With over 100 days of various levels of outages up until September this year, South Africa is currently experiencing the impact of electricity shortages and power cuts. Coupled with rising energy prices, many households and businesses are trying new ways to manage energy usage.
Access control systems can be used to secure a building and protect people and assets. The international security technology manufacturer, Paxton, provides access control systems that can integrate with existing infrastructure and manage a building’s energy-consuming activities to save energy and costs.
Paxton offers two simple-to-use security systems, Net2 and Paxton10, which can be useful tools to control energy consumption. Net2 is a straightforward PC-based access control solution that is ideal for managing building access. Paxton10 integrates access control and video management on one platform while also offering remote, multi-site management.
Chris Hodge, functional architect at Paxton, said: “Security systems do not consume much energy during standard operation, and they can be used to control activities onsite to limit energy usage, using triggers and actions. Using the standard events within the access control software, the systems can also be used to shut off power to equipment that is not in use. Therefore, they can help save energy to reduce environmental impact and save money on bills.”
Triggers and actions enable automated events
Both Net2 and Paxton10 offer triggers and actions, which are a series of rules that enable events within the system, help control users’ accessibility and manage integrated appliances.
Steve Woodbridge, Paxton’s global training manager, explains: “Facility managers can set ‘when the intruder alarm is armed’ as an event, so that when the system receives a signal that the event has happened, it will then trigger the action, which can be set as ‘switch off the lights’.
“Net2 has an occupancy management feature that allows site managers to set the occupancy level to zero, and use triggers and actions to set the rule to turn the lights off when the occupancy level in a given area reaches zero.”
He goes on to explain: “Our latest system, Paxton10, adds another dimension by allowing site managers to set up constraints. These constraints ensure that a condition is true before an action takes place. For example, if the rule is set to automatically turn on the air conditioning when a person enters the office, the constraint may be in place to ensure windows are closed before doing so.”
Remote site management saves
The Paxton Connect app brings further convenience to users. The app allows facility managers to remotely control their sites on smart devices, from anywhere in the world with an Internet connection. Woodbridge said: “With Paxton Connect, building managers can monitor their sites instantly at the touch of a button. If an appliance is left switched on after working hours, they can log into the software and turn it off without travelling to the site. These features make building management smarter and more efficient, helping to reduce energy wastage and save on bills.”
Paxton also manufactures Net2 Proximity energy-saving readers that can act like a power switch, to an individual appliance or all utilities in a given area. This can help save energy in a simple and automated way.
Woodbridge explains: “The readers are specially designed with a cover to retain a user’s card to turn the power on and off. The product can be installed in a way that power will only come on when a valid user card is inserted. When a person leaves a room and takes out the card, the appliances such as lights and air conditioning will automatically turn off as it’s like switching off the main power.
“The readers can also be connected to a single machine, perhaps those that consume a high level of energy. This can ensure only the employees who are trained to use them have access to start the machines, and save energy when they are not in use.”
Low-power wireless security
If site managers are looking for an energy-friendly, secure door handle, PaxLock Pro is the ideal solution. It is compatible with Net2, Paxton10, or works as a standalone security device. Hodge said: “PaxLock Pro is a battery-run product and is efficiently designed to consume minimal energy to operate, for which the batteries generally last around two years.
“PaxLock Pro will enter a sleep mode when not in use, requiring minimal energy. Built-in capacitive sensors wake the unit when operation is required, and a user’s token is presented. This minimises energy consumption, especially at night or over weekends when the handles are in less use.”
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