Wednesday, April 14, 2010

L+B Day 4: BACnet & KNX & Smart Grid

I had no scheduled booth duty today, though I spent some time hanging around and was able to help out in specific situations. Today was the busiest day so far and it was a good thing that we had several "floaters" (folks not scheduled to serve booth duty, but ready, willing and available as ever) on hand.

But I also had some time to start my visits to other halls. Today it was nearby Hall 8: "Electrotechniks" or some such. General impression: LOTS of LED lighting (yes, I know there was a lot of other stuff too). But if this accurately indicates where we are going, and of course price is not a factor in these displays, the days of LED-only lighting are not far off. While I like the better efficiency, I'm not sure I like LED lighting. Maybe it's just because I grew up in a time when nearly all non-industrial (i.e. fluorescent) lighting was produced by heating wires until they were hot enough to emit significant amounts of visible light; the light was very broad-spectrum. The narrow spectral range of LED lighting annoys me. Even CFL phosphors seem to be more broad-spectrum (and when shaded not far from incandescent) than LED light. But this may be temporary.

One thing notable in Halls 8 and 9 is the prevalence of KNX logos in booths. Many of these are not related to commercial building automation, but some are. On the other hand there are many companies whose names I do not recall from anywhere advertising their BACnet capabilities. And MS/TP in Europe seems to be gaining ground despite advice a LONG time ago from parties forgotten that it would never be accepted in Europe.

And Smart Grid... no vacation from that here. My Dutch colleagues have been seeing to that, making connections with a journalist interested in and a researcher working in this area. Note to self: the Dutch have an initial demonstration project already underway; look up "PowerMatchingCity" and "HoogKerk" (I was told I guessed the translation correctly, "High Church"). It even includes a couple of (IMHO) problematic electric cars. But the researcher now is gaining experience in areas in which the Americans are only making hypotheses -- it might be a good idea to bring them together.

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