Archive for October, 2009

Home energy monitoring is a hit at BarCampLondon7

Thanks to @adamcohenrose for letting us upload his notes from the home energy monitoring talks at BarCampLondon7. Check out his blog here:

Saturday, 24 October 2009 BarCampLondon7: Energy Efficiency & Usage Monitoring

Nigel Crawley

  • digital meter — LED flashes fast or slow depending on how much electricity you use
  • can pick that up with an arduino with wifi and then make available as EEML
  • EEML ( — XML for electricity cost
    • can humm output eeml?
  • can then input into Pachube
  • can then do visualization like this: BBC spiral viz of podcast #bcl7 on Twitpic
  • lilypad arduino — can sew into clothes
    • can include a vibra-ball
  • can recognise individual devices by whole home electricity usage
    • fridge, kettle, toaster, electric oven
  • Tom Raftery —
    • devices using too much electricity — an organisation will offer to replace it and tell you the savings
    • Camden, New Jersey: government offers subsidies on lower energy appliances
  • visualisations:
    • one for schools that showed a polar bear running out of iceberg
    • DisplayLink have done a blog post on energy visualisation

Gbenga Kogbe

  • the UK will run out of energy by 2014… we must save
  • comparing with your neighbours
  • mancini project — plug by plug usage
  • there was some effort in the Zigbee standard — all appliances would publish their usage to a standard hub
  • energyhive provided reduced price meters
    • research that came out showed that by the end of the trial, loads of meters were in the drawer and not used
    • several 1000 homes included in trial
  • putting information online and sharing it is much more effective than a little meter in the corner
  • in some places, there are dynamic tariffs
    • would like to tell dishwasher to wash when it’s cheap
    • not in the UK…
    • energy providers buy at realtime, but sell at flat rate
  • Dale Lane: energy costs vary between 2p and £3 a unit!!
    • it’s in their interest to get us to use it at the right times
  • base electricity is provided by nuclear power
  • peak is provided by hydro
  • figure out national supply by checking frequency
    • brownouts caused by frequency going too low
    • looking at making fridges turn themselves off when the frequency is lower
    • if all fridges did this, then peaks would be made less
    • see also
  • in California they have battery farms (since the 80s)
  • solar panels are less efficient in the heat…
    • they get powered by light, not heat
  • bike generators:
    • bikes available for free — have generators
    • when they are parked, they provide their power for the local buses

October 28, 2009 at 8:05 pm 1 comment

Some interesting stuff knocking about on the web…

…from a week or so ago.

  • Microsoft positions itself as the platform that can integrate smart energy tech with SERA.
  • Germany takes a giant leap into the energy revolution with, among other grand plans, the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology’s E-Energy scheme. Billed as “intelligent networking of energy generation, distribution and consumption”, 6 projects are being piloted which place the empowered consumer at the heart of the energy marketplace. You can check out the full E-Energy story here (PDF alert!).
  • Google PowerMeter get the energy detectives on the case with the TED 5,000 partnership.  Thanks @divydovy for flagging that one up.
  • The Guardian gets excited about a new smart meter from Intelligent Sustainable Energy. Any Oxford Home Campers had a sneak peek at this one?
  • And it looks like the Home Camp concept has caught on over the pond. The premier conference eh? I guess that makes us the protopremier unconference.

October 27, 2009 at 11:46 pm 8 comments

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