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EETE SEPTEMBER 2012

POWER DESIGN Wireless power outlets designed to support the IPv6 Internet protocol By Paul Buckley A new Internet-enABled power outlet was developed by ity consumption. For example, the householder can start the researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Communication washing machine during cheap-rate off-peak hours, or run Systems eSK in Munich will allow users to control household the dishwasher when the photovoltaic panels on the roof are appliances via their smartphone, and reduce their energy costs generating sufficient power,” said industrial engineer Mathias into the bargain. dalheimer of the ItwM, who leads the SmartGrid project and is the smart socket was developed in collaboration with the its chief programmer. Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathe- In addition to the wireless power outlets, matics ItwM in Kaiserslautern and the in- the HexaBus system employs a specially dustrial partner embedded brains GmbH. designed USB stick that plugs into any the solution means that soon there will be compatible, off-the-shelf router. The user no need for special timers to switch light- enters the command to switch on an ap- ing on and off or operate household appli- pliance via a standard web browser or an ances when the homeowner is absent. In Android-compatible smartphone app. the future, all this can be done by means of a router and stick then forward the data to smartphone or PC, thanks to Internet-en- the power outlet. abled wireless power outlets that support the two-way communication function the new IPv6 Internet protocol. also allows the wireless power outlet to “we have been able to connect the send data to the smartphone, informing power outlets wirelessly using the IPv6 protocol,” said eSK re- the user how much power various appliances are consuming search engineer Günter Hildebrandt. “All household appliances at any given time. Because the HexaBus system is based on plugged in one of the sockets can be switched on and off re- the IPv6 data communication protocol, a separate IP address is motely using an IPv6-compatible device such as a smartphone assigned to each power outlet, and thereby to each connected or laptop PC – from anywhere.” appliance, enabling them to be accessed directly. But how did the wireless power outlets are a component of the HexaBus the researchers go about integrating Internet functionality in the home automation system that was developed by the ItwM as wireless power outlets and USB sticks? to do so, Hildebrandt part of the mySmartGrid project - www.mysmartgrid.de. and his team developed special protocol software and an ex- “the HexaBus components make the smart home of the tension to the Contiki operating system that enables it to handle future a reality. they enable household appliances to be the 6lowpan (IPv6 over low power wireless Personal Area controlled intelligently, thus optimizing or reducing electric- network) communication protocol. Lithium-ion battery pilot production line established by German research center By Christoph Hammerschmidt German research center ZSw (Zentrum für Sonnenenergie- methods for quality assurance. “this research production line und Wasserstoff-Forschung) will install a test production line for will close the gap between manufacturing at the laboratory level lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles. the goal of the project and serial production,” explained KliB chairman Hubert Jäger. is the development and test of prismatic li-ion batteries with a “this is a central requirement of the German electromobility capacity of 20 Ah and more. Such batteries will be used as drive Platform. within the KliB a number of working groups have batteries in electric cars. the pilot production line is scheduled been formed with focus on each stage of the value chain - for to start its activities in 2014. instance materials for anode, cathode, separator and elec- the project has been initialized by industry network KliB trolytes, automation technology, cell production, and battery (Kompetenznetzwerk lithium-Ionen-Batterien). KliB counts production. According to a joint press release of ZSw and KliB, numerous companies along the entire battery production value the project represents the first opportunity in Germany for all chain to its members, including BASF, BMw, Bosch, daimler, companies involved to access a value chain-spanning r&d dow, SB limotive, Siemens and Varta. platform that completes in-house R&D efforts. The project is the project aims at industrial-grade production processes funded in part by the federal German research ministry with for large Li-ion batteries. At the same time, it offers the chance 23.5 million euros. to validate new materials and production techniques as well as www.electronics-eetimes.com Electronic Engineering Times Europe September 2012 13


EETE SEPTEMBER 2012
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