plays a crucial part here because this is the basis for the analysis and visualization of a smart building. Data collected by the IoT sensors are what it takes to make buildings more energy-efficient. We can measure environmental parameters such as temperature, humidity, or light, but also gain information on whether doors and windows are open or closed, as well as insights on space utilization. Collecting this data is the first step, analyzing them and drawing measures from that is the second one. You can’t manage what you can’t measure.

 

Sinclair Is sustainability something where you put your focus on?

 

Raoul Wijgergangs - Sustainability is something we are very keen on. Making buildings more energy-efficient and supporting other businesses in optimizing their CO2 footprint is both important and necessary. Our technology not only helps other businesses to become more sustainable but is also super sustainable in itself. Thanks to the energy harvesting principle, we don’t need batteries or copper wiring for our devices to function. Just imagine one building where thousands of sensors are installed that are operated by batteries – you would have to change those regularly, which would result in a huge pile of old batteries. And we all know how bad they are for our environment.

 

Sinclair  What future do you see for EnOcean?


Raoul Wijgergangs - A bright one – creating a healthy and save office environment is something that has been greatly triggered by COVID but even after the pandemic we surely don’t want to step back again but rather provide the best working environment possible. It’s the same with schools: the pandemic has uncovered how bad the air quality in classrooms actually is.

Also, sustainability is such an important topic, and we are proud that our technology is right at the center of making one of the biggest CO2 perpetrators, which are buildings, more energy-efficient and sustainable.

Sensors that provide the needed data for optimizing space, air quality and energy efficiency is what we need now and will need in the future.


2Raoul Wijgergangs
Chief Executive Officer

The urge to craft and be part of a purpose-driven business, that aids in shaping a more sustainable future, is a deeply rooted motivational driver for me. That’s why for the last two decades I led Z-Wave and Disruptive Technologies IoT businesses and am excited to now be at the helm of EnOcean, the IoT powerhouse with a wide array of IoT technology solutions, mostly powered by energy harvesting sources, eliminating the need for batteries.

The significance and magnitude of the problem that EnOcean addresses, such as, offices’ carbon emissions, the inefficient use of building spaces and poor indoor climate for employees, are just a few examples of the use cases that EnOcean products improve. EnOcean is impacting its market through the scale of its, 400 companies, strong eco-system, governed by the EnOcean Alliance. Industry collaboration and alliances have always been very dear to me and are THE way to impact markets in a bigger scale.

EnOcean’s deeply rooted culture of the courage to explore the new, invention and shaping IoT are culture coding elements that I have always felt strongly attracted to.

The fact that EnOcean was born from technology and grown into a leading IoT business fits as a hand-in-glove with my dual academic background in both computer science and business.

Raoul Wijgergangs was appointed CEO of EnOcean in August 2021. The Dutch IoT expert has over 20 years of experience in the IoT industry, having led two successful exits through acquisition as well as one by a joint venture. Before joining EnOcean, he was CEO at Disruptive Technologies in Oslo and worked as Vice President/General Manager at Silicon Labs as well as Vice President/General Manager of the Z-Wave business unit at Sigma Designs in Copenhagen, to name but a few positions. He is also a co-founder of the Z-Wave Alliance.






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