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Smart Homes, also called Intelligent Buildings, use automatic or remotely operated control systems to manage many aspects of their living environment in order to create a truly interactive and energy-efficient house. A Smart Home uses sensors, meters and software to control a large number of functions. These include lighting, energy, water, HVAC, multi-media, communications, intrusion detection, elevator monitoring, window and door operations and fire safety.
A Smart Home is the primary building block of a Smart City, contributing in crucial and fundamental ways such as:
The most important benefit of a Smart Home is energy conservation. Automated homes reduce running costs considerably through smart electrical metering, which allows residents to monitor water, electricity and appliance usage. Receiving alerts and detailed reports including real-time feedback can provide valuable insights on consumption. The option to control and manage all functions through a remote, handheld device allows for optimal energy use as well as significant monetary savings in each home.
Such a Smart Home contributes pivotally to smarter overall infrastructure. Planning is much easier when the many microcosmic fragments of the larger picture are smart in themselves. It also provides a huge pool of data that can be used to optimise operations in a Smart City, with each home contributing to the higher goal of saving resources and increasing efficiency.
One of the most important aspects of a Smart City is the IoT – which is the very core of a Smart Home. IoT is the network of smart devices that can ‘talk’ to each other. This is achieved by installing sensors (RFID, IR, GPS, laser scanners, etc.) on devices, machines and everyday objects, and connecting them to the internet to achieve intelligent recognition, location, tracking, monitoring and management.
In a Smart Community, IoT technology can:
And much, much more. Cities of the future, it is said, will be built sense by sensor. And the Smart Home will be the focal point of it all.
The greatest contributions Smart Homes can make to the Smart Cities Movement would be when they are connected to the Smart Grid. A ‘Smart Grid’ is an electrical network that can cost-efficiently integrate the behaviour and actions of all users connected to it, ensuring an efficient and sustainable power system with low losses and high levels of quality.
As renewable energy sources such as wind farms, solar cells or solar-steam plants become widespread, individual users can send surplus electricity from their solar panels and tiny wind turbines back to the Grid, revolutionising the energy behaviour of a Smart City. Having a Smart Grid would make it infinitely easier to balance the supply and demand, since they can route power to where it is needed, – thereby reducing the chance of power failures during peak usage times– and even reduce the amount of energy that needs to be produced.
Smart Grids in coordination with industrial control systems can make automatic adjustments to everything from traffic lights to surveillance cameras to sewage and water pumps, and can even sense when power is being stolen for unauthorised use.
FTTH is, of course, the prime requirement of Smart Grids.
Claypot includes SIP Automation, Intelligent Building Management Systems and Safety and Security Services as part of our FTTH package, among innumerable other solutions and Value Added Services, helping to create a Smart Community in a holistic and cost-effective manner.