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

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