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Hot Housing Innovations At CES Reimagine Smart Energy Use

The 2024 Consumer Electronics Show brought more than 135,000 attendees together to share innovative ideas centered around the future of technology.


Several themes emerged around technology for the home. Research group Parks Associates hosts a day of sessions at CES called the CONNECTIONS Summit, which identified some of those hot home technology trends. Two of the most popular home technology advancements center around smart home innovations and energy management.


The average U.S. household now has 17 connected devices and Parks Associates recognizes that more and more of in-home technology is going to energy management. PARKS ASSOCIATES


Parks Associates collects and publishes data that validates those trends. For example, smart home devices are now staples in 42% of U.S. internet households, and the average household now has 17 connected devices.


Home Energy Management Is At The Forefront


One trend that is now at the top according to Parks Associates is new advances in home energy management and efficiency, driving the adoption of smart home solutions. Innovations in this area, such as the introduction of advanced control and integration products, are set to redefine home energy management.


In the age of frequent climate disasters, EcoFlow launched the DELTA Pro Ultra residential power backup system designed for both extended outages and daily use. ECOFLOW


One of those technologies is the DELTA Pro Ultra whole-home generator that can deliver the highest output power ever by one single unit with up to one month of power backup. Launched by EcoFlow, an energy solutions company, it also offers a plug and play home solar system that can be added to create a completely energy-independent home.


EcoFlow also announced the Smart Home Panel 2 that can fully integrate DELTA Pro Ultra with any home to optimize energy use, reduce costs and extend backup efficiency with intelligent analysis and solar utilization all controlled via an app.


The DELTA Pro Ultra can be charged through AC power, solar panels, and gas generators, offering maximum flexibility and extended backup time. This creates a highly resilient energy solution that is increasingly desired with today’s more chaotic and damaging weather events.

The DELTA Pro Ultra is available now on the company’s website and on Amazon.com.


Energy Tracking At Any Price Point


Some people have been shying away from smart energy solutions, assuming they will be too expensive to implement. But global home and building management solutions leader Nice has identified options that match any budget.


“Consumers can take action to lower their environmental footprint by using technology to gain the knowledge needed to understand their energy consumption,” said Paul Williams, who is the managing director of Nice’s home management business unit.


Williams explains that there are tiered solutions that hit multiple price points, starting at just a $200 investment, with a fast pay back from the subsequent energy savings. The intelligent information these systems provide arm a consumer to take action on their behavior and energy use.


Some solutions are DIY and others require an electrician to do the work. Williams says that sometimes the systems lead to finding surprises like an ill-running appliance.


“Refrigerators at the end of their life cycle consume more power because motors and compressors start to be less and less efficient,” he said. “Just by replacing devices, homeowners can get a significant payback. Plus, with a little research, they can find the normal consumption of a refrigerator or HVAC to see if they are outside of the norm and if the appliance just needs to be serviced.”


The next level of home energy management is a smart panel that integrates with car charging, battery storage and solar power to then regulate and optimize how power is being utilized in the home. These systems are closer to $10,000 with a 10-year payback but also can get the home to net zero energy.


Wi-Fi is becoming a significant technology for how systems are communicating, Williams said. It’s allowing utilities to enter the space with intelligent monitoring driven by wireless protocol Zigbee sensor that connects a USB stick to the meter to look at what is being consumed at a granular level, including by device. This technology is evolving and is currently limited to fewer than 15 utility companies, but is less intrusive, costs less, and is easy to install.


“Finally, generative AI pays a huge role as we move forward,” Williams said. “There are so many variables that go into energy use that have an impact on what goes into the house, and AI will be able to look at the variables, make sense about them and then make changes based on them, then be able to make predictions based on that information.”


He is excited to see models evolve that provide collective data to understand at a regional level, and even globally, to more intelligently use power within homes.


Home Electrification


In the kitchen, home appliance inventor Impulse launched its first product at CES, a battery-integrated cooktop.


After getting obsessed with making a pizza fast and delicious more than a decade ago, Impulse CEO Sam D'Amico, realized the broad implications and possibilities of having appliances that are easier to install.


Launched as the highest performance stovetop ever, the new Impulse Cooktop also uses green energy. IMPULSE


“If you install an induction stove, the building may not be wired for it because it already had gas and then doesn’t have the right amperage,” he said. “Then it is about a $4,000 expense, plus the wire to the street has to be upgraded, which can be $10,000, and can also take a lot of time waiting for the utility to do the upgrade.”


As the industry is pushing away from natural gas to electrification, he has identified some of the stress in that, while also removing the environmental hazards, and delivering more power with his product launch.


“It’s the highest performance stove ever,” D’Amico said. “We did that because the battery is integrated and charging all day and can pull three times more power. We can bring a liter of water to a boil in 40 seconds. You need 6 cups of water for macaroni and cheese and that can boil in 1 minute, where a gas stove is like 10 minutes.”


The stove also has more precise sensors that deliver more consistency that hasn’t existed with electric stoves that have numeric dials that don’t necessarily provide clarity to the user. The Impulse stove takes in all the external factors, such as different types of pans, to essentially give cooking the precision of baking.


The product will start at $5,999 and be available in the fourth quarter of 2024. It requires a 120-volt outlet to be installed and has a built-in bidirectional inverter.


Pumping Innovation Throughout The Home


Heat pumps are definitely having a moment, but some homeowners are resistant to try them and question the performance in colder weather climates. At CES, Bosch revealed the IDS Ultra Heat Pump that performs at colder temperatures as low as negative 13 degrees Fahrenheit. The new Bosch heat pump promises to be three to five times more energy efficient than gas furnaces and consume only about half as much electricity as electric furnaces.


Bosch also announced heat pump technology innovation in a different climate. In Las Vegas, it launched its most efficient electric hot-water heater, improving its current efficiency by four times.


Bosch’s new inverter heat pump is designed for extreme conditions and can answer nearly all heating and cooling demands across the U.S.BOSCH


In one more step for more efficient energy use, Bosch also updated its latest dishwashers with a “MySchedule” function that can be used to automatically schedule the start of the wash cycle to be during the lowest electricity price or when the most renewable energy is available.


In addition, France-based LANCEY Energy Storage launched an energy independent heat pump. The system converts air to water and incorporates a battery and an inverter with a hybrid compressor that has AC and DC power. So, it can connect directly to solar panels.


According to LANCEY’s CEO and Cofounder Raphaël Meyer, combining solar and storage with an air-to-water heat pump has never been done before.


The heat pump pulls from two power supply modes—it can access AC power from the grid during off-peak hours and then can use DC power to pull directly from solar energy, with the option of storing any unused solar energy. Homeowners will be able to track the usage with a cloud-based energy management system.


This carbon neutral HVAC system will help reduce reliance on fossil fuel heating.


Smart Home Services


Home technology expert Tim Costello says that the permanency of robotic home services is the top takeaway from CES. Those robotic home services stretch from lawn mowers to home companions, and from pet management to robotic chefs. He says that this new wave of innovation is creating the “Zero Labor Home,” a phrase coined from LG’s vision for its robotic services.


As smart home systems grow more complex with or without robot services, the need for professional support is growing. Parks Associates tracks the challenges in device integration and management. It sees the rise of Smart TVs as central control hubs and the adoption of interoperability standards like the Matter protocol as the next part of the evolution to simplify very complex smart home ecosystems.


All these technologies are destined to make leaps and bounds in progress before the 2025 CES, which is scheduled for January 7-10 in Las Vegas. Any bets on what the trends will be next year?


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Source: Forbes

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