Other top level building blocks a comprehensive automation system can use --
Learning node -- examines behaviors and trys to deduce expected results. Goes into knowledge base. If for example, a communications failure breaks a critical control line, a node can know, in the past, evertime this happend, this was a result. As we trust our systems more, we can let them make decisions.
A preference node -- Your likes, dislikes, music choices, adds, etc can follow you around from room to room, building to building, city to city.
Other categories that can benefit from automation --
Hospitals - very special needs -- can cut power to non essentials to keep power to life support to maximize generator run time.
Military - quick automated security zones, linking of telemtery and data gathering systems, automated backup systems, etc
Schools and universities -- Much can be tumed turn on and turn off, but, when research is underway, it would be nice if the building were smart enough to turn off the coffee pot instead of the test research setup that you are running.
The on demand society we live in and the apathy is a problem. If people don't take the time to set up a programmable thermostat, you can't make them.
At this point, the technology becomes smarter. If the thermostat can communicate with the house to know for sure that no one is home, then it can take unilateral action to adjust the temperature to save energy.
It can even send out emails, texts or tweets letting you know it is taking action.
Jon, talking about safety, it is s good practice to separate the automation control loops from the safety system. Resets on certain types of alarms or fail-safe devices have to be manually executed through hardwired circuits, rather than enabling an E-Stop from the computer.
I feel your pain about motion detects that turn off at the wrong times. I have done motion detector algorithms and it is not as easy as it seems. It is more than a retriggerable monstable multivibrator.
When more building intelligence is added to the frey, it becomes better. For example, if the building knows the shower water is flowing, it can over ride its timeout feature of the lighting and keep lights on while you shower.
It is this higher level of structural intelligence that allows the higher level of functionality.
Scada and factory automation systems have unique problems and issues. Security is one of them.
Networks are just not as secure as we want them to be. Either by intruder or fault, a lot of potential liability exists when big machines go crazy.
The actual factory operations should be done on a sepparate control plane while the building automation system supervises and looks for faults independantly. It is more of a dance the two systems do as they cooperate.
I don't know of any universities who have any type of automation curriculum for home, building, energy, and safety etc.
It is an evolving field since the answers aren't in yet and the winners have not been chosen. But, the experiences, ideas, and environment a school offers for young minds to create is an ideal way to move forward.
While many of us would like our alarms to take a cast iron frying pan the the head of an intruder, it is a liability nightmare. Unfortunatley, a thief who gets hurt breaking into your facility can sue you. Live streaming video can protect you though if you can prove you are threateed and you life is in danger. Instead of stand your ground, it's defend your homestead.
Regulations that are made by people who don't understand the technology can be a hinderance. Your example of sprinkler systems and fire alarms are well taken. If a structure is smart enough to know where a smoke detector went off, then it can spray just that zone. The entire building does not need to be flooded.
Yes, echelon and lonworks have doe a very good job for what they do.
The problem is that unless everything can talk to everything, you don't get the full or potential benefit of automation.
A few years back, I came up with the "Smart Appliance Protocol", that let a building know what was plugged in, what opertating modes it had, how much power it should be drawing in each mode, what modes were interuptable, and at what prioroty level it should drop out when energy is scarce.
The problem is, everything needs to be identifieable, controllable, and able to communicate.
Think security for inner city. Or fire for areas in the western US. Also, an ability to remotely interact with an automated home is always there.
Yes, a well engineered automation system can help with inner city security. If some one knows that if they break in somewhere, live video will be streamed to a remote cloud server, they may think twice about breaking in. It's kinda like putting an alarm sticker on your door. It will deter a high percentage of impluse burglars, but if someione is determined, they will get in.
The electrical inspector in our city wanted us to install an occupancy sensor because we changed from incandescent to LED lamp in the bathroom. Guess what? Now the light goes out within a minute or two of getting into the shower. The glass door of the shower interferes with the occupancy sensor. Looking for ingenious ways to keep the light on, so we do not have to shower in the dark :-) Going gree comes with its own set of problems!
What Mr. Jon discussed to us are not new to me since they are all use in building services. As an Engineering practitioner in design aspect, we always consider everything.
But, that's a good lecture. A point that reminisched the topic in practice. What can I say is that, Building Automation and Controls are very important in our life in all aspect as well gadgets we are using nowadays.
So long, I am thankful to you Mr. Jon for your educational presentation as well as to our colleagues attending this event, Good Evening and GOODNIGHT!
@clanis: It is under NDA -- so no!. Just contact a sales rep for info. Best bet. Little I did get looks interesting. Attended their Tech Tour (Digi LKey sponsored) -- they gave out a teasers worth of info. It seems lilke a good concept.
Re driving requirements: Right now the major driver is energy saving. However, there are niche requirements that might trump this. Think security for inner city. Or fire for areas in the western US. Also, an ability to remotely interact with an automated home is always there.
I have used Echelon technology in many difficult environments for over 20 years with excellent success. Their transceivers and control modules are very reliable and offer a ready to go solution for the communications end of your designs. I just don't know why they have not been adopted by a larger percentage of the engineering community.
One place for intelligent automation control is residential fire alarm/control systems. This whole area falls under the auspices of NFPA, a recalcitrant organization if there ever was one. One major problem with residential sprinkler systems is they trade fire damage for water damage. We need a smarter system.
I've recently started to play with some Echelon LonWorks smart servers and end devices... It seems their techlonogy is ISO standarized, so why did this technologygot mentioned within the "disjoint pieces of automation"?
We are observing an incresing number of products equipped w/ a Wifi or Ethernet conection for remote controle and monitoring. Is it safe to say that the IP is the way to go for controling and monitorning for automation systems? I.e. every access point or every control and monitoing point will have an IP conection?
Good lecture Jon, thank-you. You mentioned Echelon, they have excellent technology in this regard. They have made a great deal of success in Europe & Asia. I'm wondering if you can shed any light as to why they have not done so well here in the US.
Phase losses on the grid will be much more than they are today as multiple sources switch into the system both from the source and from loads ... in fact, it has been stated, that power line time will not be accurate (using 60Hz for timing)
1) Many households (perhaps 30% or higher) with programmable thermostats may be unable, unwilling, afraid, uninterested, or otherwise reluctant to deploy default programs or to create or deploy custom programs; 2) Many households (about 50%) set back or set up their thermostats manually, thus leaving less savings possibilities to be garnered by a programmable thermostat;
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@ronaldgomeseria IRON -- Stats on Home Energy Consumption in the USA by product type for the year 2010 as estimated by the US Government (see link eia.gov) ... just a data point on home energy use and where it is used
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