Home improvement stores, destinations for the do-it-yourself consumer, have long sold the hammers, nails and tools people need to fix up their houses.
Now large chains such as Home Depot and Lowe’s are selling virtual tools — sensors, Wi-Fi enabled appliances and software — to help those customers monitor and control their homes from their smartphones.
It’s an attempt to tap into the Internet of Things — technologists’ term for a network of connected sensors, devices and objects. In its early stages, the Internet of Things attracted tech companies such as Nest, the connected-thermostat manufacturer bought by Google in January for $3.2 billion, and SmartThings, a Washington, D.C.-based startup selling home automation kits.
via Home Depot, Lowe’s bring the Internet of Things to DIYers – DailyHerald.com.
Smart Things began its life as a 1.2 million dollar kickstarter success; and now with Samsung reportedly knocking at the door to purchase the company for 200 million dollars, it looks like even bigger things for the brand ahead.
According to Techcrunch, the South Korean electronics giant Samsung has been in talks with SmartThings about its home automation product, although no actual deal has been set just yet.
via Samsung reportedly to acquire SmartThings to secure slice of home automation market | Go-Mash Mobile.
Energy storage, driven largely by electronics and plug-in vehicles, will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8 percent to $50 billion in 2020 — with dramatic shifts coming from the transportation industry — according to Lux Research.
via Energy storage being driven by transportation, renewables – FierceSmartGrid.
Vivint™, the largest home automation services provider in North America, serves a wide variety of customers with differing needs. One of these demographics is the Sandwich Generation: adults typically in their 30s and 40s who simultaneously support aging parents and raise children, while planning for their own retirement.
The Pew Research Center estimates that one in every seven Americans (approximately 39 million people) falls into this Sandwich Generation category. That number is expected to grow as the elderly population doubles in the next 25 years. Fortunately for this group, home automation technology like Vivint makes it easier to safeguard both the elderly and the kids.
via Vivint Home Automation Appeals to the Expanding “Sandwich Generation” | Business Wire.
Waterfall Security Solutions and Schneider Electric, a specialist in energy management, have entered a partnership to bring what they call “stronger than firewall” cybersecurity technologies to Schneider customers.
via Renew Grid: Content / New & Noteworthy / Waterfall, Schneider Electric Join Forces On Cybersecurity.
Q • I keep hearing about home automation technology. Is it right for me? How do I get started?
A • You’re going to continue hearing about home automation, which enables you to control virtually anything in your home with a mobile device — from controlling your lights while on vacation or opening your garage door from work when your daughter forgets her keys.
via Home automation means you can control your home with an app : Lifestyles.
Despite a surge of interest, microgrid development in the U.S. has been one giant R&D experiment.
There is just over a gigawatt worth of microgrids scattered throughout the country. While many of those projects have proved their value during major storms or extended outages, they are largely custom-engineered and limited to public facilities like schools, hospitals and military bases. They’re also highly dependent on fossil fuels, rather than renewables.
via Utility Sloth and Microgrid Innovation Opinions | The Energy Collective.
Renewables provided 55.7% of new installed U.S. electrical generating capacity during the first half of this year (1,965 MW of the 3,529 MW total installed), according to the latest Energy Infrastructure Update report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
via Renew Grid: Content / New & Noteworthy / Renewables Make Up Over 50% Of New U.S. Power In First Half Of 2014.
The demand for microgrids is growing — not only for military applications, but also for campus environments in the commercial, government, health care, education, industrial, and other sectors. Navigant Research estimates that distributed energy on campus microgrids will increase by 164% between 2011 and 2017, rising from 620 megawatts to 1.6 gigawatts. In the military arena, spending on microgrids is forecast to increase fourfold by 2020, with Department of Defense expenditures projected to reach $1.6 billion, according to research firm SB Energy.
via Microgrids Virtual Summit 2014.
Lowe’s Companies, Inc. announced today the launch of new products for its Iris smart home solution that offer consumers added convenience, safety and efficiency this summer. The home improvement company continues to extend the breadth of connected devices with the addition of a smart garage door controller, electronic pet door, window blinds controller and hose faucet timer to make it easier to cut energy costs, reduce water usage and keep the home secure while consumers balance active summer schedules.
via Lowe’s Helps Consumers Outsmart Summer with New Home Automation Products for Iris – MarketWatch.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that $3.3 million has been awarded to seven research teams to develop technologies that add resiliency and efficiency to New York State’s electric grid. These “smart grid” technologies will use innovative methods to enhance grid performance, reduce the risk of power outages and lessen environmental impacts and energy consumption, all while reducing the cost of power delivery.
via Governor Cuomo Announces $3.3 Million in New Projects to Improve Resiliency and Efficiency to State Electric Grid | LongIsland.com.
