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C4 control use for a MUCH greener home.


Leictreoir

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This is my first post to the forum and I wanted to first thank you all. This forum is a great knkowledge base when researching the functionality of the C4. My situation is this: I am attempting to develop a platform for whole house energy consumption management. I am aware that the C4 is capapble fo using the security systems PIR or Microwave sensors to control lighting in occupied/unoccupied areas, and that it can also control major appliances, HVAC, etc. I want to take this to the next level. I am beginning to convert my home into a prototype for my first system. The C4 already has some of the features that I am looking looking for in the EM-200 and EC-100 as far as grid-tied power monitoring and management.

This is where I want to leave the path and lead the way. I am marketing grid-tied and off-grid Green energy systems(solar/wind) and also trying to encourage customers to eliminate 120v alternating current lighting in lieu of 12v DC LED lighting. This conversion, simply coupled with small, inexpensive solar setup could potentially eliminate ALL lighting costs. That is just the beginning. My issue, however, is that it would appear that there are shortcomings in this department.

What I would like the C4 platform to achieve, is compatibility with Hybrid grid tied power systems (systems that are producing green power and are still tied to the grid). I believe power managemnet of a system that is completely off grid would be simple because fundamentally, there is no difference in the way that the power is distributed(through a normal breakered panel) I understand that The power management devices are compatible with many of the utility owned smart meters and smartgrid equipment but is it feasible for use with a home using net-metering.

Net metering is a federally regulated program requiring utility companies to buy back surplus power generated by the customer. In a situation where the cunsumer generates more power than he/she is consuming power flows from the home backwards through the meter and back into the grid. Will the C4 still operate under this condition? Would it be able to monitor this and make calculations based on this information?

Another capability that I was looking for in the C4 is the ability to control a battery management system or the solar/wind equipment necessary for charging. Has anyone ever tried integrating the C4 with any of these types of equipment?

Another problem that I need to solve is the AC/DC problem. If the lighting was converted to 12v DC LED's, Would any of the current switches available for the C4 be able to dim and/or switch them? The POE (power over Ethernet) capability of some of the switches eliminates the need for ACpower at the location of the switch but does the manufacturer make devices for dimming DC fixtures and equipment?

I would love to hear Via Email any ideas you may have or feedback on the issue. Thanks Brett

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This is my first post to the forum and I wanted to first thank you all. This forum is a great knkowledge base when researching the functionality of the C4. My situation is this: I am attempting to develop a platform for whole house energy consumption management. I am aware that the C4 is capapble fo using the security systems PIR or Microwave sensors to control lighting in occupied/unoccupied areas, and that it can also control major appliances, HVAC, etc. I want to take this to the next level. I am beginning to convert my home into a prototype for my first system. The C4 already has some of the features that I am looking looking for in the EM-200 and EC-100 as far as grid-tied power monitoring and management.

This is where I want to leave the path and lead the way. I am marketing grid-tied and off-grid Green energy systems(solar/wind) and also trying to encourage customers to eliminate 120v alternating current lighting in lieu of 12v DC LED lighting. This conversion, simply coupled with small, inexpensive solar setup could potentially eliminate ALL lighting costs. That is just the beginning. My issue, however, is that it would appear that there are shortcomings in this department.

What I would like the C4 platform to achieve, is compatibility with Hybrid grid tied power systems (systems that are producing green power and are still tied to the grid). I believe power managemnet of a system that is completely off grid would be simple because fundamentally, there is no difference in the way that the power is distributed(through a normal breakered panel) I understand that The power management devices are compatible with many of the utility owned smart meters and smartgrid equipment but is it feasible for use with a home using net-metering.

Net metering is a federally regulated program requiring utility companies to buy back surplus power generated by the customer. In a situation where the cunsumer generates more power than he/she is consuming power flows from the home backwards through the meter and back into the grid. Will the C4 still operate under this condition? Would it be able to monitor this and make calculations based on this information?

Another capability that I was looking for in the C4 is the ability to control a battery management system or the solar/wind equipment necessary for charging. Has anyone ever tried integrating the C4 with any of these types of equipment?

Another problem that I need to solve is the AC/DC problem. If the lighting was converted to 12v DC LED's, Would any of the current switches available for the C4 be able to dim and/or switch them? The POE (power over Ethernet) capability of some of the switches eliminates the need for ACpower at the location of the switch but does the manufacturer make devices for dimming DC fixtures and equipment?

