The Challenge

GreenBoxEnergy’s Greenbox system monitors all aspects of a building’s hot water system to maintain water temperature and availability when and where its needed while controlling energy use. The company developed a web-based dashboard to allow customers to monitor their hot water systems’ performance. Next, they needed a connected device they could easily install at its customers’ premises to collect and transmit this data.

Arrow, a multi-billion dollar global distributor of electronic components, recommended NimbeLink, both for its carrier- certified Skywire® cellular modems and for assistance in developing customer-premise hardware and software. The company engaged with NimbeLink, whose engineers worked closely with GreenBoxEnergy to understand the application and develop the right solution.

The company conceived Neo, a very small, plug-and-play front-end device that customers would use to quickly link their systems to the OptConnect service.  The challenge was to make neo a small, sturdy, reliable device into which OptConnect could integrate their sophisticated management software, allowing the company to reach the largest possible market.

We get to focus our resources on what we know best while NimbeLink handled the specialized electronics.

Jim Seidel

CEO of GreenBoxEnergy

The Solution

NimbeLink designed a device with 16 temperature probes placed at critical points—pipes and valves—to gather real-time information on heat throughout the building. Other sensors monitored energy usage, and the collected information was analyzed using software NimbeLink developed.

The software learns to recognize usage patterns and determines what information to send to the heating system’s controller, which manages heating and water flow. The equipment is weatherproof for reliable installation on rooftops, where the heating system is located. An embedded Skywire cellular modem securely uploads heating system performance data over a cellular network to a cloud-base dashboard, where customers can monitor and manage the operation of their hot water systems.

The custom neo design was developed in record time and based on NimbeLink’s E2C Link (Ethernet-to-Cellular) router, powered inside by a Skywire embedded LTE modem.

The Results

“Information from Greenbox enables very efficient operation of the heating system, and reporting from the dashboard lets users see how their systems are operating,” says CEO Jim Seidel of GreenBoxEnergy.

“NimbeLink’s design helps control the cost of our system. We get to focus our resources on what we know best while NimbeLink handled the specialized electronics. NimbeLink also oversaw manufacturing to ensure that we had product to deliver when we needed it, and the whole development process took just six months. Having NimbeLink on our team leaves us free to market our product, to grow our market, and to continue developing new applications.”

OptConnect successfully launched its neo product offering in 2016 with a robust and inventive marketing campaign amid strong interest and initial orders.

Skywire Embedded Modems

All Skywire modems are carrier-certified, significantly reducing costs and time to market.

Created by award-winning developers, Skywire® plug-in cellular modems are the fastest way to provide cellular connectivity for machine-to-machine (M2M) products and speed them to market. Within months of its introduction Skywire® was recognized for innovation and named a finalist for the ECN Impact Awards, Boards, Modules and Embedded Systems category.

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