The connected home and energy consumption are intrinsically linked. Energy is key to the functionality of connected devices, while homeowners are increasingly looking for ways to save on energy and money. This means that the modern home needs to be smarter, monitoring and automating energy and utility usage to meet consumer requirements and avoiding unnecessary waste.
Devices such as lighting control systems and sensors and can have a positive impact on energy consumption, and residential solar systems are being adopted in some cases, but the backbone of today's smart energy and utility systems includes:
- Smart meters
- Smart thermostats
- Weather stations
- Water sensors
Smart meters allow both consumers and utility companies to monitor and manage energy resources by transmitting usage data in real-time to in-home energy monitors and suppliers' central systems. While a meter's functionality will be based on its sensing and data processing design, it will still require wired and wireless connectivity to communicate between sensor and processor, and processor and external systems.
Smart thermostats have brought a new age of functionality to temperature control in the home. Internet connectivity has given users the ability to adjust settings remotely from smart phones and other connected devices. But the modern thermostat also has the ability to learn and react to the movements of the consumer, automatically adjusting temperature settings according to when a house is occupied. When designing a smart themostat you'll need to consider the application's physical connectivity requirements, which wireless protocol it will use to communicate with other devices, as well as the user interface controls on the device itself.
While the average consumer may not see the benefit in personal, location specific forecasts, the connected home has created new potential for smart weather stations. By collecting data on rainfall, wind, air pressure, temperature and UV indices, they can work in tandem with a range of connected products such as thermostats, lighting and garden irrigation systems. Regardless of what you want your weather station application to monitor, you'll need to consider how you're connecting the sensing and data processing components of your design.
Water sensors are considered in the most overlooked smart home devices, but they are probably some of the most important in terms of damage prevention. Designed to detect slow water leaks and burst pipes, they can be connected to smart home infrastructure to ensure owners are alerted to any problems regardless of whether they are home or not. Connectivity design considerations will include antennas for the appropriate wireless protocols and compact wire-to-wire and board to board connectors.
From antennas for a range of wireless protocols, to compact, low-profile wire-to-wire, board-to-board, and FFC/FPC connectors, as well as capacitive and metal touch switches, Avnet can support your energy and monitoring application requirements with Molex connectivity solutions.
Avnet and Molex: Connecting the dots in Connected Home energy and monitoring
Avnet's extensive team of technical specialists offer design and solution support to engineers with interconnect, sensors, wireless, passive, power supplies and battery products. Molex offers electronic components and solutions and has acquired technologies from software to firmware. Together we bring you a portfolio of high-performing solutions and associated technologies that enable you to transform concepts into smart, connected designs across a wide range of applications.
Contact our Connected Home specialists to discuss your design in more detail.Contact Us