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Tech Showcase: Power Management 2020

A look at what some of the more recent entries to the category bring to the home.

It’s with some relief that we are reaching the point now where many clients have at least heard of power management, even if they don’t fully understand all it can do for their home — not to mention how helpful remote management and monitoring is for integrators.

Here we take a look at some of the latest additions to this product category, and what they can mean for your clients and your business.

Power Management

SurgeX Squid
Brand new from SurgeX is the Squid power management device, which was just introduced at ISE. Squid packs an array of power quality features into a single chassis that is designed to fulfill the unique needs of the growing number of collaborative flex and huddle space environments, but could definitely find its way into high-end home systems.

Squid includes two 5V USB port inputs for charging and network troubleshooting and eight outputs — four of which are traditional controlled and monitored IEC receptacles and four are DC, so integrators can eliminate the need for wall warts or a two-box solution. By using a relay-based system, the AC and DC ports can be controlled, the device can be monitored, and it can be integrated into third-party control systems.

Squid offers SurgeX Axess ELITE capabilities, including sequencing, scheduling, auto-ping, IP Control, monitoring, and management. It also features built-in diagnostic monitoring, similar to the SurgeX enVision, providing a single solution for management, mitigation, and control of the system’s power.

Squid measures electrical parameters, including voltage, current, power, frequency, power factor, and crest factor, and provides time stamped power quality events, and an internal storage of 30 days’ worth of max/min/average electrical parameters.

Related: Power Trends in 2020

Power Management

Nortek Security & Control – Panamax, Furman, and BLUEBolt
Power management also means finding places for those power cords and wall warts, as well as power protection, in addition to remote monitoring. Nortek covers both those fronts with recent products from Panamax, Furman, and BLUEBolt.

Two new Panamax vertical power distribution units — the VT-EXT12 and VT-EXT16 — add flexible protected power to the system rack. The 12- and 16-outlet configurations mount vertically at the back of the rack, placing power where it’s needed and reducing cable lengths. The slim design of each unit allows for easy workflow, while clip mounts make for a quick installation. The spacing allows for large transformers, such as wall warts. The 12-inch heavy duty extension cable — the 15-EXT1 — is designed for extra-large transformer and wall warts.

Power Management

While all Panamax Vertex models can be used as stand-alone power distribution units, when plugged into Panamax and Furman power conditioners they share all the AC line protection and AC line filtering from the power conditioner to distribute protection and performance to extra outlets in the rack.

For clean cabling, four new Panamax IEC Cables Accessories provide power to monitors, TVs, sound systems, and appliances that have the IEC-60320-C14 inlet. The 10-foot 15-IEC10, 6-foot 15-IEC6, 3-foot 15-IEC3, and 1-foot 15-IEC1 are designed for connected equipment requiring power up to 15 amps.

Nortek has remote power management covered with BlueBOLT, which got a new mobile version of the company’s real-time, cloud-based power control and monitoring platform late last year. The BlueBOLT 2.0 IP Power Management Platform — now with the BlueBOLT Mobile app — pairs with Panamax and Furman power conditioners. BlueBOLT Mobile minimizes service calls with remote reboots of problem devices; maximizes network health with scheduled power cycles; and self-heals network devices to save money and time — managed from anywhere with an Internet connection.

BlueBOLT Mobile’s Watchlist feature enables tagging of high-priority locations and devices — those that deserve special attention. Combined with location and device filtering, this allows integrators to quickly identify potential issues before the customer even knows there’s an issue.

Related: How to Sell Power Products

Power ManagementTorus Power AVR
The Torus Power AVR models add Automatic Voltage Regulation to the standard Torus Power features, enhancing protection against voltage sags, brownouts, and surges. They also include Ethernet connectivity and an RS-232 interface for basic home monitoring applications.

Each model is IP addressable with a built-in web browser interface, and feature automatic email notification on fault condition. The RS-232 control allows them to be compatible with Crestron and other control systems, and they offer cloud-based monitoring and control through ihiji, and other systems. The front panel display shows voltage conditions (input / output voltage), current draw, and IP address.

Torus AVR will keep the output constant within the range of 115 volts to 125 volts, with an input voltage of 90 volts to 130 volts. Between 85 volts to 90 volts, and between 130 volts and 135 volts, the regulation will be reduced. Balanced Input is available on many Torus Power models, providing an additional stage of noise cancellation.

Power Management

sonnen ecoLinx
Sonnen, Inc., and PanTech Design have partnered for the sonnen ecoLinx intelligent energy management system. PanTech Design’s Adapt Energy Panel is an industrial-grade hardware solution that provides direct circuit breaker control that, when combined with the ecoLinx duo, provides greater load management capabilities to power down loads during peak demand times and ahead of a power outage, which enables the ecoLinx backup reserve to charge faster.

The ecosystem also features native integration with Curb energy monitoring. Curb brings real-time data on energy use at an individual circuit level directly in the Adapt Energy app. Historical detail can also be accessed in the Curb app. Homeowners will be able to leverage this rich data to make informed decisions about energy consumption and effective use of stored backup power during power outages.

CEDIA Whitepaper: Quality of Power

While it is not about power management, CEDIA recently released a white paper called “Quality of Power” that explores the conditions and causes of electrical problems, and the solutions to deliver a better quality of power.

“There is no denying that technology is more a part of our daily lives than it has ever been before. The digital native generation does not know a world without the internet. With this demand for access to technology comes another, sometimes overlooked need — the need for power that is free from transients, interruptions, and noise,” says Walt Zerbe, senior director of technology and standards. “CEDIA’s white paper explores why it is important to have quality power and how integrators can deliver better quality power to their clients.”

The white paper helps break down the complex topics of electrical noise and power anomalies and what can be done to mitigate their effects.

Visit for details.