Tag

Home

Browsing

When I installed panels on my San Jose house in the early 2000s, I was an early adopter of the current generation of solar technology, only to see a rapid decline in yield from those panels over the next 20 years.

At our latest home, we use current generation LG panels that promise to hold over 90% of their production capacity for the same amount of time. However, not only am I unable to get the Tesla batteries I ordered last year (I’ve been told I can get them by next summer), I know I’m wasting a ton of energy because of my energy consumption. Usage is unregulated.

A truly green home isn’t just solar. It has a managed energy system so you can optimize usage. But home energy management systems that work well with solar are extremely rare, and I’ve been disappointed with everything I’ve tested.

Lunar Energy, run by former Tesla executive Kunal Girotra, appears to be one of the first next-generation solar companies to focus more on electrical efficiency than generation.

Lunar Solar is an early version of an upcoming wave of companies that will rapidly branch from solar production to energy management, providing a strong ROI for their products.

This week let’s talk about how we manage electricity, and how appliances are made by moving to solar power. Then we’ll end with our product of the week: the new Dragonfly Folio from HP.

problem with solar

Solar energy is cheap. In fact, it’s free but, sadly, the technology we need to use is next to nothing. My previous installation, which was heavily subsidized by the California and US governments, still cost me about $30,000 – even after subsidies – and my current system is closer to $100,000.

The direct benefit is that my electricity bill has gone up from $700 a month to less than $50 during the summer. But winter is a different story. You see, solar energy is powered by the sun. In winter when the sun is low on the horizon, it doesn’t power the panels as much, but you still need the energy to heat the house.

Admittedly, most of my house is now heated with gas, but I would like to go completely electric. It still cut my energy bill by about two-thirds, but the solar only works during the day and when the sun comes out. So, if you don’t want to go dark at night or on cloudy days, you need some sort of alternative power source.

If you are connected to the grid without a battery, you will still lose power if the power goes out on a hot summer day (as happened to me the other day). Batteries are not only expensive, but you must also draw enough electricity to charge them and power your home during the day, increasing the need for more solar-sourced electricity.

Now if you live on-grid, you will not have to pay this every night, but only if you discharge the battery during an outage. If you go off-grid, that means you’ll need about 30% additional capacity.

But what if you also focus on improving efficiency?

Firms like Lunar Energy promise

This is where these next generation solar companies are focused: less on generating energy and more on increasing the efficiency of energy use. While Lunar Energy is working on more efficient whole-house batteries, initially their overall effort is focused more on efficiency than production.

If you can make your home more efficient, you don’t need as much solar or as many batteries. This efficiency focus works whether you are solar powered or powered from the electric grid. You can use an energy management system no matter where you source your power.

You can also potentially do things like power down your chargers when the battery they’re charging is at full capacity and only turn them back on when those batteries are below 50%. This will help the battery last longer and potentially reduce daily energy usage.

In the past, tests of the Energy Star rating system showed huge holes in their process. This manageability will also expose devices that are idle, forcing equipment manufacturers to improve their energy efficiency, and catching people who may still be gaming the system.

next generation solar devices

There are now companies like Sundanzer that have built appliances for off-grid homes over the years, but the features and capabilities of these appliances remind me of what my grandmother had in the 1960s. Manual defrost, no cold water or ice-making capabilities, limited capacity and, for the most part, nothing you’d call attractive. But they are incredibly efficient.

What I anticipate with the next generation of devices from companies focused on solar homes blends the efficiency of off-grid offerings with the capabilities and presence of the current generation of modern appliances – so we can have the features that An off-grid product we want close to efficiency.

wrapping up

Lunar Energy is one of the first generation of solar power companies to focus more on efficient use of energy than its own generation.

I expect that by the end of the decade we will see entirely new companies in the market with increasingly efficient appliances, more advanced home energy management systems, better whole-house battery solutions, and a more comprehensive approach to green energy generation and use. Will see you come

We are just at the beginning of this solar energy wave. Over the next 20 years, kitchen and home designs will change, appliances will change, and we will use AI to ensure efficient use of every watt of energy we generate. Overall, this effort should result in a significant reduction in greenhouse gas formation and a major step towards combating global climate change.

Technical Product of the Week

HP Dragonfly Folio G3

I get to review a lot of laptops over the course of a year, and the one that has consistently been my favorite is the HP Folio. This line has gone through several iterations. It started out as a consumer-focused device, went into business with the Elite Folio, which I’m used to writing this, for the launch of its successor: the HP Dragonfly Folio G3.

The Elite Folio fixed my biggest complaint with the Folio was the contrasting colors. It came in brown and burgundy, and I’m sure the ’80s wanted their color back. But the previous generation, HP went black, used updated Qualcomm Snapdragon processors and graphics, and improved the pen dock and SIM slot. With all this, the Elite Folio becomes my favorite laptop of the year.

Well, I just recently got the HP Dragonfly Folio G3 and now my old Elite Folio is sadly out of date.

HP Dragonfly Folio G3 Notebook

HP Dragonfly Folio G3 / Image Credit: HP


HP found that IT buyers just didn’t want to risk a Qualcomm product. While that chip worked fine for me—and I really appreciated the massive battery life—other users complained about it getting worse. This is due to running an x86 emulator which pulled performance from the part that was performance-constrained.

In addition, Intel has reassured IT buyers that they need vPro, although most don’t currently use that capability (Microsoft is working to make Windows work with ARM that will eventually match performance with Snapdragon). should solve the problem).

