SMART HOME 

Imagine home automation which saves your time and money and reduce expenses for energy or maintenance. Automated lighting scheduled on the time when you wake up, smart heating allowing you to regulate temperature for each room or irrigation system reacting to current weather and forecasts. All this and much more can be achieved with Unipi open-source smart home controllers.  

Smart home saves you time and money

Temperature and heating regulation

Automated heating will ensure that you feel comfortable and reduce energy consumption costs - regardless if you are at home or outside. You can set different temperatures for each room, enable heating in advance before your return back home or switch your water heater right before your morning shower without the need for keeping the water warm all the time. Temperature can be also regulated based on current weather or weather forecast.

More about temperature regulation

ADVANTAGES

+ comfort

+ automatic heating of the whole building

+ possibility of heating regulation for each room individually

+ heating in operation only when needed

+ overall overview about the temperature in different parts of the building

+ heating expense savings thanks to monitoring and correct settings of the system

WHAT DO I NEED

+ controller with enough inputs and outputs,

+ digital thermometers,

digital radiator valves,

+ external relay (if needed)

+ power supply

+ SD card

+ software

HOW DO I DO IT 

+ boiler can be turned on/off with external / integrated relay

+ digital output (relay or transistor) open or closes connected radiator valve

+ place thermometers where you need to measure temperature

+ the system is controlled via software, where you can set rules or manually control it

+ for consumption masurement it is possible to connect meters into didital inputs or smart meters communicating via Modbus

Example: if the temperature in room drops below  21°C, turn on the radiator = switch the relay 4 

Window shutters and blinds

Shading automation wakes you up each morning to natural light with sunblinds letting through only the optimal amount of light. At dusk, sunblinds automatically close to ensure your privacy. Automatic passive temperature regulation can be achieved by opening sunblinds in winter given there is enough sunlight. The system will also retract sunblinds in case of strong wind to prevent any damage. 

More about the automation of shutters and blinds

ADVANTAGES

+ comfort

+ with a one tap/click you can roll down shutters in the whole house

+ natural waking in the morning sunlight

+ if the big storm which could possibly damage the shutters is ahead, it is possible to pull up the shutters remotely

WHAT DO I NEED

+ controller

+ software

+ power supply

+ SD card

HOW TO DO IT 

+ connect the motor circuits for shutter rolling to relay outputs

+ connect the digital wall switches to digital inputs

+ set the rules in the control softwware

Example: If the wall switch 1 is pressed, start rolling shutters down, if the wall switch 2 is pressed, start rolling shutters up

Example: if it is 19:00, roll down all shutters, and turn the lights on

Ventilation

If high concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) are detected in any room, smart ventilation will automatically increase fresh air intake. Outside air can be used to regulate indoor temperature. Ventilation can be triggered by detecting increased humidity (for example in bathrooms).

Lighting

No more worries if you forgot lights on. The smart system will automatically turn off all lights the moment you leave your house. You can also control whole lighting groups or schedule when you want to turn the lights on. Based on the light intensity, the system can also temporarily disable motion-triggered lighting to increase the lifespan of light sources if there is enough light. 

More about lighting automation

ADVANTAGES

+ comfort

+ no need for manual switching lights on / off

+ no problem when one forgets to turn the lights off, the lights will turn off itself after the set period

+ it is possible to turn on the whole group of lights (although each one has its own switch)

WHAT DO I NEED 

+ motion sensor

+ digital light switch

+ controller

+ light

+ power supply

+ SD card

+ software

HOW TO DO IT 

+ connect strategically positioned motion sensor or digital lightswitch to the digital input of the controller

+ connect the light to digital (relay or transistor) output

+ set the rules for lights in software

Example: if the signal from the motion sensor is received, turn the lights on for 30 sec

Example: if a pulse is received from the digital light switch, turn on the lights 1, 2 and 3, if they are off, turn off if they are on

Energy monitoring

Monitor the energy consumption and its cost and the system will take care of the rest. Due to interconnection with other smart home devices, the system saves energy by passive heating or cooling, shutting down unused components when you are away from home (ie. shutting down devices in standby mode, shutting down the water heater to save energy etc.). By using such systems you can reduce your expenses up to 50%.

Possibilities are (nearly) endless

Aside from above-mentioned areas, our controllers can be also used to automate many other tasks ranging from irrigation and garage doors to private solar powerplants.

Smarthome devices control

Automation of individual smart home components can save you a significant amount of time, but it also offers wide manual control options. You can control your smart home both locally through switches or touchscreens (HMI panels), and remotely with smartphone, tablet or notebook using a web interface.

Unipi controllers - the brain of your smart home

Controllers serve as a brain of the whole smart home system. The control unit communicates with all devices and makes them smart by connecting them to a smart home network. With a controller, you can automate, remotely control and save data from any device connected to the network. Controllers feature various inputs, outputs and communication interfaces and are designed for easy installation into any distribution box using standard DIN rail.

