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New technologies for energy management

Energy management is essential for the proper functioning of A/V solutions. In this article the author presents a technology that will offer multiple benefits to potential users.

By: Dave Keller*

The management and control of energy over IP has undoubtedly facilitated the possibility of requesting feedback remotely and web-based, from installation professionals on request. This type of IP control has been carried out in recent years by Panamax/Furman through the M7500-PRO.

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For 2010 it is budgeted to launch BlueBOLT, a new technology for IP power control, which basically differs from its predecessors because it is a cloud-based and 100% plug-and-play hosted system. This means that Panamax/Furman manages the infrastructure and performs all the preliminary work for communication between the installer and the customer's device.  Instead of having an IT specialist or an experienced network employee for the installation of a static IP address for the client's device, the installer simply plugs it into an active Internet connection, adds the device to a free account, which is easy to install and works as an email account.

What is its importance?

Over time, installers have embraced IP power control for multiple reasons. In the case of the product in question, these people have remote access to a customer's system, which eliminates the need for an on-site service call, which in many cases is only a waste of time.

Likewise, installers are able to remotely readjust devices, receive notifications when power problems arise, solve such problems and monitor statistics such as voltage and current consumption over time.  But the truly remarkable thing about this technology is that it is 100% modular. It is delivered as a add-on card for existing devices.  Each device can have product-specific control and monitoring features, so UPSs will have their own set of features, while a suppressor/conditioner will have a different set of options.

How often do we troubleshoot electronics, disconnecting and connecting again?  The difficult restart, until today, is the most reliable solution to the problem for electronic equipment. The downside is that it has to be done physically, which implies that a person is on site to instruct the client on how to do it. With this IP control tool it is possible to do it instantly from a laptop or a mobile phone. In the same way, monitoring and statistical tracking make this an effective tool to solve energy problems.

An IP tool like this makes customers more energy conscious, by monitoring it in their home theater system, for example. Finally, the ability to select and receive email notifications based on a variety of trigger events, enhances the installer's ability to offer excellent customer service.

The advantages

For the design of this novelty we have received a lot of information from customers, many of whom use IP solutions, either for energy management or otherwise. That's why the technology I've been talking about is a higher level of IP control, especially when it comes to ease of use. Instead of creating an interface that looks and operates as a device installation screen of the IT handler, we designed the BlueBOLT interface around concepts used in modern GUI implementations, such as control systems and the famous "Web 2.0" utility.  The fact that the unit is 100% plug-and-play and simple enough for an average end user to operate, makes it a different option than others on the market.

The BlueBOLT-CV1 add-in card will be launched in 2010 to be compatible with Panamax power management solutions: MB1500 UPS, M4315-Pro and M4320-Pro and the F1500-UPS.

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*Dave Keller is the vice president of sales and marketing for Panamax/Furman.

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