So, the HP Dragonfly Folio G3 has improved the camera, added a privacy screen option, and while it has taken a battery life hit, it’s noticeably faster (the Snapdragon part of Qualcomm leads the industry in battery life).

In short, HP took my favorite laptop and made it better, so I’m in love again, and the HP Dragonfly Folio G 3 is my product of the week.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ECT News Network.

According to a new report from Parks Associates, the home security systems market continues to grow despite concerns about false alerts.

The report noted that security system ownership is at an all-time high in many areas, with more than a third of US broadband households (36%) having home security systems and 41% of multi-dwelling unit managers with systems in their common areas. are installed. and parking garage.

“The market was stagnant, making about 20% penetration for decades,” said Yaniv Amir, president of Essence USA, which is part of the Essence Group, a global technology company.

“Over the past five to seven years, we’ve seen significant growth as security has become a part of home automation,” he told TechNewsWorld. “It reached the mid-thirties.”

The report noted that the past several years have been good for selling systems in the small and medium business market. With the COVID-19 pandemic, it explained that the spring and summer of 2020 were characterized by social and political unrest, resulting in increased concerns about safety and security.

false alert problem

According to the report, despite promising growth, accurate detection of security threats remains a problem. False alarms are a threat to user satisfaction with their systems, it maintained, with two out of three security system owners paying fines for false alarms with an average cost of about $150.

“In America, false alarms are a really big deal,” Amir said. “It causes a lot of people to turn off their alarm systems, making them nonfunctional.”

He said one way to avoid false alarms is to use artificial intelligence to trigger the alarm from a single detector. “If you have multiple sensors, an intruder is likely to hit more than one sensor, so an alert from a single sensor is likely to be a false alert,” he explained.

“More advanced systems can use facial recognition to determine whether a face belongs to someone living in a household,” he said. “More advanced technologies can also identify unusual behavior – for example the owner of the house was being attacked.”

Chris White, senior analyst at Parks, told TechNewsWorld that effective monitoring is the best way to avoid false alarms. In addition, he continued, new video and audio analytics will help.

“Device makers are increasingly using AI powered by the cloud or more powerful EDGE to analyze video and audio data collected by cameras and microphones around the residence and verify that the detected event Instead of a pet walking on the porch or branch, there is a danger in the strong wind,” he said.

AI to the rescue

Believing that better analysis will help eliminate false alerts, Mark N. Venna, president and principal analyst at SmartTech Research in San Jose, Calif., said AI will ultimately do the best job of reducing false alerts. “This would allow the cameras to ‘learn’ about a homeowner’s specific environment,” he explained.

“This technology may be integrated at the device level, but it may also surface in Wi-Fi 6e or Wi-Fi 7e routers which can contribute by dramatically reducing latency along with improved bandwidth,” They said.

IDC senior analyst Adam Wright said vendors can do things to improve smart security systems, but it is the user’s responsibility to configure the system appropriately.

“This is one of the drawbacks of adopting a do-it-yourself approach to building a home security system – setting up, setting up and configuring all the necessary rules and sequences can be cumbersome,” he told TechNewsWorld.

“An advantage of professional installers is that they can customize the security solution to the needs of the home and help the user set up the correct configuration to ensure that the system works as intended and avoid false alerts and Minimizes other disruptions,” he said.

integration headache

False warnings aren’t the only problem with home security systems. “Reliable connectivity is a big limitation,” argued Wright. Often network-connected devices become unresponsive or offline, and troubleshooting isn’t always straightforward or easy.

“Furthermore,” he added, “integration with third-party devices remains problematic. For example, dragging a video feed onto a smart display can cause a number of errors and delays that can disrupt the experience.”

Vena agreed that it’s difficult to integrate multiple brands of appliances with many existing home security systems.

“Some of the better home security systems, though not all, do a fair job of integrating devices from different manufacturers, playing an agnostic role,” he said, “but user frustrations can be high when they determine a device that needs to be installed.” He has bought. Do not operate within the home security system’s ecosystem or integrate with your Master Control app.”

He sees future security systems departing from the use of video. “I’m most optimistic about ‘Wi-Fi Sensing’ technology, which allows every Wi-Fi device in your home to use the Wi-Fi signal to determine fall detection, break-ins, and so forth. is,” he observed.

“Acoustic sensing technology can also help detect glass breaks or screams that can be used to send alerts,” he said. “These latter capabilities also have privacy benefits because they don’t use video to make these determinations, something that’s as appealing as an indoor sensor.”

DIY Monitoring

The Parks report also noted that an important new factor in the security sector is the increase in self-monitoring security systems. These self-monitoring systems send alerts to users’ phones for a low monthly fee.

“Self-monitoring has the benefit of lower monthly costs, but it also requires the homeowner to act on alert and contact authorities if a break-in or intruder is detected,” Venna said. Vena said. “It’s a significant disadvantage, because most people don’t want or can’t have their homes monitored.”

Wright said one of the biggest benefits of self-monitoring is the peace of mind that the system won’t falsely trigger a response from emergency services, which can be disruptive or costly.

“However, the disadvantage is if an alert or alarm goes undetected,” he continued. “For example, if the user is not near their phone at all times, or there is a connectivity issue with the phone that does not receive alerts. Then the incident will go unanswered which could mean that emergency services are not dispatched in time.” Huh. “

According to the report, 33% of self-monitoring security system owners told park researchers that they intended to switch to a professional monitoring service because they were not available when a security incident occurred, and that they could not take appropriate action.