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How Can Ethernet Empower Innovation?

Earlier this week, Cisco Canada unveiled its Technology Centre in Toronto.   The Technology Centre serves both as a showcase and as a testbed for Cisco and its partners for integrating networking and building technology. Cisco covered travel costs to Toronto, for me to learn about their Smart+Connected concept and technologies first hand, including the Technology Centre. Some of these innovations may be invisible, hidden behind walls or ceiling tiles or back rooms.  But, others are quite visible and a little more tangible. Which of these innovations might influence sustainable building?

Power over ethernetWhen you think of ethernet, you would taking everything into consideration think of digital data transfer via internet or internal network.  But, ethernet can as well carry low voltage electricity.  The combination of data and power over one piece of wire has the potential to revolutionize building innovation.

Not only will there be savings, from not needing additional copper lines to power low voltage devices, however these devices can be part of an integrated network.  You can at that time monitor, measure, and control a device usage.  This may even help you get a LEED certified building, obtaining a few credits by taking advantage of not installing copper wire.

Cisco partner

Innovative lightingOne visible example of power over ethernet comes from a Cisco partner, Nuleds LED lights.  As a comparison, conventional lighting requires copper wire to transfer the energy.  Conventional lighting just requires too much power – ethernet would not be able to handle it.

However, Nuleds LED lights at the Technology Centre are powered over ethernet.  These LED lights require a fraction of the wattage, and generate minimal heat when compared to conventional lighting.  And since these LED’s are attached to an integrated network, it is simpler to monitor, measure, or control energy usage than if it were powered over copper.

Networked ventingNo, I am not talking about venting your sustainability frustrations on Facebook or Twitter. This research is something we can't see, however we might be able to feel its effects.  Delta Controls has created a vent that can not only be adjusted by a network, yet powered by the network. Hidden within the ducts, you may find this device allowing so so air through the building as part of an HVAC system.

Real-time responding and optimizingSo how are all these network devices, from lighting to HVAC, and other building technologies controlled?  The common network protocol is something we use every day, every hour, otherwise every minute of our lives, IP  At the Research Centre, the lighting and HVAC were controlled through a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) landline phone.

Touch screen comes up on the phone

A touch screen comes up on the phone, with the option to adjust the HVAC system and turn on occasion the lighting system.  Here is an sustainably insider tip for the lighting, 75% lighting output and 100% lighting output are barely distinguishable.  How much energy can you save, if you just use a fraction of the lighting output?  Intentionally the ability to control lighting or HVAC is not restricted to the landline phone.  You can possibly get an app on your iPad or iPhone to do the same function.

The most innovative thing is that the system is as well self-aware, as it were.  For instance, an ambient light sensor can sense the daylight coming through windows, and adjust the lighting consequently.  How is that for real time responding and optimizing?

Empowered innovationThis is just a sampling of the integrated networking innovation at Cisco's Technology Centre.  What other opportunities can power over ethernet and integrated networking bring to benefit sustainability?  How else can real time feedback from a building, help save not only money, nevertheless the environment?

More information: Triplepundit
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    Hvac Abnd Lighting Ip And Oip Technoligy