Green AV Through Control System Programming-Steve Greenblatt

“In a previous discussion, I mentioned the fact that it’s easy being “”Green-er”" in AV and talked about the collective effort and responsibility of building Green AV systems. From manufacturers to designers to technology managers to programmers, each constituent plays a role and has a particular responsibility.

So where do we begin? Can any system become Green? Or are there pre-qualifications or requirements for Green AV systems?

Green does not have to be an idealistic term. Sure, we would like to have the most energy efficient system, the most environmentally consciously manufactured equipment, and save the most money in the process; however, it’s better to be Green-er than not worry about being Green at all.

Any integrated AV system can become “Green-er” by applying the appropriate control system programming solutions. Features such as automatic power down routines to power off the system when not in use, occupancy/vacancy sensors to detect presence in the room, power on devices on an as needed basis instead of powering on all equipment when the system is activated, restricting usage to authorized parties so that equipment is not used unnecessarily, etc. It is important to know that software is the driving factor in this area and software solutions can be applied in most every system.

The next question is how do you quantify your Green AV system? There are means to measure a baseline of power usage with all equipment full on and then measure the difference after applying Green AV solutions. As long as there are savings of energy, the system has now become Green-er. It is important to realize that there is not only way to apply Green AV solutions. In fact, there needs to be a delicate balance between being Green and maintaining a high level of system performance and responsiveness for the user.

As a result, the most effective Green AV control system programming solutions involve providing user configurable controls to allow the Green AV features to be tailored to the meet the users’ needs and strike the proper balance. For example, when applying an automatic system shutdown, the user may have the opportunity to select a shutdown time in small intervals, select a different schedule for week days and weekends, and make adjustments to timeouts of occupancy/vacancy sensors indicating how long to wait to power off the system when not in use. The difficulty comes in when as system is prematurely powered on and then needs to be powered back on again right away causing the potential of a delayed response. In this respect the owner or operator of the system can determine how important it is for them to conserve vs. maximize usability and responsiveness.

In upcoming articles, I will explore various control system programming-centric Green AV solutions. Each one will offer benefits and may be approached in various ways offering user settings to provide customization and adjustments so that we proper mix of Green AV and system responsiveness can be achieved.”

Steve Greenblatt is president of AV control system solutions provider Control Concepts, Inc.

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