Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Powertech selects GainSpan Wi-Fi for residential energy management solution

USA: GainSpan Corp., a leader in ultra-low power Wi-Fi connectivity for the Internet of Things, announced that Powertech Industrial Co. Ltd, a leading Taiwanese power solutions manufacturer, has chosen GainSpan low power Wi-Fi modules for use in its Wi-Fi Power Village Energy Management Solution. The Power Village solution lets residential users monitor, control and optimize home energy usage wirelessly.

Powertech's Wi-Fi Energy Management system communicates energy data over Wi-Fi to a computer or smartphone. The user simply installs Wi-Fi enabled smart plugs wherever desired to control lighting, appliances, or other energy-consuming devices. By logging onto their energy dashboard, users can view energy consumption (watts, kilowatts, emissions and costs) in real time – and control it by turning devices on or off remotely.

Devices can be grouped and rules set to turn appliances, for example, on/off in any sequence. Detailed energy consumption trend and cost analysis can be viewed from anywhere at any time to help homeowners optimize energy usage.

The Powertech system incorporates Cloudbeam software that lets users control and monitor devices through the cloud, or locally using iOS or Android based smartphones. The software includes smartphone apps for local control, Cloudbeam's cloud solution for remote control via an infrastructure network, and APIs that allow device data and control to be available for integration over a dashboard, smartphone app or other application.

The Wi-Fi Energy Management System will initially be available in North America through BOSS CONTROLS, beginning in early 2013. Plans are in the works for worldwide distribution.

"Powertech's goal has been to push the envelope in terms of energy management. By using GainSpan Wi-Fi we're not only adding a new dimension to our residential systems that transforms the way consumers access and manage energy usage, but we're also providing a system that is easy to set-up and install in the home, something other Wi-Fi solutions did not offer," said Frankie Chen, senior sales manager, Powertech. "GainSpan's technology provides easy Wi-Fi provisioning, firmware upgrading over-the-air and support for mobile application software."

Inside the Powertech Smart Plug is GainSpan's GS1011MEPS Wi-Fi module which allows fast development of Wi-Fi enabled devices. It has a full Wi-Fi stack including WPS for easy provisioning, 802.11i WPA/WPA2 wireless security, web browser and mobile app based provisioning software for easy setup and configuration in Limited AP or Client/Station modes, over-the-air firmware update, and optional networking stack and services.

The module has an ultra-low power SoC that consumes a few uA of standby current and goes from standby to active mode in just ms, making it ideal for battery-operated devices requiring long life.

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