This Old Grid
We take electric power for granted. Our modern world would simply not run without a stable supply of electricity. But our energy infrastructure is aging, and it is not the most efficient at generating power to meet demand peaks.
Nowhere has the age of the grid been as visible as in Puerto Rico. Last year Hurricane Maria wiped out large portions of the power infrastructure, and billions of dollars of investment are needed to modernize it. The issues with restoring power everywhere on the island have been well documented and it’s an ongoing story.
The rise in the use of renewable energy, like wind and solar, are putting increased pressure on power distribution. For example, electric power generated from solar panel deployments can return their excess power to utility companies, returning it to the grid. Since 2010, more than 45,000 businesses and 600,000 homes have across the U.S. have started using photovoltaic (PV) panels to produce their own energy.
Pantech Design Partners with Sonnen to Create the Energy Automation System
Home automation has traditionally been focused on bringing convenience and luxury to home control and management. While home automation might not be something that is thought of as a critical necessity, it is an investment in technology that pays dividends over time. The synergies in making home systems work together create benefits beyond the comfort and convenience factors – real gains can be had in safety, security, and energy efficiency.
Energy efficiency is the part that may revolutionize the home automation industry. At the 2018 CEDIA show earlier this month, PanTech Design and sonnen announced a new partnership to that marries home automation with intelligent energy storage. The blend of these two industries creates a whole new category we call Energy Automation.
This announcement is about more than increasing energy efficiency. It is about managing energy consumption intelligently, and assuring continuous supplies of clean power to the home to keep everything operating smoothly. In this era of overtaxed power grids, energy deregulation and climate change, applying dynamic intelligence to energy consumption will evolve home automation from a novel technology to a core necessity.
Read on for the details.
SEE ALSO: Our Electric Power Infrastructure Is Aging – Are There Solutions?
Crown ADAPTs a Better Way
Have you heard of Seattle’s Space Needle? The iconic 605-foot tower was built in 1962 for the World’s Fair, becoming a Seattle landmark and an instantly recognizable icon in the city’s skyline. Nestled here in Dallas, TX we happen to have our own iconic landmark in our downtown’s cityscape - Reunion Tower. Reunion Tower is referred to locally as ‘the ball’, the south’s own version of the Needle. Just like the Space Needle, Reunion Tower also features a revolving fine-dining restaurant at the top, Five-Sixty, named after height of the building. This iconic restaurant is well known for being a part of celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant group.
Since PanTech Design specializes in Crestron programming tools and not in reviewing restaurants, you may be wondering what this has to do with ADAPT. Crown Audio Video in Dallas, TX was the Crestron Technology Professional (CTP) selected to do the automation enhancements for the Five-Sixty Restaurant. When they ran into software challenges with the system they were implementing, they turned to PanTech Design for the answer. Read on to learn more about the project and how ADAPT and the PanTech Design team helped Crown complete this high-visibility commercial automation project.
Simplifying Programming for Crestron Systems
Crestron – Powerful Home Automation
We’ve discussed different issues around software development for home automation systems on these pages. This month we want to circle back and review what ADAPT is, and more importantly, what it can do for your Crestron business.
We all know that Crestron home automation systems have incredible power and flexibility. Does your client want a custom UI? Sure, that’s possible. Do they need their system to control a radial atomizing spritzer? Sure, we’ll create a driver for that. No, a radial atomizing spritzer is not a thing – at least not that we know of, but you get the idea. The level of customization possible with Creston – more so than with any other home automation system - is a boon to empower us to always say “yes” to the customer.
The User Interface Can Make or Break a Client’s Experience
UI vs. UX
User interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) are oft-used buzzwords these days. We spend so much of our time in front of screens now that we are using a variety of interfaces all day long. We probably don’t think about the interfaces too much, unless they repeatedly annoy us. There’s always an app that doesn’t respond to input quickly enough, or a feature of an application you use all the time but is not intuitive, taking an extra step to unearth.
UI is more about the actual interface presented to a user to do a task or set of tasks. UX is about the overall experience, which is influenced by more than just the UI. UX can encompass a whole variety of things, which can include the discoverability of functionality, speed of accomplishing tasks, and the efficacy and accuracy of what gets done.