Wireless Applications

Millennial Net Debuts “Green” Wireless Controller

June 10, 2009

The new MeshScape 6424 Wi-Controller enables enhanced building energy management to reduce consumption and waste, using wireless mesh sensor networks.

CHELMSFORD, MA /PRNewswire/ -- Millennial Net launched the Wi-Controller, a device that is changing the way people consume energy, enabling businesses to adapt and compete in this new age. The Wi-Controller supports configurations of analog and digital outputs to control actuators and relays, to such points of energy consumption as boilers and heaters. Digital and analog inputs from various sensor types provide local feedback and verification. Direct and/or supervisory control variables can be received wirelessly over Millennial Net's MeshScape wireless sensor network. Integrating various local and remote inputs, the device is configured to control on a continuous regulatory, on-demand, scheduled, and/or timer basis. Thus, intelligence is distributed closer to the point of control. The combination results in robust wireless-enabled solutions with a hierarchy of remote and local overrides and fail-safe modes to function appropriately even if wireless communication is disrupted.

Wi-Controller is an addition to Millennial Net's energy management solutions. Along with Millennial Net's award winning Wi-Stat II and other devices, Wi-Controller provides an affordable, noninvasive solution to dramatically improve energy conservation. The Wi-Controller combines control and wireless mesh communication capabilities to cost-effectively transform existing equipment and facilities to meet the challenges of new commercial and industrial demands and opportunities for control and optimization.

At Sensors Expo 2009 (June 8-10, Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont, IL), Millennial Net introduces the MeshScape 6424 Wi-Controller. Conference attendees will hear examples of field deployments of Millennial Net's bi-directional wireless communications for monitoring and control. Also featured at the show is a line of MeshScape electric sub-meters, Wi-LEM, by LEM Inc., a long-time Millennial Net partner.

"Wireless mesh sensor networks are recognized as an enabling technology of the Smart Grid. In the emerging age of going green and smart energy consumption, commercial and industrial businesses will seek ways to eliminate energy waste and become more responsive to a dynamic energy market. They will participate in an energy market of fluctuating energy prices and in cooperation with utilities to reduce peak demand and carbon emissions. The operation of Wi-Controller can be directed by a network of far-reaching communications that convey sensors close to what servers the business needs, together with commands and constraints signaled by the energy market," said Mark O'Hearne, VP Business Development and Marketing, Millennial Net.

This wireless controller, along with other sensors and supervisory systems, make up Millennial Net's MeshScape wireless sensor network system, using the 802.15.4 standard and 2.4 GHz unlicensed radio band. Mesh networking overcomes the challenge experienced with point-to-point radios. Wireless devices (mesh nodes and end nodes) participate in an ad hoc, self-forming, and self-healing wireless mesh network that requires no administration.

Reliable and fail-safe operation is a critical success factor in deploying control. The Wi-Controller algorithms and MeshScape protocol are designed for dynamic wireless environments, which can delay and disrupt communications. This industrial-class network ensures the robust and responsive bi-directional communications essential for such control applications, with latency within 50 to 100 ms. MeshScape can rapidly self-form and self-heal network routing in complex topologies within seconds and with scalability ranging to 10 to 20 or more hops. "Alternative wireless solutions for complex building environments lack the range, scalability, and robustness to perform well in real-world environments."

Wi-Controller works with other wireless devices to monitor and control equipment. Applications include control of valves and dampers for temperature and air quality; regulation of heating, cooling, and ventilation; operation of boilers; activation of enunciators and indicators; and variable speed regulation of fans, pumps, and other motors (e.g., unit ventilators, variable air volume boxes, and variable frequency drives.

"This device is ideal for retrofit applications, as it can leverage existing electric and/or pneumatic infrastructure, thus minimizing installation time, cost, and disruption to buildings and productivity," says Allan McLeod, VP Business Development of AltaStream, a Millennial Net system integrator partner. AltaStream will be speaking with Millennial Net at Sensors Expo 2009.

About Millennial Net
Millennial Net Inc. is a leading provider of wireless energy management solutions designed primarily for commercial and public buildings. The company's MeshScape Energy Management System consists of a wireless sensor network, combined with Internet technologies, to provide remote monitoring and control of buildings' heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems, lighting, and other energy-consuming devices, allowing building owners and operators to reduce energy consumption. The company's core MeshScape technology is the "only wireless sensor networking solution available today that supports the unique requirements of both large and small buildings and overcomes critical challenges traditionally associated with wireless sensor networks." Millennial Net is a leading worldwide provider of commercial and industrial wireless networking systems and products for the energy management and automation markets that enable users, OEMs, and systems integrators to quickly and cost-effectively implement wireless monitoring and control applications. Millennial Net is headquartered in Chelmsford, MA, and owned by PHC Holding GmbH. PHC is a privately held company headquartered in Esslingen, Germany.

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