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Major advance in Smart Buildings

Hughes Electronics R&D project enables Smart Buildings.

In response to the environmental needs for reductions in CO2 emissions Hughes Electronics have been developing a power saving system with the aim of providing an energy and communications management structure.



The system was designed to reduce user energy costs, reduce carbon emissions, manage and conserve energy, make buildings safer and more sustainable and provide a 200 Mbps data communications network.

Work on the project to date resulted in a patent application being made in January 2009.

Glyn Hughes C.E.O of Hughes electronics said “The primary objectives of e.Power are to unlock the communication potential of power cable, also to monitor and analyse the very energy that it propagates and to remotely manage and conserve energy within the building- it is the most exciting project I have ever been involved in”.

e.Power is a central control system that offers a holistic, whole building solution to energy management, cutting energy use and energy costs for the user. e.Power can be deployed in single or multiple dwellings (where communal energy consumption may also need to be monitored and controlled). In addition the system will make buildings safer and will reduce the probability of electrical fire and its consequences on the environment.

e.Power, a considerable step forward from the developing smart meter approach to providing information and to existing power saving technology, can provide information and control on a whole system level or ‘drill’ down to each individual electrical socket and appliance, providing real time information of the cost of running a device and the impact of specific behaviour, e.g. turning up (or down) the volume on an audio device. e.Power 'understands' when a device is not (or should not) be in use and switch off the power to it. e.Power also offers the possibility of remotely auditing and managing the energy consumption of a single socket, a building or a group of buildings.

Using the e.Power system it will be possible to monitor and remotely turn off or reduce power drawn at any outlet on an electrical network to suit the specific needs of a user or device. e.Power ‘understands’ when a device is on standby or not in use and shut down an outlet, it can turn off unused lights or other devices, at a single command prompt or at a pre-scheduled time - night time for example, and switch them back on in the morning, it can also check for and turn off an outlet in the event of dangerous power surges, overloads, hotspots and fire hazards.

In the domestic environment e.Power will immediately facilitate the long awaited intelligent home. It will provide every home with an immediate secure communications network and platform for all intelligent appliances. Telecom and Audio/Video signals can be transmitted over the network and outlets are provided at each e.Power outlet. The rapid convergence of VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) lends itself absolutely to this seamless single transmission infrastructure, and since virtually all commercial handsets now require power, it would be readily available from the same media that carries its signal, negating the need for separate telephone and power connection leads.

Greg Rymar the project leader from Hughes Electronics.