3.7.8 The process behind Green energy for my..”

See this evidence for context.


Based on the research I did earlier on Meters and Energy Dashboards it is quite evident that some sort of control panel is at the base of any modern domestic electricity infrastructure. To place this on a screen in the Circuit Breaker is only meant as a metaphor on that I insert a layer between the user and the physical electricity. This is further enhanced by dragging the “Virtual Wire” screen on top of the current metering.

Greener actions

The idea of presenting the consumer with enough information to make a decision to turn an appliance on or off can have great effect on the power grid. In England there is a phenomenon named “TV Pickup” linked to the TV show “East Enders”. When the show ends an horde of viewers tap water into their tea kettles and switch them on. Such specific timed peaks on the load are quite rare, but can be observed in this clip from “Britain From Above” on BBC:

A solution to this problem is to inform people on the situation I real time at the moment they are to decide on turning things on or off. Examples of this are found in prototype like the “Smart Switch” that is harder to press while on a local peak. Or the tea kettle(Video) from Lennart Fahlén (SICS) that predicts peaks and let you collaboratively book a time slot when demand is low.

Concept development

This development was two staged to try to show the relation between setup and end use.

The Circuit Breaker Panel

Acknowledging the previous research a per appliance metering sorted under the traditional circuits would be MAYA, to quote a famous designer. The detailed metering is a solid base for the next step which is to connect the devices electrically together by virtual wires. If the electricity is metered and converted to abstracted units (kWh) there is no reason why discrete amounts of electricity can be routed to where you , the device or other services decide. This virtual wire panel acts as a detailed statistics display so inputs and outputs can be matched for connection. This panel would easily be open for third party services through an API.

The kettle

In this example the water boiler is matched to the solar panel and a connection is made. This parameter that is defined in the Virtual Wire panel is displayed in context as lights in the base of the boiler. When the predefined condition is true, the LEDs lights up to inform the consumer. It is now up to he or she to wait until the green light is on to turn the appliance on. A stricter device, made by a concious branded company, could enforce this by not letting anyone turn the device on until certain conditions where met.

Process images

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply