New York - Whirlpool and Haier Group have separately forged respective partnerships with Tendril and Honeywell to create a smart appliance infrastructure and develop energy-efficient products and solutions worldwide.
For Whirlpool, the partnership with Boulder, Colo.-based Tendril, a leading energy-platform developer, will provide the interface that will allow its next-gen majaps to communicate with the energy grid, and represents another major step toward the rollout of smart appliances in the U.S.
"The backend infrastructure required to make this happen is a critical component of the solution," said Joseph Lui, Whirlpool's global director of connectivity. "By leveraging Tendril's highly extensible energy service delivery platform, Whirlpool will be able to provide consumers with a desirable solution to better manage their energy usage and spend."
Whirlpool said Tendril's open-standards-based, scalable and secure integrated platform will enable a dialogue between appliances, consumers and utilities that will allow smart products to defer or reduce operations to less-costly non-peak power times.
"This will forever change how consumers interact with their appliances and how they conserve energy in their homes," said Tendril CEO Adrian Tuck. "We believe this will help consumers become increasingly energy-wise, and in the process, help utilities effectively manage peak loads on the grid."
Meanwhile, Haier has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Honeywell that calls for both companies to collaborate on new technology to make major appliances, whole-home systems, residential heating, building automation and mass-transit systems run cleaner and more efficiently.
The global strategic initiative "will allow us to explore solutions that mutually benefit Chinese and American consumers and enterprises," said Shariff Kan, president of Haier America, as its parent company actively promotes a globalization strategy for products and comprehensive solutions.
One area of collaboration will be the use of energy-efficient, closed-cell foam insulation in Haier majaps using Honeywell's non-ozone-depleting Enovate blowing agent, which will help the products comply with stricter Energy Star program standards. The companies also plan to jointly develop air conditioners, refrigerators and solar-power water heater solutions based on Honeywell's refrigerants and blowing agents, which have a low potential for contributing to global warming, the partners said.
In addition, Honeywell's Technology Solutions China unit will work with Haier's research and development arm on the manufacturer's automated home-control program.