HAN with DR-Enabled Smart Power Strips
This review primarily investigates the demand response (DR) and control capability of the Home Area Network (HAN) technology with integrated smart power strips (Smart Strips). Secondarily, it discusses energy savings potential, ease of installation and user feedback on the technology.
The technology was successful in providing a power drop during a simulated DR event. The whole home power drops recorded during the simulated DR event averaged 5.5kW (each). DR event participation is automatic, with an option to opt-out presented to the user.
Value-add to the consumer is provided by showing (and breaking down) energy consumption throughout the home. The availability of a mobile application allows home owners to monitor energy usage, control their home’s systems, and respond to DR events remotely, which in today’s marketplace should help increase adoption. By including Smart Strips in addition to “traditional” hardwired devices or appliances, the potential for demand reduction is increased compared to similar technologies without this feature.
Installation and commissioning is straight-forward, and can in large parts be conducted by “handy” home owners. An exception is 240V shut-off switches (e.g. for pool pumps) which need to be installed by a licensed electrician to ensure code compliance. Older homes may not have compatible thermostat wiring. Large homes may require repeaters due to smart meter radio limitations.
Particular implementations of this technology by different vendors will result in variation of features, usability, reliability, cost, etc. Therefore, it behooves consumers to carefully select a vendor whose overall package and system best meets their needs.