Hard to believe that it’s been almost a full week since I wrote last, but throw in the preparation for a few weddings, bachelor party, 10-year high school reunion, trying out new wheelchairs, and applying for grants and you can see how quickly time can escape. And this was just the preparation! August is going to be a very busy month!
Onto what I’ve been most excited about… jumping into discussing/researching/planning the home automation system!In trying to keep things orderly and actually manageable I think I’ll first give you my vision and goals for the home automation system and then break it down one subsection at a time.
The home automation system will seamlessly integrate many features of the home to provide increased accessibility, comfort, entertainment and energy efficiency by anticipating the homeowners needs and inconspicuously responding to them in a way that makes life easier.The system will be scalable, customizable by the end user and able to interface a large variety of subsystems through a unified interface that can be accessed through local hardwired touch screens, portable wireless devices, and Internet connected computers.
The home automation system will achieve the following goals:
- Door Automation: An access card or RFID reader will control access/security at the front door and door accessing the family room from the deck.Upon activation, this access device will initiate a sequence that unlocks the door with an electronic door strike, and then opens the door with an electromechanical automatic door opener.The door separating the garage and house will also be operated by a similar automatic door opener.All three doors will be controllable through any interface in the house.Possible reasoning behind this is to allow company into the house while I am still in bed.
- Lighting Automation: Motion/occupancy sensors, door contact closures, time of day, and automation events will control operation of the lights for safety and convenience.Low voltage lighting on the exterior of the house will be triggered when vehicles enter the driveway or people occupy the deck.Interior lights will be triggered on occupancy and then turned off when unoccupied to save energy.An example of a lighting rule would be to turn the recessed lights in the hallway on to 10% when somebody wakes and triggers the hallway occupancy sensor for a midnight pee.
- HVAC Automation: Controllable temperature setpoints for the garage, eastside rooms, center of the house, westside rooms, and high temperature loop.Use information from an outdoor weather station to predict future heat demand to increase energy efficiency.Entire HVAC system will be automated/controllable by any interface.Example of why this is useful would be to turn the heat down to a lower level (to save energy) for a trip away from home.While away monitor the temperature of the house on an iPhone/web browser.A few hours before returning, increase the temperature to “livable” levels with an iPhone.
- Window/Shade Automation: Provide user/event-based automated control of the window shades and casement window operators on the west side of the house.The electric window shades will be intelligent, encoder based roller motors to control the exact location of the shade from 0-100 % open.The electric window operators will control the casement drive gear to open/close the windows.The window and shade operators will interface with the control system and its attached weather station to operate these devices for optimum energy efficiency.
- Media Distribution: A 1 Gb CAT5E network will form the backbone of the media/communication system.In wall speakers/wiring will provide multizone/multisource audio with control system/doorbell/intercom annunciations throughout the house.Television, video, music, pictures will be served by Windows Media Center to each TV using Xbox 360s as extenders.A large server with 20+ TB of RAID protected storage will serve all the media and backup computers in the house.
- System Interface: All aspects of the control system, including its control/integration into all subsystems will be controllable by touchscreens on the wall, wireless devices, and a web browser.Human machine interface screens will be standardized and look similar, no matter the device.
I have already done a ton of research on the automation systems, and have already purchased the main controller.The controller that will form the backbone of our automation system is HAI’s OmniProII controller.Information about this controller can be found at: http://www.homeauto.com/Products/HAISystems/OmniOverview.asp.There is so much more to say about automation and why I chose this controller.Look for a post soon describing more.