Silex Unwired

Enterprise Wi-Fi Bridge for HVAC System



Retrofitting a well-established building with a new HVAC system sounds excellent to improve indoor air quality and save energy consumption. However, when it comes to the installation, it isn't easy because

  • Cable conduit has been already filled with the existing network cables
  • Limited availability of the power source
  • HVAC system integration into existing secure IT infrastructure 

Silex has been the wireless connectivity solution provider to address these challenges.

Seamless Wireless Building Automation Communication

Silex's Ethernet to Wi-Fi bridge is the proven solution to connect any device with an Ethernet port to a Wi-Fi network. The single client mode of the silex's Wi-Fi bridge seamlessly bridges the communication between the Ethernet device and the Wi-Fi network. Whether your building automation protocol is BACnet over IP or Modbus TCP, silex's Wi-Fi bridge allows you to deploy your HVAC, VAV, and other controllers to the Wi-Fi infrastructure. 

Now, we know it is possible to eliminate the Ethernet cables to install the controllers to where it is difficult or impossible to wire the network cables. How about the power supply for the Ethernet to Wi-Fi bridge? An AC adapter isn't only the option for silex's selected bridge product.

usb-powered-bridgeUnlike other Ethernet to Wi-Fi bridge products from other manufacturers, the power consumption of the silex's bridge can be low enough to be powered from the USB bus power. It is always recommended to test our bridge with your controller to supply the power from the USB port. Still, several HVAC system integrators have already adopted our bridge product in such a way after evaluating the product.

Silex's Ethernet to Wi-Fi bridge allows users to wire the cables around the controller with an Ethernet port and a USB port.

Enterprise Wi-Fi Security with 802.1X

You may now wonder why you cannot use a USB Wi-Fi adapter available from a third party or controller manufacturers. The reason why the HVAC system integrators use our bridge is because of the Wi-Fi security.

Especially in the healthcare and financial sectors, network security is essential to protect any confidential information of their patients or clients. In such a network, not only data encryption but also device authentication are the critical security method. 802.1X authentication has been widely adopted to address device authentication.

Some USB Wi-Fi adapters do not support 802.1X. Some USB Wi-Fi adapter supports 802.1X, but the compatible operating systems are limited to Windows, Android, Mac, or major Linux distribution, which do not match the HVAC controller. As silex's bridge is independent of the operating system and supports 802.1X to be authenticated by the server, silex's bridge has been widely adopted by healthcare providers.

Silex to support system integrators AND HVAC, VAV and other controller OEMs

Silex offers dedicated support for customers ranging from device configuration support to product customization support. Examples:

    • The product configuration utility development

    • API support to configure silex's product through the connected embedded system

    • Firmware customization and/or optimization to satisfy requirements

    • Private brand of the hardware and the software

The case study is available here for more information. Visit the product page of the SX-BR-4600WAN2.