April 2009


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Control Solutions, Inc. - Minnesota

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Anno ScholtenEMAIL INTERVIEW  Anno Scholten & Ken Sinclair

 Anno Scholten, Novus Edge

Anno Scholten has more than 25 years experience in the controls, security and building automation industries. Before joining NovusEdge, Mr. Scholten was CTO for Plexus Technology, Inc. where he was responsible for market development of Plexus’ web based solution for building automation systems. Prior to that, he was VP of Engineering for CSI Control Systems (now TAC), a worldwide building automation system provider. As an innovator and thought leader in the industry, Mr. Scholten has also served on many key industry standards committees and holds a US patent on a VAV Controller Using Fuzzy Logic.

Open Source for Open Systems – an update

We’re implementing a project using OpenLynx that will extend the current architecture as defined in the specification and publish new modules and ontologies as v0.2. These new ontologies will include metering, alarm management and notifications.

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Sinclair: How is your progress with OpenLynx, Open Source for Open Systems?

Scholten: We’ve been very busy behind the scenes developing the core functionality of OpenLynx. We released v0.1 nearly two months ago and are close to releasing v0.2 within the next two months.

Sinclair: What are the major additions for v0.2?

Scholten: Well, we’re implementing a project using OpenLynx that will extend the current architecture as defined in the specification and publish new modules and ontologies as v0.2. These new ontologies will include metering, alarm management and notifications.

Sinclair: This sounds interesting, what can you tell us about this project?

Scholten: This project has several components that will both demonstrate the type of functionality OpenLynx can provide and to extend the current specification. This includes an energy metering interface to IP based pulse meters, demand response signaling interfaces, user interfaces for reporting and event notification using email and SMS. Of course, oBix will be a standard data interchange between OpenLynx and other systems.

Sinclair: A focus on energy applications is very topical right now. How can OpenLynx help?

Scholten: Yes, I think that the current focus on energy efficiency, demand response and energy analytics is an opportunity to get new players involved in the industry using new tools to create innovative solutions. We think that the industry needs new energy solutions on top of exiting BAS systems and we believe OpenLynx can provide the Open Source platform to deliver these applications.

Sinclair: Why do we need an Open Source platform for these energy applications?

Scholten: People value applications and not the operating system that they are built on. For example, I use Microsoft Word as I think Word is one of the best word processing applications ever built. The fact that it works on both PCs and MACs allows me the freedom to choose either platform. When Apple opened up the development platform for the iPhone, 10,000+ applications were developed in less than 9 months. Many are very innovative applications that a large company like Apple may never have created. We need creative energy applications for our buildings and we can’t wait for the large manufacturers to get around to developing them. We need an Open Source platform on which independent developers can create these innovative applications.

Control Solutions, Inc Sinclair: Don’t we have these platforms already for these new applications?

Scholten: We did have some of these platforms. Platforms like EnFlex from GridLogix and the Mediator from Richard-Zeta. Unfortunately, these have been taken off the market with their recent acquisition by JCI and Cisco. This has always been the issue with middleware platform solutions (ESUSA acquired by JCI, Tridium acquired by Honeywell, etc). I believe the best way to ensure a long-term solution is to create an Open Source platform that is owned by the community and cannot be acquired.

Sinclair: What do you have in store for Connectivity Week?

Scholten: As track leader you are aware that I am involved in the Reinventing Building Automation track in the BuilConn The Future of our Reinvention session. I will be demonstrating the applications we’re building for v0.2. We may even have an iPhone application working with OpenLynx!

Sinclair: It sounds like a great place to be to learn all about OpenLynx and how someone can participate.

Scholten: Absolutely, Ken. We will be very keen to both demonstrate our progress with OpenLynx since its birth at ConnectivityWeek and to discuss with people how they can get involved.


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