In Geneva’s Kongresszentrum Palexpo, the lights form honeycombs according to an algorithm. This mathematical formula allows the formation of a wide variety of polygons, in this case with four sides. The Voronoï Project, designed by the architects of Group8, is the first project that Blue Time Concept SA has implemented and programmed using ETHERNET controllers. Another project affects the entry area with similar, individually designed lights.

Even when you enter the Geneva Palexpo building, its extraordinary and yet simple design in black, white and red will impress. The Swiss architecture office Group8 was commissioned by Palexpo SA, initially to redesign the congress center (centre des congrès) and in a second project the entry area, including gastronomy. The focal point of the design was lighting, which includes controllable lights with an individual design. This is how the “Voronoï” project arose, named for the Russian mathemetician Georgi Feodosjewitsch Woronoi, for the congress center, as well as “Frites” and “Spaghetti” for the entry area and the gastronomy. Palexpo SA commissioned Blue Time Concept SA with the automation of the lighting and Lumiverre, which belongs to the IC-Group SA, with the lighting construction.

Special lights with pluggable electrical connection
For all three projects, the specialized department of IC-Group SA, Lumiverre in Perly developed, produced and cabled the lights and suspended ceilings. Since the lights unite design and function, each light had to be produced individually. So that the electrical installation could be handled quickly and without much planning in advance, the experienced construction office selected the WINSTA® pluggable connection system from WAGO. A variant of this system is based on flat-band cables that are contacted using Insulation Displacement Connection (IDC) technology. “The lights are a component of the suspended ceiling. For this, we were seeking modular connection technology that is pluggable and for which the feed-in and feed-out points can be selected at will. The WINSTA® plug connector system with IDC lines is the only system on the market for which the electrical installation is that easy,” says Roland Andrey, CEO of the CI-Group SA. His team implemented the electrical connections with 5-pole flat-band lines and taps with phase shift. In addition, he had a 2-pole bus line laid in 1.5 mm2 , which is used to activate the DALI pre-switching devices.

ETHERNET controllers control individual lights
The heavily trafficed areas of the Geneva Palexpo allowed only a narrow window of time, just two months could be planned for the modernization of each of the two projects. The WAGO Solution Provider (WSP) “Blue Time Concept” programmed the DALI controller in the controllers with SPS functionality. The Frites project alone requires 1200 addresses for identifying the pre-switching devices. The Spaghetti lights required another 400 addresses. In the congress center, the controller processes another 1500 addresses to control the lights according to the specifications of the Voronoï project. “In total, we implemented approximately 30,000 data points in both projects,” reports Claude-André Cornaz, CEO of Blue Time Concept. Ten ETHERNET controllers (750-841) manage the Frites lights and two ETHERNET controllers run the Spaghetti lights in the restaurant “Le Poivrier.” The algorithm in the Voronoï project promises endless combinations, and is constantly forming new patterns. The scenarios for these are also controlled by ten ETHERNET controllers. For the modernization of the conference rooms around the congress center, the planners used approximately 40 EnOcean radio switches to switch the lighting. In order to incorporate these rooms into the lighting scenarios, Blue Time Concept added RS-485 interfaces to the internet controllers.

The modernization of the Geneva Palexpo could be completed in the tight time window according to the specifications of the Group8 architects. Contributing to this was the pluggable electrical installation with WINSTA® in the WINSTA® IDC variant, as well as the plug connectors from the WINSTA® MINI and MIDI families. “Without the WINSTA® system, this would not have been possible. A conventional cabling with branch boxes and individual modules would have cost us too much time on-site,” confirms Sébastian Noble of Lumiverre. Furthermore, pre-programmed CoDeSys function modules eased the customer-specific programming of the controller. “This first project was very successful and the second was initiated shortly aftwerward,” summarizes Claude-André Cornaz with satisfaction. 

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