I would love to hear Via Email any ideas you may have or feedback on the issue. Thanks Brett

Brett,

I applaud what you are trying to achieve, but I believe you are way farther ahead of the curve than C4 in this department. I have worked in the conservation and demand management field for 20 years and have tried to use the C4 platform to reduce my own household footprint. Let me tell you it isn't easy.

This system, like most residential control systems, is primarily focused on A/V integration and automation. Unlike commercial automation technologies, energy management a secondary consideration and is only now hitting their radar. You can probably achieve part of what you want to do but it will likely require integration of (or at least a crude interface with) third party hardware and software that is specifically suited to the application you envision.

I can't comment specifically on the ability of the switches to work with 12 VDC - I wasn't aware that C4 made a POE switch. You might find another vendor of dimmers/switches that could work,but then you need a driver to integrate. Regarding your net metering question, C4 hardware, like any device in the house, should not care which direction the power is moving through the meter as long as the power supply in the distribution system is stable.

The bigger question is whether or not you can adapt control strategies to reflect the direction of flow through the meter (i.e. more agressive demand response when drawing from the grid). It may be possible that a 3rd party app like that from Eragy could do the job. I am considering that for my own place now that I have upgraded to 2.0. I don't have any onsite generation assets that would require net metering (although in Ontario, it is supported) but I do have time-of-day pricing and demand response programs that motivate me to be as responsive as possible.

I would be interested to see what you can dig up. Dan

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Thanks Dan,

I will definately look into aftermarket products(switches etc.) that may be adaptable to my application. I have a call into Eragy to see what they may be able to do to help me out but I haven't heard back yet. As far as the interfaces to do what I want to do with the control4. If currently available software and hardware is not readily available, this is the gap that I would like to try to fill. I dont want to be under the table eating scraps when this equipment emerges on the market. I want to be the force bringing it to the market. I want a chair. Looking now into the feasibility of engineering ang developing the stuff myself. I think with the right people on the team we could bring something out that is highly marketable. I have to get a few more of my ducks in a row first and then I may contact control4 directly to see if they are interested. Brett

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I think I'm a bit confused by your original post and what you're after. If it helps, I'm currently using a TED energy monitoring system for my house. It tells me my energy consumption in real time and how much power is being wasted while I'm sleeping;(. Tomorrow, the solar company is beginning the installation of a 10kw system that will provide most of our electricity. Our electric provider, Xcel, allows net metering, but unless I can get the family to make a few more changes, I don't think we'll be completely off the grid. We do not store any energy with batteries; the solar energy is either used or it's returned to the grid. A second TED unit will also monitor the production of solar energy. So, how would your proposed platform help in my situation, if at all?

Thx,

tum

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I don't think we'll be completely off the grid. We do not store any energy with batteries

tum

Want to get off the grid completely? Make power domestically in your own home when the sun don't shine and the wind don't blow and it's cold and dark... No batteries? Not a problem. Got connection to natural gas? Then check out these guys http://www.cfcl.com.au :cool:

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.....Net metering is a federally regulated program requiring utility companies to buy back surplus power generated by the customer. In a situation where the cunsumer generates more power than he/she is consuming power flows from the home backwards through the meter and back into the grid. Will the C4 still operate under this condition? Would it be able to monitor this and make calculations based on this information?.....

Does a TED Monitored system handle this type of setup?

.....Another capability that I was looking for in the C4 is the ability to control a battery management system or the solar/wind equipment necessary for charging. Has anyone ever tried integrating the C4 with any of these types of equipment?.....

Isn't there an UPS app along these lines?

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too far along to say more. Keep watching. you'll get to see it. Then you'll understand

So do you have some new system you are looking to sell?

Why are you "too far along" to tell us about it?

Are you promising us a solution to the questions you posted?

Please tell

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...I'm currently using a TED energy monitoring system for my house. It tells me my energy consumption in real time and how much power is being wasted while I'm sleeping;(. .

How can it differentiate between power wasted while you're sleeping (ie. a light left on within no one in the room) vs. power being put to a good use at night (ie. your freezer keeping your Ben & Jerry's ice cream from melting)?

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Sorry, I should have been clearer. The Ted unit doesn't make that differentiation. I can usually tell if a light has been left on at night if energy consumption is higher than normal. In my estimation, anything that draws energy that's not necessary while I'm sleeping is a waste.

tum

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