Open-source software solutions

Due to software openness, you can choose from a variety of software solutions (both professional and open-source), or you can use your code. Our main supported software platform is Mervis - a professional IEC 61131-3 PLC programming solution featuring graphics interface editor, SCADA interface, data backup and more. On Neuron controllers, you can download Mervis for free from our website, Patron controllers come with Mervis already installed. Each controller is also delivered with Mervis license for access to the cloud database and proxy server.

More about software

Software openness of Unipi controllers provides you with the option to choose from a wide selection of available software solutions, ranging from Mervis, the officially supported platform, to third-party platforms to your software. This guide will help you to navigate between the available software and to choose the best option for your project.

Software options

Mervis

A complete software platform provided for free to all Unipi controllers. The Mervis IDE development environment, a core of the solution, is suitable also for users without any deeper PLC programming knowledge thanks to its user-friendly interface and clear design. Mervis also offers a professional SCADA interface, HMI editor, cloud database and a mobile app. That makes it an ideal choice for a variety of users such as installation companies looking for a reliable and stable solution with full technical support. Detailed info about Mervis is available on our website 

Note: Additionally, Mervis training courses are organized throughout a year. These courses are suitable for both beginners and experienced users. Learn more about the courses and closest course dates on our website. 

Application programming interface (API)

Unipi controllers are based on the Linux open-source operating system, for which we provide an application programming interfaces (API) as a method of direct access to inputs, outputs and communication interfaces of Unipi controllers. Thanks to the API the Unipi hardware can be quickly and easily integrated into your software or third-party solutions, making it an ideal choice for software developers. Our technical support team is ready to help you with implementation.

Unipi API consists of three main components: 

EVOK - a set of web-based APIs for interaction with all I/Os of Unipi controllers and extension modules

Modbus TCP protocol representing a standard interface for interaction with Unipi PLC I/Os

SysFS driver providing filesystem-level access to Unipi controller inputs/outputs

More info about the individual APIs is available on this link.

Note: Using the Mervis platform does not prevent access to the controller’s Linux OS, eg. you can use your software along with Mervis on a single controller. A good example of this feature is the SSCP to SQL Bridge service for storing data from Mervis-running Unipi PLCs into an external SQL database.  

Important info for choosing the right software

Open-source or commercial software?

Open-source solutions are characterized by freely accessible and editable source code, allowing its users to modify and update the software according to their needs or to add new tools and functions. The main disadvantage is the absence of technical support - in case of issues, users have to rely on various community forums. Open-source software also cannot always guarantee compatibility with hardware. Aside from open APIs, Unipi technology also provides preassembled operating system images suitable for developers and OEM customers - an open-source OS image and a custom OS image.

Note: For Unipi-developed APIs (see above) we provide full technical support and complete documentation. We also guarantee their full compatibility with all Unipi controllers. 

Commercial solutions are closed software platforms that often require paid licences to be used. Their users are limited only to officially developed tools and functions provided by the solutions’ developers. This disadvantage is, however, compensated by the availability of official technical support, dynamic development, regular updates and a guarantee of full functionality on systems listed as compatible. The official supported solution for Unipi controllers is Mervis (see above) for which we provide direct technical support and we guarantee its full compatibility with all Unipi controllers. 

What is the extent of Unipi technical support?

Full support is provided for Mervis and the Unipi-developed APIs. Direct technical support is also available along with complete documentation, tutorials, OS images and assistance with implementation and/or installation. 

Partial support is available for Node-RED, taking the form of a preassembled OS image available on Unipi Knowledge Base. The support is limited to preparation of Unipi hardware - in case of software issues please consult Node-RED community forums or the Node-RED section of Unipi technical forum. 

For other third-party solutions, technical support is not provided. If you encounter trouble with commercial platforms, please consult the corresponding tech support department. In the case of open-source solutions please visit community forums dedicated to the solution.

What is the extent of Unipi technical support?

Full support is provided for Mervis and the Unipi-developed APIs. Direct technical support is also available along with complete documentation, tutorials, OS images and assistance with implementation and/or installation. 

Partial support is available for Node-RED, taking the form of a preassembled OS image available on Unipi Knowledge Base. The support is limited to preparation of Unipi hardware - in case of software issues please consult Node-RED community forums or the Node-RED section of Unipi technical forum. 

For other third-party solutions, technical support is not provided. If you encounter trouble with commercial platforms, please consult the corresponding tech support department. In the case of open-source solutions please visit community forums dedicated to the solution.

List of available software solutions

Officially supported platforms

Explanation

Tech. support provided only for the preparation of Unipi hardware for Node-RED implementation

Functionality may be limited only to certain product lines or models. We recommend consulting the corresponding tech support or community forum

Open-source solutions not included in the list that may be compatible with Unipi controllers. 

If you have any software-related questions, feel free to get in touch at info@automato.pt, or contact our technical support at support@automato.pt.