David Smart manages Comprehensive Solutions in Ontario, Canada.
We all know how easy it is to use, install and program a LYNX system. And, given its various communication modes (IP, GSM, dialer) it is easy to communicate with. I have found that this all-in-one package has many applications that I otherwise would not have been able to provide for.
I had the opportunity this past year to solve an issue that I would never had guessed could be solved with this kind of system. The situation was an off-grid, seasonal property. My customer has a solar system for power, with solar panels, batteries and inverters. And they have an IP-camera and an Internet router so that they can view part of the property off-site.
However, every winter around the solstice, the full system loses power due to both the shorter days, and snow accumulation on the solar panels. This is very bad for the batteries as they should either be left fully charged (turning the system off) or at least be trickle charged, but not left at their lowest voltage in -30 degrees (or lower as was the case this past winter). If the system does not come back on line, someone has to go on site and use a generator to charge up the batteries and get the system working again. Not an easy trip in winter!
After listening to their story, I thought that I would meter the L5100 and found that it has an extremely low power usage, even with all the option cards installed! So this past fall I installed the L5100 with two Z-Wave plugs. One for the router, the other for the POE switch that powers the IP-camera. As the solstice came close, they de-powered both the camera and the router. This left the LYNX system and the solar system pieces as the only things powered, reducing the power consumption to an acceptable level. In fact, it worked so well that the system went off only once (for a 6-hour period) and for the first time, no one had to go on site to reset the system. This helps with the longevity and maintenance of the batteries.
There are many other benefits with this system setup. Even though they have the router turned off and therefore have no Internet connection, they can still communicate with the LYNX. On sunny days, the camera can be turned on for brief periods, and they still get email notification of events, such as if the solar system loses power and when it comes back on. They can also be notified of events from security devices such as the outdoor motion detector. Any security devices that get used are battery based and do not increase the power usage from the solar system. If the router or camera needs resetting, this Honeywell system makes it easy to do, all from the comfort of their couch!
This solution has given these property owners new tools to keep their costs low, their sense of security high and life a little bit easier.