INTEGRATION OF LEGACY APPLIANCES INTO THE SMART HOME
Sulaiman, Md Shakil
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Reducing greenhouse-gas emissions and improving energy security are two energy related challenges the world faces. Renewable energy such as wind and solar appears to be encouraging in solving these issues due to their clean and environmentally sustainable character. The problem with such renewable energy source is that it is variable in nature and most users expect a continuous supply of electricity. As a result, an advanced and intelligent electricity grid is required that can handle this variable nature in order to satisfy environmental concerns for the continued growth of the renewable energy sources, by changing over to a smart grid. By adjusting or controlling the load via load management process, the smart grid can enhance the growth of renewables as well as maintaining the reliability of the electricity grid. Due to variable nature of renewables, smart grids requires smart home where the load management coordination can be done by a smart-home controller managing the power consumption of appliances based upon the information from the appliances and the grid. Smart homes considers its appliances to be smart which possess communication and processing capabilities to broadcast information about themselves and despite such advantages of smart appliances, there is nothing to stop someone from “plugging-in” a non-smart legacy appliance into the smart home system having none of these features. This results in a dilemma: the user wants to use the legacy appliance but the smart home controller is unable to control it. This thesis discusses some of the issues surrounding the integration of legacy appliances into a smart home system and elaborates the requirements and components which are necessary to realize such a design so that legacy appliances operate in a smart home.