Companies reduce energy costs and enhance the overall effectiveness of the smart grid. Open networks, machine-to-machine (M2M) technology and collaboration make the grid smarter.
Modernizing the nation’s electric infrastructure will likely be a daunting task that will take utilities years to implement; however, there are proactive steps that businesses and homeowners can take today to more effectively manage energy consumption. With that in mind, Sprint is working with Proliphix and SmartLabs to make energy management tools available and easy to install for end users, including businesses and consumers.
Sprint today announced that the Proliphix IMT-550 Internet Managed Thermostat is now available with Sprint wireless network connectivity. This connected thermostat allows small- to medium-sized retail business owners to reduce energy expenses and remotely monitor their storefronts while achieving a positive return on investment in just months. It supports three external wired sensors, which can sense temperature or dry contact closures from external equipment. Each of the sensors can provide independent alarms via email or text message when alerts are needed. Proliphix, an energy conservation controls company, is the creator of the first IP-enabled intelligent network thermostat.
Sprint today also announced that SmartLabs INSTEON will be available in late 2011 with embedded Sprint network connectivity. This plug-n-play system will allow property owners to access and control energy consumption from a Web portal or a Sprint smartphone. INSTEON-compatible products enable energy management, demand response and scheduled load-shedding with real-time reporting and alerts. Property owners can schedule electrical devices to be turned on or off based on time of day, occupancy, weather conditions or ambient light levels. Property owners can also opt-in for the utility to turn devices off when the local demand for electricity is exceedingly high. INSTEON can be used to control indoor and outdoor lighting, security systems, heating and cooling (HVAC), appliances, door locks and more while using existing wired infrastructure. Pilot testing is under way at a Sprint retail store where energy savings exceeds 28 percent.
Empowering application developers
Proliphix and SmartLabs are examples of the collaborative approach Sprint takes to enable wireless, smart energy solutions. Rather than dictating what developers can do on the Sprint network, Sprint makes available application programming interfaces (APIs) that allow businesses to develop their own wireless applications that take advantage of capabilities at the network, IT, service and device levels.
“With more than a dozen years developing communications products in the M2M market, Sprint is dedicated to working with smart energy companies like Proliphix and SmartLabs to bring innovative and sustainable technology to market,” said Wayne Ward, vice president-Emerging Solutions Group, Sprint.
“Developers have told us they thrive in an open development environment that accelerates their speed to market with simple, unencumbered access to our full complement of network capabilities. Considering that they are delivering wireless applications for the purpose of energy management and conversation, Sprint is eager to invest in those technologies and processes.”
To meet the demand for developer support and network certification, Sprint opened the Sprint M2M Collaboration Center in Burlingame, Calif. last year. The center is a hands-on, interactive lab where ideas, knowledge and technology unite to produce wirelessly enabled M2M concepts and products. Engineers from Sprint and other companies collaborate to rapidly bring new M2M solutions to the marketplace.
Sprint recently introduced the Sprint Command Center, a Web-based portal that allows businesses with Sprint wireless-connected products the ability to manage, activate and de-activate each device. In addition, businesses can suspend service, run usage reports and set alerts on how much data each module is consuming, without ever having to call Sprint directly.