One of the better-known technology players in smart buildings and energy management technology, Echelon, has updated its core networking and control platform, LonWorks.
The LonWorks 2.0 updates are focused on several key areas, especially performance improvements and ease of installation. The latter focus, in particular, is intended to help cut deployment costs for the technology. Echelon says the LonWorks 2.0 upgrade is compatible with the roughly 90 million devices installed worldwide in everything from building efficiency networks to lighting controls to smart grid pilots. The company estimates that there are about 125,000 buildings in Europe that are LonWorks-enabled.
Here's a relevant statement from Echelon Senior Vice President of Products Bob Machlin, which I dug out of the company's press release about the update:
"There is a new wave of companies rushing to develop energy-aware products and devices to take advantage of the smart grids that are being deployed by utilities worldwide. With the new FT 5000 Smart Transceiver, manufacturers can get a four-fold increase in processing power and throughput at half the cost of previous designs, and with the Neuron 5000 Processor also address RS-485 and other transceiver applications."
The company has tons of different applications case studies to cite, including the following:
- By using LonWorks in its street lights, Oslo has cut related energy costs by 50 percent
- Spanish grocery concern Alcampo reduced energy use by 20 percent in one of its Barcelona superstores
- A Boeing plant in Long Beach, Calif., has used LonWorks to save $1 million in annual energy costs
LonWorks technology can be found in anything from heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems to subway doors to maternity ward baby monitors. OEMs has are using the technology include Honeywell, Siements, Johnson Controls, Samsung, Philips Lighting and EnerNOC.