With growing energy supply challenges, focusing on conservation and smarter use of resources makes sense. Hotels in Europe and Asia have long been using sensor systems that are ingenious. For example, to turn on the electricity in a hotel room a guest places their room key into a card reader attached to the wall.
Whenever the guest removes the keycard, it automatically turns the power off. Imagine the benefits of this type of system in an association or apartment club house, gym, rec room or pool house.
In the past the card reader system was hardwired and would have required extensive retrofitting in an existing building. However, using technology developed by EnOcean, the card reader is now wireless and supports standard magnetic-strip and VING type cards.
ILLUMRA, the manufacturer, described the technology as “allowing energy harvesting transmitters to operate indefinitely without the use of batteries. The motion of a switch actuation, light on a solar cell, or other ambient energy in the environment provide power to ILLUMRA transmitters, providing zero-maintenance wireless devices.”
There is not a manager alive who believes in the concept of zero-maintenance, but those problems that could arise would most likely center on magnetic strip properties. As the card reader is wireless and installs with a peel and stick feature, replacement of faulty or worn units should be relatively simple.
Managers would have the ability to selectively program the devices. For instance a refrigerator unit could be programmed to continually receive power while the sensor automatically shut off the television and lights as the tenant left the unit.
Incidentally, the key card readers are able to differentiate between tenant, management and others that could try to circumvent the system.