Archive for Smart Green

Nest Thermostat Company sold for 3.2 Billion cash

I was very surprised at the price paid for Nest and eventhough Tony Fadell who designed the IPod is behind Nest it still seems like a hefty price. Google are betting on stealing the march on the “Internet of Things” and beating other companies to a niche but potential huge area which is the connected home.

Nest have ambitions to make the Smart Home/Connected Home a reality and learn through  anonymised  data what we do when we are not online. The GPS function in the Nest Thermostat etc can tell alot.

This must be good news for irish companies such as climote and our undergraduates students studying Smart Energy Systems in LIT.

Nest learning thermostat

I am not surprised to see this technology on the shelves in the US and on the way to Europe but I am impressed by the design and aesthetics of the device. But then I dig a bit a deeper and discover that the founder used to work for Apple and assisted in the design of the IPod and the penny/1 cent drops that what we have here is a “disruptive” (very over used term) technology that users can interact with with out tearing their hair out.

https://nest.com/thermostat/life-with-nest-thermostat/#three-sixty-five

The connected home is imminent

I have been waiting for a number of years for the connected home to materialise, but no one vendor has yet to offer the holistic solution for the home. Vertical apps like Climote offer a tantalising view of the future, media devices such as the Xbox one and Sony PS4 have the potential but maybe not the interest

Techcruch sums up the state of the current tech and where we are heading

The Battle For The Connected Home Is Heating Up

Pegler I-temp programmable radiator trv controller


We have installed 18 of these devices in our house. They have been running for 22 months on the same set of double AA batteries. Highly recommended with amazing control. Available from Heating controls online

 

LED light bulb with a BC connector

LED light bulbs offer a low energy approach to lighting your home. A colleague of mine recommend light rabbit who offer bayonet connection light bulbs as well as other connector with 5 year warranties (calendar years not estimated usage years)

Saving money on smart meter roll outs by using broadband friendly meters

Technology incompatibility can cost a state millions in smart meter roll outs. This is being experienced in the state of Victoria in Australia as reported in metering.com The electricity companies have opted for wireless technology not broadband to retrieve data from the smart meters. Coupled with the fact that the meters only have a life span of 15 years and Victorians will have to start paying for replacements from 2024.

An investigation by the newspaper the Herald Sun has uncovered a significant design flaw with the meter roll out as the meter were not designed to integrate with the governments roll out of a digital cable network known as the National Broadband Network (NBN). The meters are not compatible with the NBN for a number of “technical reasons”

The smart meter roll out commenced in October 2009 while the NBN roll out only commenced in August of this year so there is some argument but I am surprised that there is no simple bridging/gateway solution. Bridging/gateway solutions are a popular for allowing different protocols and systems to interface with each other. These are issues that our Smart Sustainable Energy students will be studying and developing hardware and software solutions for.

About 800,000 of the 2 million meters have been installed already and the cost of the roll out has doubled to 2 billion Australian dollars. Analysts estimate that if the meters were NBN compatible they could save between 250 and 300 million dollars on the roll out.

So the mantra for a smart meter roll out in Ireland is compatibility.

 

 

Retro fit Air Tightness project update – lessons learned so far

I have just completed the knee wall/ crawl space area of our dormer house using the vario air tightness system. I find the Vario protape ideal for attaching the membrane to the timber beams and the masonay wall and I am sealing the overlaps using KB1 tapes.

As the project has progressed I am getting more proficient at installing the membrane. Initially I was running the roll horizontal along the rafter/crawl space area and then running a second roll above it to complete the seal. I have found that it is more practical to run the roll vertical up along the rafters and use the protape and the top and the bottom. I would recommend measuring and cutting the pro tape in a big area such as your hall way so you can ensure you use the right amount. What also helps is to attach the protape to the Vario KM  Duplex UV membrane on one side this simplifies the install.

When dealing with masonry walls I run a strip of the protape along the wall and when the Duplex UV is in position remove the other side of the tape and attach. I find the Vario DS sealant impossible to use and its very messy.

The powered respirator is a god send and so is the 60 Watt LED light wand, I would not be able to do the install with out them as you are working in awkward corners with insulation dropping all around you as you position the rockwool flexi in place.

The attic overhead is next and I am hoping/praying that it will be more straightforward ! Time will tell …

Software Development graduates are in demand in Ireland

With the news today that AOL is to hire another 20 software engineers (They hired 50 in June) and the fact that Amazon are looking for Java developers, I am still surprised that the interest in software development and ICT at a national level is still quiet muted. In a economy with rising unemployment students should consider a rewarding and challenging career with good prospects in software development. This includes a myriad of domains such as enterprise, sustainable energy, embedded systems etc.

Another multinational that is hiring is Google. At the moment they are looking for C, C++, Python, Perl, Java Experts in Dublin. They also recently announced they are going to create 200 new jobs at a new operations centre.

The  new B.Sc (Honours) in Computing (Smart Sustainable Energy) degree focuses on developing and designing innovative sustainable energy technology that solves energy problems. This innovative programme is essential in supporting the development of Ireland’s smart green economy. This programme addresses the requirement for a low carbon high-tech economy with the potential to create 80,000 jobs over the next decade as identified by the Green Enterprise Group in Dec 2009. The course is unique in Ireland and is built upon Tipperary Institute’s expertise in the sustainable energy sector. The course will commence in September 2010 and students can apply through the CAO, the course code is TI020 for level 7 and TI004 for level 7.

These graduates will focus on the design and implementation of new innovative systems which integrate technology with sustainable energy sources. Careers in this area include the following sectors:

  • Energy Management Systems
  • Electric car charging systems
  • Building Management Systems
  •  Automated energy controls for Industrial buildings
  •  Mobile communication solutions for energy systems

Smart Sustainable Solar Homes require Smart Sustainable Software Developers

solar_powered_house_small.jpg


A colleague of mine attended the European Solar Decathlon in Madrid. The objective was to build a 43 sqm solar powered home. These homes relied on a mix of clever building design, renewable and sustainable energy systems and the integration of smart technology to manage the home and its energy usage. The team members from various institutions contained a mix of builders, designers, renewable energy engineers and software developers. Several of the teams had a least 3 software developers on their team. The language of choice being C++. The technology platform of choice for building automation was Siemens Apogee

 

The students who will commence our new Computing Degree in Smart Sustainable Energy (CAO Code TI020) will be studying both C++ and Building Automation systems and hopefully in the future will play a part in these Solar Decathlons. 

CAO deadline is July 1st for Smart Sustainable Energy Degree

The closing date for change of mind in 17.15 on July 1st  For students who wish to apply for our new 4 year level 8 in Computing in Smart Sustainable energy the CAO code is TI020. The 3 year level 7 programme in Computing in Smart Sustainable Energy is TI004 on the CAO

The  new B.Sc (Honours) in Computing (Smart Sustainable Energy) degree focuses on developing and designing innovative sustainable energy technology
that solves energy problems. This innovative programme is essential in
supporting the development of Ireland’s smart green economy. This programme
addresses the requirement for a low carbon high-tech economy with the potential
to create 80,000 jobs over the next decade as identified by the Green Enterprise
Group in Dec 2009. The course is unique in Ireland and is built upon Tipperary
Institute’s expertise in the sustainable energy sector. The course will
commence in September 2010 and students can apply through the CAO.

These graduates will focus on the
design and implementation of new innovative systems which integrate technology
with sustainable energy sources. Careers in this area include the following
sectors:

  • Energy Management Systems
  • Electric car charging systems
  • Building Management Systems
  •  Automated energy controls for Industrial buildings
  •  Mobile communication solutions for energy systems