Cisco unveiled new technologies that build on its recently announced Connected Grid portfolio and are said to help consumers and businesses better monitor and manage their energy consumption for cost and carbon savings, including an easy-to-use interface for the home environment. The Cisco® Home Energy Management Solution features a Home Energy Controller along with Cisco Energy Management Services that, when provided by utilities to their customers, are designed to help consumers securely and reliably gain insight into, and easier control over, their energy use.
Additionally, Cisco announced key updates to its Smart Connected Buildings portfolio, including the new Cisco Network Building Mediator Manager 6300, which enables centralized management of Smart Connected Buildings across global enterprise operations, and the new Cisco Network Building Mediator 3.1, which provides the platform for linking multiple disparate building automation systems and protocols over Internet Protocol and for allowing greater integration and visibility of energy flows across real estate and information technology.
The Cisco Home Energy Management Solution for utilities features the Home Energy Controller (CGH-100), a countertop display that helps the consumer make more informed choices, as well as set policies and schedules for energy use, based on real-time household, historic and individual appliance consumption. Through the Home Energy Controller’s LCD touch screen, the consumer has insight into and control over peripheral devices that communicate with the HEC, such as thermostats, intelligent sockets and, ultimately, smart appliances like refrigerators and water heaters. The Home Energy Controller coordinates the variety of networks in the home and supports associated networking protocols, such as ZigBee, Wi-Fi and Encoder Receiver Technology (ERT).
With the Cisco Home Energy Management Solution, utilities will be able to extend the benefits of their Smart Meter deployments by providing home owners with more detailed energy control and management, down to the appliance level. Customers and utilities can coordinate on new pricing and demand-side management services, enabling home automation for energy management.
Cisco is also announcing hosted Energy Management Services, which utilities can use to manage data from thousands of homes while integrating with their back-end applications. These complement Cisco’s existing service offerings to help utilities plan, build and run a converged communications infrastructure for automating the Connected Grid.
Cisco Network Building Mediator Manager 6300 allows corporations to connect, monitor, aggregate and manage distributed networks of Cisco Network Building Mediators, and hundreds if not thousands of buildings, integrating building systems within a particular facility via a central enterprise portal. By allowing organizations to centrally manage geographically dispersed buildings over an IP network, the Cisco Network Building Mediator Manager increases operational efficiencies in distributed facility management. This provides practical tools to reduce overall energy consumption and system downtime, and offers proactive system alerts for preventive maintenance of critical equipment.
Key features of the Cisco Network Building Mediator Manager include a global navigator that affords enterprise wide visibility of facility operations and presence for dispersed deployments, and global alarm monitoring capability for centralized event management. Cisco Network Building Mediator Manager also includes tools for defining global schedules and set points that apply across all of an enterprise’s facilities, offering standardization in facility operations and increasing efficiencies in facility management. Global and unified schedules can be uniformly applied across all facilities and subsystems. Graphical equipment-status pages offer simple visibility into critical systems such as HVAC, lighting and metering.
In addition, Cisco states that the Network Building Mediator 3.1 will offer superior performance features to optimize the power of the Cisco Network Building Mediator Manager 6300, including enhanced building automation protocol support; improved BACnet features and EIB (KNX/IP) protocol; support for enhanced security with Pluggable Authentication Modules (PAMs); and integration with the Cisco EnergyWise API, in addition to the Cisco EnergyWise SNMP protocol.