Imagine this – you are returning from office in your self-driven car and as you approach the garage, it recognises your car and opens the door. As you get down and are about to enter your home, your living room door does the same. Behind you, it locks again and the face scanner reactivates. As you enter, your house has already cooled itself to an ambient temperature because your AC had already sensed your impending arrival, while queuing up your favourite tracks on your connected music system. You ask your digital assistant to read out your personal emails, and at that very moment the music volume goes down and your email is read out via the same speakers. Your TV switches on to display the attached images and the lights in the room change colour to match the multimedia content on the screen. You close the emails with a gesture, ask your digital home assistant to turn up the music again. Finally, you get to relax and have some coffee that was just the right temperature, because you set the coffee maker via its app before you had left.
Imagine a reality where complete control of your home is just a touch away. That idea is what inspired eztechs to launch a Kickstarter campaign for ezcontrol, a home automation unit that lets you control virtually every electrical device in your home — all from your smartphone. “From your table lamp, to your garage door, to your AC, ezcontrol gives you the power to control all your devices whenever you want it, wherever you are,” says the eztechs team.Most devices in your home are controlled by one of two connecting technologies: infrared (like your TV´s, cable boxes, and receivers) or RF (such as your garage door or roller blinds). Taking advantage of these existing connections, eztechs created a control unit that understands and controls your devices through technologies they already use. One control, one app, that simple.
The war of the currents still rages … politely, as ECN gathered panelists earlier this month to talk about AC vs. DC, Tesla vs. Edison, data centers, and the future of power engineering on Engineering Live.
Hughes, an EchoStar company, plans a midyear rollout of its new do-it-yourself Sage home-automation system, which is targeted to the masses.
Sage is promoted as easy to install, set up, monitor and use, delivering a wide range of automated functions to keep the home safe, secure, and regulated to provide savings on heating and AC systems, lights, other applications and insurance premiums.
Instead of running thick heavy copper wires to harvest low voltage DC power from multiple solar photovoltaic panels in a solar farm, the smart, energy efficient and cost saving option now is to use micro solar inverters embedded below the solar panel itself, so that the stepped-up AC voltage from the micro-inverters are connected to a gridlike AC bus, which is lighter, cheaper and less lossy. A kind of mini smart grid to connect solar panels of different capacities. This also solves another issue of inconsistent energy generation due to shade.
D-Link has waded into the smart plug market, taking on the DIY smart home with the new WiFi Smart Plug DSP-W215, which not only allows for remote control of a plugged in appliance, but monitoring of its power consumption. The adapter – along with its companion apps for iOS and Android – slots in-between a regular AC outlet and your appliance of choice, whether that be an air-conditioning unit, lamp, or a TV, and can even watch out for potential overheating.
EasySolar takes power solutions one stage further; by combining an Ultra-fast BlueSolar charge controller (MPPT), an inverter/charger and AC distribution all in one enclosure. With an extensive reduction in wiring EasySolar provides ease of use combined with a maximum return on investment. When using the 24V model, it is possible to use up to 1400 Watt of solar power and with 1600VA continuous inverter power, even peaks of 3000 Watt can be handled without any problems.
Public electric utilities deliver alternating current (AC) power exclusively, while electronics, LED lighting, and certain other common devices operate on direct current (DC) power. These devices must convert power from AC to DC and step down voltage to needed levels. Unfortunately, the conversion from AC to DC is often inefficient and results in a loss of power. When using renewable wind or PV energy, additional AC/DC transformations are needed, causing more loss. Added together over many AC/DC conversions and voltage changes, total power losses can surpass 20 percent in some systems, according to Navigant Research.
ABB has won an order worth around $55 million to supply a submarine alternating-current (AC) power cable system for the 400 MW Dudgeon offshore wind farm, located off the coast of Norfolk, U.K. Dudgeon Offshore Wind Ltd., a company owned by Statoil and Statkraft, placed the order, and the underwater cables will feed the electricity generated by the project into the U.K. national grid.
It’s been more than a century since Thomas Edison lost the great technological battle he waged against George Westinghouse and Nikola Tesla, the now-famous “War of Currents.” The idea Edison hoped to defend was that the world should run off direct current (DC) electricity. But his position just couldn’t stand up to the pounding it took from the logic of Westinghouse and Tesla’s competing scheme, which was to produce and distribute alternating current (AC).