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Patent: Is Crestron Building a Smart Back-up Power Generator?

Crestron patent application describes a back-up generator that prioritizes loads at the breaker box, sheds non-essential loads.


Crestron patent application describes a smart back-up generator that prioritizes loads for both the initial power outage and longer-term outages.

Crestron has filed a patent application for an “intelligent back-up power system” that addresses shortcomings in existing products.

The application describes:

a backup power system that selectively provides power to particular circuits according to a power distribution priority profile, where power is applied sequentially to each particular circuit depending on the measured current loads of the particular circuits to which power has already been applied.

The patent application notes some of the deficiencies of typical back-up generation schemes – often, the products power an entire circuit box, including non-essential loads, so precious power is wasted.

Either that, or loads are shed manually in the case of a power outage.

Alternatively, some facilities power all essential loads via a single breaker box attached to a generator, but this limits the flexibility of the system.

In the Crestron patent application, all the circuits are computer-controlled, so when the needs of the facility change, it’s simple to reset priorities.

In one scenario, Crestron suggests:

Further, such backup power systems are not capable of providing power to circuits and devices that are initially essential (e.g., elevators containing people) and shedding those circuits and devices when they become non-essential after a short time (e.g., elevators after all the people have exited). Moreover, such backup power systems are not capable of prioritizing the circuits and devices to which power is supplied, i.e., provide power to the most critical circuits first, then to the less critical circuits if power is available. Current backup power systems simply supply power to the circuits to which they are connected, and individual devices must be shed manually. Moreover, the circuits and devices that are powered by such backup systems are predetermined and unalterable, and cannot be adjusted based on some event.

The patent application (20130038125) was filed August 9, 2011 and published February 14, 2013.

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Patent: Is Crestron Building a Smart Back-up Power Generator?

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Article Topics

News · Product News · Power Protection and Management · Patent · Crestron · Generator · All topics

About the Author

Julie Jacobson, Co-Founder, EH Publishing / Editor-at-large, CE Pro
Julie Jacobson, recipient of the 2014 CEA TechHome Leadership Award, is co-founder of EH Publishing, producer of CE Pro, Electronic House, Commercial Integrator, Security Sales and other leading technology publications. She currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. She's a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player currently residing in Carlsbad, Calif. Follow her on Twitter @juliejacobson. [More by Julie Jacobson]

1 Comments (displayed in order by date/time)

Posted by Rick Murphy  on  02/21  at  01:41 PM

I am always interested in seeing how inventive companies like Crestron tackle these applications, but this is already done fairly easily.

LynTec makes smart electrical breaker panels with available modules which can monitor the energy usage of each load and provide feedback data which a control system can use.  Also, any breaker in the panel can be remotely controlled when the panel is loaded with SquareD motorized breakers.  Placing a LynTec unit after a smart transfer switch allows the exact monitoring and manual control that the article discussed, and automated load shedding is possible once the parameters are created in a controller.

It appears that Crestron has created a streamlined UI for the facility manager or homeowner to prioritize certain loads.  That has value, for sure.

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