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Echelon Announces Green Technology Design Contest

Echelon Corporation, a leading provider of networking technology that is used to manage and reduce energy consumption, today announced an innovative design contest focused on using control and sensing networks to develop green systems and products to help reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions. Echelon's Control Without Limits contest will provide $10,000 in prizes to winners based on green potential and "coolness." The contest is intended to spark and reward the creative energies of device and system developers who apply imagination to reducing energy waste. Entries need only be based on Echelon's technology to qualify. Winners will be announced at the LonWorld 2007 International Exhibit and Conference to be held in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, beginning November 14th.

"The focus on alternative sources as the sole answer to our energy problems is unfortunate because conservation of existing energy sources provides immediate benefits today," said Bea Yormark, Echelon's president and COO. "Today's technologies, particularly the LONWORKS and Pyxos platforms, provide a foundation for developing products and systems to utilize electricity more wisely and cost effectively. In commercial buildings, for instance, our customers routinely report an energy savings of between 10-60% by deploying products based on the LONWORKS platform. If you look at the entire market of commercial buildings and assume a 10% savings in electricity use, eliminating that electricity generation yields a decrease of hundreds of millions of metric tons of carbon dioxide generation - the equivalent of planting billions of trees."

Control networking technology embeds intelligence into individual electronic devices - from light switches to air-conditioning units - enabling these devices to act as part of a peer-to-peer network that can respond to environmental changes or events without human intervention and without causing inconvenience or discomfort to users. LONWORKS control networks, especially in concert with Pyxos embedded sensor networks, puts the intelligence to act and respond into the very devices that an energy management application needs in order to be effective. How such networks are used is limited only by the imagination of the designers.

Like any network, as more devices are added, the network increases in power. For instance, an office campus that uses light harvesting to lower lighting demand could do so at the individual light, reacting to a combination of information and environmental factors, e.g., increased energy costs provided by the utility; user needs provided by an employee; ambient light levels provided by light sensors; and light levels required by regulations.

Echelon's technology is already used extensively to save energy. Examples include:
  • The City of Oslo saves 50% on electricity for outdoor lighting;
  • Japan's largest commercial/residential complex saves 20% on electricity;
  • One of Germany's most energy efficient buildings, the Balanced Office Building's HVAC and lighting costs are 80% lower than those in a similar office building;
  • China's Shao Steel saves more than 20% on electricity in their steel mines; and
  • Over 27 million homes in Italy use smart electricity meters to better manage the country's energy needs.
Terms and conditions for participating in the Control Without Limits design contest can be found at

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