Daintree Network’s smart building control and management technology offers long-term, adaptable solutions.
As the Internet of Things continues to shape how people live — and businesses operate — Silicon Valley-based Daintree Network has created an application that is more platform than product, one that aligns with the future of smart technologies and fits particularly well in a manufacturer’s toolbox.
The company’s award-winning energy management system, ControlScope, is an open standards- driven, wireless solution for control, monitoring and optimization of a handful of operational functions: from lighting, to HVAC to plug loads and, eventually, much more.
“The product itself is ControlScope, but think of it as a product that does a lot of things,” says Mandeep Khera, vice president of marketing and channels. “What used to happen — and still happens if you look at other players in the industry — is there are a lot of players who do just one thing. Some companies focused just on plug load controls. These companies are very focused on very niche products. We have a platform. It does multiple applications.”
The company, named on a Forbes list of 10 energy analytics companies to watch in 2015 and founded in 2003 by developers who came from the test and measurement division of HP, initially focused on wireless testing devices. It has expanded into multiple market segments, but industrial warehouses are a sweet spot.
“About five years ago, the company pivoted and created this product from that end technology, which was focused initially on lighting,” Khera says.
With about 500 buildings — and 75 million square feet — under management, Daintree is making strides farther into its warehouse segment. The bigger the facility, the more potential to increase savings and improve energy efficiencies with wireless technology that monitors and controls, either on-premise or in the cloud.
ControlScope involves layers of implementation: software on a server, where control strategies and tasks for each space are defined, an on-site controller box that communicates with end-point devices and an end user — a facility manger — who can review reports or make changes on an iPad or iPhone.
“Once you set the control strategy, implement the software and install a wireless controller, you are done,” Khera says.
By using open standards — those that are publicly available and nonproprietary — Daintree is ensuring that customers will be able to adapt and update ControlScope’s monitoring capabilities to include additional applications into the future. ControlScope will work with any lighting fixtures, thermostat or other devices.
Today, for example, Daintree’s platform employs ZigBee open standards, which covers roughly 1,300 devices.
“When you have ZigBee-certified devices out there, customers have an option to buy any of those and have them connect with our product,” Khera says. “In the future, if there is another that becomes more prevalent, our standards would support that as well. We are committed to ZigBee today because it is the most pragmatic solution and it is very prevalent, but if, say, two years from now something else becomes more practical for companies to use, our commitment is that we will continue to support ZigBee and add additional protocol. It is very important for us to be open standard because that is the only way, we believe, you can accomplish the ultimate goal of the Internet of Things and machines talking to each other. Without open standards, how will you connect them?”
The ultimate goal is to allow customers to manage myriad applications with a single platform, he says. “You have one common, unified product that is allowing you to manage everything,” Khera says. “It is more economical that way, more efficient. It is providing you data in one place. What customers love about this product is that it is actually helping them future-proof their facilities. Because we are open standards based, we can keep adding first energy devices and eventually non-energy devices.”
Switching to Daintree’s wireless solution, which can cost 10 times less than wired technology and is easier to install, can create up to 70 percent energy savings for manufacturers and distributors, but that is just the beginning of the benefits, Khera says.
“Energy savings is a no-brainer, especially in a warehouse with high-wattage fixtures,” he says. “That is huge savings right away.”
Beyond that are operational efficiencies, such preventative maintenance.
“If you need a light switched, the ControlScope will issue an alert when it is time to change it, rather than having a maintenance crew come in after it burns out,” he says.
Safety issues can be remedied through ControlScope, too.
“For example, if we detect that there is light that has failed in an area where there is machinery that can hurt someone, you do not want to keep it running or wait until someone walks there,” Khera says. “We issue an alert, text message or email to whomever you want, and you can go and fix it right away.”
Occupant comfort is another benefit, as well as decreasing carbon emissions. The company also can help with building code compliance, such as California’s Title 24, which requires energy- efficiency compliance with major changes to facilities or new construction.
“We are one of the very few control solutions that can provide compliance,” Khera says. “If you knew that with software and wireless networking solutions, which is a simple install, you can save a ton of money through energy savings, reduce carbon emissions and fight global warming and increase your occupant comfort, why would you not do it?”