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Electronics & Test
Top 12 Hot Design Technologies for 2012
12/8/2011

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Smart Grid
Smart Grid technologies include smart power management and architecture system components.   

The global power utilities are the next mega-market moving from analog, standalone systems to digital networked technology. The opportunities are huge in everything from wireless components in smart meters to giant power electronics in transformers and substations and vast renewable solar and wind farms, plus the energy storage systems that will be built alongside them.  

But these opportunities will be slow to materialize. Utilities are regulated and thus inherently slow moving. Policies at the level of the global Kyoto Treaty on down will influence the pace and direction of movement. And many market unknowns are yet ahead - like how much consumers really want to monitor the energy use of their fridges or dryers.  

Forward-looking utilities and such vendors as Cisco Systems have now put business units and plans in place. Over the last two years the first cut of some very basic framework standards have also been drafted. But plenty of technical work is also ahead to graft commercial IT technologies on to the power grid in ways that ensure safety and open the door to more automated operations of a grid that will depend less and less on conventional fuels.
Smart Grid technologies include smart power management and architecture system components.

The global power utilities are the next mega-market moving from analog, standalone systems to digital networked technology. The opportunities are huge in everything from wireless components in smart meters to giant power electronics in transformers and substations and vast renewable solar and wind farms, plus the energy storage systems that will be built alongside them.

But these opportunities will be slow to materialize. Utilities are regulated and thus inherently slow moving. Policies at the level of the global Kyoto Treaty on down will influence the pace and direction of movement. And many market unknowns are yet ahead Ė like how much consumers really want to monitor the energy use of their fridges or dryers.

Forward-looking utilities and such vendors as Cisco Systems have now put business units and plans in place. Over the last two years the first cut of some very basic framework standards have also been drafted. But plenty of technical work is also ahead to graft commercial IT technologies on to the power grid in ways that ensure safety and open the door to more automated operations of a grid that will depend less and less on conventional fuels.

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JPW
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Solar Antenna
JPW   1/3/2012 10:29:09 AM
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I thought it interesting to note that although we may not see them in 2012, solar antennea may be a new wave for the solar industry. In 2011 Tel Aviv University created a solar antenna where the efficiency has been recorded around 95%. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111110125955.htm

 

Steve Heckman
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Re: Bet on the Internet of Things
Steve Heckman   12/23/2011 8:12:32 AM
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Most items have the tags in the packaging. And Walmart for one, mandates supplies use them for inventory control. Problem is that I retain my boxes, at least until the warrenty expires. Of course, placing a box for a 60" TV out for trash pickup lets everyone in your neighborhood know who got a new toy.

Jack Rupert, PE
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Re: Bet on the Internet of Things
Jack Rupert, PE   12/22/2011 4:23:29 PM
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Steve - Did your class happen to mention the best way of dealing with those RFID tags?  Are these the ones that are in the boxes to prevent shoplifting (so its just a matter of finding and destoying, or are these tags in the new TV's themselves?

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Bet on the Internet of Things
Rob Spiegel   12/22/2011 2:18:55 PM
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I agree Jerry. a lot of the Internet of Things is technology looking for a problem. Some things -- like checking the expiration date on milk -- are better done analog. Like the smart thermostat hat learns your patterns. Is it that hard to turn the heat down when you'll be at work, then turning it back up when you get home?

 

Jerry dycus
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Re: Bet on the Internet of Things
Jerry dycus   12/22/2011 1:51:07 PM
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   KIS

Steve Heckman
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Re: Bet on the Internet of Things
Steve Heckman   12/22/2011 9:55:42 AM
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I agree., I have no interest ijn having RFID tags on everything I own. I took a wireless security class, and one of the things mentioned was some theives were driving around with RFID readers trying to find homes with new televisions. Imagine if they could also hack into your home and shut off all lights before a home invasion? Just because it is possible to do something does not mean we should,

Jack Rupert, PE
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Re: Bet on the Internet of Things
Jack Rupert, PE   12/21/2011 2:02:46 PM
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Taking that one step further, Alex, I don't think a lot of consumers see the need for the Internet of Things.  I have wireless access in my house, of course, but I see absolutely no need for my refrigerator to be on it.  I've seen the ads for those that can keep track of what you have, make shopping lists and download recipes, but I don't need any of that.  And after reading all of the monkey-designed washer articles, I SURE don't want anything else for them to get their hands on.

Alexander Wolfe
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Re: Bet on the Internet of Things
Alexander Wolfe   12/12/2011 4:05:42 PM
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The internet of things does not seem to be taking off in the U.S. the way one would think, given its hype. I think in part this is the expense of adding Internet connectivity to small appliances, but more than that, it's a lack of Internet connectivity on the receiving (receptacle) end in legacy U.S. households. I don't know where the economic impetus will come from to fill in this hole. It's doable; you'd kind of need to deploy PoE (Power over Ethernet). But the numbers just don't work the way they did for, say, cable TV.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Bet on the Internet of Things
Rob Spiegel   12/12/2011 2:48:10 PM
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Yes, it would have to be on a voluntary basis. Those who want to use the service would be motivated to make sure the tags stay in place. Privacy -- at least on some level -- is a generational concern. Facebook's Mark Zukerberg claims privacy isn’t important to people his age. He backed off that statement when attacked, but nonetheless, he revealed his view and he very well may be right.

That may change as kids get older and find out prospective employers have learned to examine the Facebook sites of candidates.


Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Bet on the Internet of Things
Ann R. Thryft   12/12/2011 2:06:06 PM
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Tracking via RFID tags on consumer products is a potentially iffy proposition, at least if companies expect to track their products in people's homes. This is because some people tear off the tags as soon as they get the product home, due to privacy concerns. 


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