How many companies does it take to connect a light bulb?
Why connect the light when you can connect the switch? Or outlet? Or socket?
How many companies does it take to turn on a connected light?
One to make the light and 40 or 50 to access the API.
Okay, these aren’t funny jokes. But they offer an essential truth about the connected home situation we’re faced with at the moment — and right now I can’t tell if this is the awesomeness I was hoping for, or a big mistake that will condemn connected homes as the playthings for the tech savvy and inspired.
via There are many paths to a smart home. And that’s the problem. — Tech News and Analysis.
“Smart Grid” to this day has been mainly about the meters.
Years ago, actual meter readers would read your meter for billing purposes. Then came AMR (Automated Meter Reading), which provided one-way directional communications to meter readers, who could be in the driveway or in their trucks and still collect the readings.
Then AMR transcended into AMI (Advanced Metering Infrastructure), which is meters with advanced communications technology that require no meter reader at all. AMI came in many flavors, using RF communications (both licensed and unlicensed bands), PLC (power line carrier) or even Wi-Fi based communications. In North America, self-identifying, self-forming and self-healing mesh networks are quite popular.
via Smart Grid: The next big smart grid race? It starts at the end of the driveway (the distribution transformer).
The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) submitted 14 recommendations to the Obama administration on how to transform the smart gird as part of the administration’s Quadrennial Energy Review. Let’s take a look at their recommendations what they suggest for transforming the grid.
via How to Transform the Smart Grid, According to NEMA | Energy Digital.
Silicon Labs, a leader in high-performance, analog-intensive, mixed-signal ICs, today announced that its ARM®-based energy-friendly microcontroller (MCU) technology and sub-GHz wireless connectivity solution for the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart metering markets have won two prestigious awards in the China microelectronics industry.
via Silicon Labs’ MCU and sub-GHz Wireless Connectivity Solutions Win Awards from EDN China and ECCN.
CEIVA Energy is integrating its home energy management system (HEMS) with Carrier’s smart ComfortChoice to enable utility companies to communicate energy-efficiency and demand-response programs to residential customers. National Grid is the first utility to roll out the integrated solution to its residential customers.
The collaboration enables utilities to share real-time demand information and adjust thermostat settings based on outside temperatures to help residential customers reduce energy consumption. Consumers are able to monitor and control their home energy usage through mobile devices and web platforms.
via CEIVA, Carrier in Home Energy Partnership.
Global infosec firm MWR InfoSecurity has received a multimillion pound investment from the Environmental Technologies Fund to address increasing cyber security challenges faced by the smart energy sector.
MWR InfoSecurity, the only independent company in the UK Government’s Cyber Incident Response (CIR) scheme, has a dedicated team of incident responders and cyber defence consultants constantly helping some of the UK’s largest companies address the latest cyber security threats.
via Multimillion pound investment bolsters smart energy security – Computer Business Review.
Bob Welch has joined Black & Veatch as Vice President of the operational technologies and analytics practice for the company’s management consulting business. Welch will lead the group’s effort to expand services in smart grid and analytics for electric, natural gas and water utility clients.
“Our clients are asking us for more and more communications and automation services. The use of data management and analytics play a large role in addressing these needs,” said John Chevrette, President of Black & Veatch’s managing consulting business. “Bob adds deep knowledge and experience to a strong smart grid and analytics team that helps utilities with their use of real-time monitoring and diagnostics.”
via Black & Veatch to Expand Offerings in Smart Grid, Analytics.
North African (MENA) countries will spend billions of dollars over the next decade to modernize their electric grids and add solar generation resources. This spending will include $9.8 billion cumulatively for smart grid infrastructure by 2024. Smart grid will enable the incorporation of $27.9 billion in new solar resources. MENA countries can save between $1 billion to $3.5 billion per year by redirecting domestic energy consumption towards exports, according to a new study by Northeast Group, LLC.
via Middle East countries to spend $9.8bn over next decade to modernize electric grids, incorporate $27.9bn of solar generation – BWWGeeksWorld.
A “smart energy” electricity microgrid is the next big project for the Naval Submarine Base, which is using the help of the state Office of Military Affairs to identify a combination of federal, state and private sector funding for the project.
The state agency is exploring the option of a long-term purchasing agreement with an energy provider in order to attract private sector financing for the microgrid project, said Bob Ross, the executive director for OMA.
via Electricity ‘Microgrid’ Could Save Money | Military.com.