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Wireless Functions Add Value to Armada Power Water Heater Control

Randy Sukow

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Water Heater with Wifi Controls

NRTC partner Armada Power, an Ohio-based software developer with a system for collecting water heater data demand management, has added new capabilities to its system. The new LCS2400 Grid Optimizer is a cellular-enabled device for water heater control. “The new, dual-network device has been certified to cellular Cat M1 standards on the Verizon Network at launch with the ability to extend service to multiple carriers and private networks,” the company said in a recent press release.

“Many cooperatives’ members do not have broadband availability which limits programs relying on W-Fi backhaul,” said Nathan Holland, NRTC’s grid intelligence solutions director. “The cellular communication option provides a great alternative. Co-ops can offer water heater control programs to most of their membership regardless of whether the home has an internet connection.”

At the same time, the company announced an Outdoor Grid Optimizer (pictured) that allows cooperatives to install the Armada system using a series of waterproof controllers that communicate wirelessly from outdoors without signal degradation. The outdoor controller comes with both Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi/LTE configurations.

Co-ops often install the water heater controllers outside of the house or in some cases houses’ water heaters are in an uninsulated utility coset or garage. “The new waterproof option allows co-ops to install the controller outside of the confines of the home without the worry of the device becoming damaged due to water intrusion,” Holland said.

“If you are struggling to engage in cost-effective, behind-the-meter programs, this new product is an absolute game-changer,” said Armada Sales Manager Paul Lekan referring to the LCS2400 Optimizer.

With a range of devices, Armada has the flexibility to install in any home or industrial environment. Lekan also predicted that the Cat M1 standards, a low-power, spectrum-efficient technology developed to transfer IoT transmissions over cellular networks, will future-proof water heater data collection and demand response applications for decades to come.

The Armada system networks a series of devices attached to hot water heaters that collect data and also act as battery storage devices for demand management. The devices can ensure that electric heaters conserve energy from the grid during peak events while at the same time maintaining an ample supply of hot water.

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