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I decided for my next project to build an energy monitor experience for our neighborhood.  My goal is to change our behavior from wasting to saving energy.  

Hardware will be placed in our breaker boxes that monitor the voltage and current being provided to the house.  The hardware includes:

  • CTs on the mains lines (the white circle with clamps on the breakout box image)
  • Sensors, micro controller, and wifi to read in, digitize the current and the voltage, and send the readings to dah Cloud.
  • A web browser or smart phone app knows how to access the current and voltage readings that are stored in dah Cloud.  The readings are displayed as a graph.  This way, we can tell not only how much electricity is being used, but also what appliances are using the most electricity.  Using this information, we can adjust our electricity usage to bring the amount we use down.
  • A social app (on Facebook?  Twitter?  Text messages?) will reward members of our neighborhood with knowledge of how much CO2 they have saved from being released into the atmosphere – as well as other social game techniques.  Social gaming will be a method to get a social bond around energy conservation.  Perhaps from this we can decide as a group to install solar panels on our houses, etc.
I plan to use these blog posts as a way to document my progress.