Energy Management Programming

Following up on my earlier post entitled “Green AV through Control System Programming”, I promised to share programming-centric Green AV solutions.  A great example of how control system programming and Green AV intersect is through energy management solutions.

Steve GreenblattEnergy management is a hot topic these days with the recent adoption of the ANSI/InfoComm Audiovisual Systems Energy Management standard.  Energy management involves a combination of design, programming, settings, and measurement.  The process resembles the age-old scientific method of developing a hypothesis, defining an experiment, evaluating the results, and refining the hypothesis until it proven.

Energy management starts with establishing a baseline of energy usage, making a commitment to energy savings, and establishing a goal.  From there, the process involves the following steps.

  • Make system adjustments
  • Measure results
  • Review the outcome as compared to the goal
  • Repeat the process by refining system adjustments

Control system programming is a key component in this process not only providing the control of the devices that are to be powered off and on and measuring the results, but most importantly providing the ability for user adjustment.Project Green AV Voices Steve Greenblatt Control Concepts

Automatic system shutdown is a great example energy management that can be designed or approached in various ways and refined with user adjustment.  Options for accomplishing automatic system shutdown can include one or more of the following criteria:

  • Time of day
  • Daily or weekly schedule
  • Inactivity
  • Room vacancy

User adjustment of individual parameters provides the ability to identify the impact of settings in achieving established energy management goals. Variable shutdown times, adjustable inactivity timeout before shutdown, sensitivity of occupancy sensors, or a combination criteria such different settings during business hours vs. outside of business hours are such examples.

For more information on energy management and Green AV through solutions through control system programming, please see my Green AV checklist or join my at educational session Control System Solutions for Energy Management at GovComm12  in Washington, DC on Wednesday November 28.

  1. Maneesh KumarManeesh Kumar11-01-2012

    There are definitely methods of programming that can contribute to a “greener” system. Even when looking at green programming options outside of any hardware dependencies. Steve definitely points out some excellent and clear options, especially adjustable scheduled system shutdowns. There can also be basic reminder popups at random time intervals asking the user to shutdown the system when they are finished using the system (this seemed to work really well for one client).

    In trying to be green, everything is cumulative, small ways to save power can help reduce maintenance costs and electricity costs and even increase product life. Being green in AV programming is about minimizing the use of electricity and conserving power in most situations. Another, more complex programming method is to track how users interact with the system. How and when they adjust volume to other settings, and let the system have some basic learning capabilities by making the adjustments for the client. This can help with fewer needed interactions with the user interface (though most AV systems are tuned to start at a clear audible level, many factors can affect this) allowing it to stay asleep longer. Programming logic that may trigger a user interface to wake up should be minimized, allow hardware to power on only when used, Once you start adding hardware that allows for power usage monitoring, device usage monitoring the possibilities to add more green solutions expand greatly. Once you interface with lighting systems, HVAC systems, and audio-visual systems, modules can be developed to track many different factors. There is time upfront that is needed to develop the logic to introduce green concepts in code, but it can easily be modularized and reused and appended to other programs allowing future projects to realize additional profits and recoup lost ones..

    Programming hardware with the virtual server concepts that are being translate into av hardware can conserve power as well. This is where a single system can manage multiple disparate systems, removing the need for multiple power hogging processors with more IP controlled endpoints. Once a programmer becomes conscious of the fact that they can participate in being part of a greener system, they can create and develop re-usable methods that support this process. Programmers that introduce green logic can support a system’s health and longevity, and introduce additional power savings for the end user. There are always positives and negatives to the any concept, but organizations can alleviate their fear of the higher costs of being green and buy-in to the concept to realize there are now potential cost savings and a better ROI in the long run with green cradle to the grave technology solutions.

Leave a Reply