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Connected technologies

Sep 2018 Smart Homes | Comments Off on Connected technologies
Connected technologies
 

Thomas Belaisch, VP retail at Schneider Electric, explains how connected devices, installed at the point of distribution, offer unrivalled visibility and form the foundation of a more effective, predictive approach to maintenance

We are witnessing an explosion in the number of connected devices. Thanks to the uptake of Internet of Things (IoT) technology, our lives have become smarter. We are benefiting from smarter homes, smarter buildings and even ‘smarter’ energy users. Connected devices, including wearables and smart meters, are on the rise as we seek to connect every aspect of our working, home and social lives. This IoT singularity will help us to be more informed and make better decisions with real-time data and insight.

The ability to analyse large amounts of data through the IoT has made it a no-brainer for businesses and homeowners to embrace smart distribution. Insight-led IoT improvements can be made in the home, in the office and even on the factory floor.

We’re already seeing connected consumer units, distribution boards, circuit breakers and sensors fuelling progress in both safety, efficiency and maintenance.

A smarter home

We’re witnessing an explosion of affordable smart home technologies and installation practices that are changing the face of home improvement. Lighting, temperature controls and other smart home systems depend utterly on consumer units that are safe and correctly installed.

Switchboards that have been installed inefficiently can leave homeowners in a precarious position, with a higher chance of accidents and short circuits. Indeed, government statistics indicate that every year around 70 deaths and 350,000 injuries in UK homes are caused by faulty wiring and electrical equipment.

To ensure ease of installation and long-lasting protection, products such as Schneider Electric’s Easy9+ consumer units offer straightforward flexibility and generous space for electricians to work. Reversible enclosure doors allow greater access, and semi-flush mounting designs allow the consumer units to be embedded within the building’s structure. This offers electricians maximum access while also keeping wiring and end users safe.

A revolution in final distribution

On a commercial or industrial scale, building and facility managers are under constant pressure to reduce operational costs while improving efficiency. They would greatly benefit from being able to predict problems such as electrical faults, cable overloads, short circuits and insulation faults before they become costly issues.

Fortunately, connected devices, installed at the point of distribution, offer unrivalled visibility and form the foundation of a more effective, predictive approach to maintenance.

Schneider Electric’s Acti9 Isobar P is one such example of a smart circuit board. As well as being faster and cheaper to install, it is also fully integrated with the EcoStruxure range of connected devices and software.

More connectivity, more benefits

Connected sensors such as Schneider Electric’s PowerTag can be easily attached to the Isobar P. These can be used to leverage operational and environmental data to detect problems such as overloads in real time, helping managers address them before they snowball into bigger issues.

Remote monitoring tools, such as Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure Facility Expert, make things even easier. They help maintenance teams keep on top of monitoring no matter where they are, from the convenience of a mobile device such as a phone or tablet.

With a centralised BMS and control capabilities, managers can adjust environmental settings in an instant with a phone swipe.

It really is a no-brainer. The benefits of connected devices are second to none. Yet, it is important that we implement safe installation methods to ensure we can maximise this benefit. In doing this at the final distribution stage, the safety of both the building and its inhabitants is guaranteed. Ultimately, the goal is to gather insights from data quickly. If we can do this, it is possible to get the most out of smart distribution – faster maintenance and improved safety.