The customer is a New York-based utility company that provides electric power to the city and operates one of the world’s largest district steam systems. The company’s customers include both individuals and large established firms. The company is among those few that provide such unique services as a Demand Response program. This program incentivizes lower electricity usage during times of high wholesale market prices or when system reliability is jeopardized.
In this particular case, the customer wanted to implement a pilot program that would respond to peak loads in the grid by reducing the power to air conditioners. To do so, the program need to connect pole transformers to the cloud and send load control commands to smart thermostats installed in households. While the transformer-cloud connection was in place, a smart thermostat had to be linked to the cloud via home energy gateways. In turn, the software solution had to provide a touch-friendly web/mobile user interface to control the thermostat settings and temperature and respond to load increase messages from pole transformers.
In order to increase development speed and make the solution more modular, DataArt used DeviceHive – its open source M2M framework. To control thermostats DataArt implemented a wireless ZigBee Smart Energy Protocol and added a DeviceHive Gateway component to the interface with the rest of the system. As a result, all thermostat commands and notifications became accessible through a Web UI; temperature and settings are controlled via a cloud API, implementing a Demand Response (DR) system to handle DR events translating them into appropriate ZigBee SE commands.
Thanks to our experience in IoT, Hardware and Zigbee protocols, the customer released the product into the market quite rapidly. This solution will extend pole transformer lifetimes, as well as help to retain existing clients and attract new customers. At the moment, the product has no analogs on the market.
Gateway: Python, ZigBee, Smart Energy Client Side: HTML5, jQuery ServerSide: MS .NET, MongoDB