Carbon Efficient Home
Improve home carbon efficiency by delaying non-urgent electricity load to a better time and also by extending the Carbon Aware API with new functionality.
Please find the attached PowerPoint slides in the Asset section.
1. What problem does your idea solve?
At the moment, even if you have access to carbon intensity forecast data, you have to manually operate the electrical appliance. Sometimes, the best time is when you are not available. While there are plenty of scheduling sockets on the market and some appliances have built-in timers, a carbon aware smart socket would make it even more convenient.
Secondly, electricity demand is difficult to predict. If we can collect information on the delayed schedule loads, that can improve the forecast.
2. What does your solution do?
My solution is a smart socket that finds the lowest carbon intensity time slot for you. Upon your confirmation, it will schedule the load. For example, instead of turning on your washing machine just before going to bed, which may be a high carbon intensity time, my solution will work out a better time, which may be while you are sleeping.
I also created an API to collect information on the scheduled electricity loads. This can be used to improve forecast on electricity demand. Electricity producers work on a forecast basis, not request/ response. They always produce more than needed to avoid blackouts. With this data, there’s potential to reduce carbon intensity, as electricity producers can generate less excess dirty electricity with a better demand forecast.
3. How does your solution use the API/SDK?
My solution uses the /emissions/forecasts/current API to obtain forecast data for a given location. It can potentially take a time range from the user and make use of those parameters when calling API.
4. What is the impact of your solution?
My solution can be used in many things, even outside the home, e.g. schedule machines in a factory. If we use washing machine at home as an example: “Washing machines, dishwashers and tumble dryers account for 14% of a typical energy bill, taking the top spot in our list. “ from energysavingtrust.org.uk.
This shows the impact is significant. There’s also potential to apply it to home car charging.
5. Describe your solution’s feasibility?
My solution requires work in a number of areas: bespoke printed circuit board, casing, a display (as opposed using a PC for display in the demo), improve code quality/ error handling, getting CE safety and environmental approval. It will useful to add support for off peak hours/ daylight saving hours too. I intend to turn this into a commercial product in the future.
It would be feasible for others to take my solution and turn it into a real product, given I used very common microcontroller and many people in the industry is familiar with it.
6. Describe the vision for your solution.
I intend to turn this into a commercial product to be used in every household. While not all electricity load can be delayed, there is significant impact.
Industrial version can be made too. There’s also potential for the solution to be built into items such as washing machines and car chargers.
7. The URL to the prototype app and/or code:
Microcontroller firmware c code: https://github.com/danielc007/CarbonAwareSocket
Web API code in golang (was not written in C# and integrated into Carbon Aware API due to lack of time. Swagger included): https://github.com/danielc007/CarbonAwareSocketLoad
8. Link to Youtube video