Getting the most out of home electricity

Jul 05, 2013
Getting the most out of home electricity

Large household appliances, such as refrigerators and washing machines, account for a huge amount of daily electricity consumption. An EU-funded project has developed a system to help you and your neighbours optimise energy consumption in the home.

The BEYWATCH ('Building Energy Watcher') project, led by Spain's Telefonica Investigacion y Desarrollo, has developed an innovative, energy-aware, flexible and user-centric system for monitoring home energy use.

The system interconnects legacy consumer devices already in your home with a new generation of energy-aware white-goods in a common network. Features include multilevel metering, greater control and scheduling based on power demand (i.e. off-peak rates), and the ability to set personal preferences.

By scheduling and controlling the operation of power-hungry , the BEYWATCH system also aims to minimise power distribution peaks. This will help to balance the energy load across power distribution networks, at home, street and neighbourhood levels. The result is a more predictable large-scale energy-consumption profile.

In addition, BEYWATCH has worked to develop and integrate an innovative combined photovoltaic/solar (CPS) system that can provide electricity and hot water for white goods, such as dishwashers. This brings down the cost of water-heating cycles. And the CPS system can even generate surplus electrical energy, which can be used in the home or fed back into the under a reverse power generation/distribution scheme.

BEYWATCH has essentially produced a platform for integrating heterogeneous, low-cost, energy-aware products into a more efficient and accessible system for . This also points the way to a more flexible and elegant approach to demand-side management, now widely considered a key point for future electrical systems and of great interest to energy distributors and retailers.

Increased flexibility will in particular help networks to cope with peak loads on the grid, which are getting higher and higher every year. The new system provides access to real-time information about consumption, as well as understandable reports and comparisons to past consumption. For electricity consumers, it all means clearer insights into how to save money on electricity while doing your part to preserve the environment.

Project partners say their generation and consumption models, and simulation results have been made available to related projects, to be used as reference materials for further investigation.

One possible area of work could address commercial and industrial buildings. Usage patterns and requirements of such premises are very different to those seen in homes and the knowledge gained through such work could be used to further improve global and reduce carbon footprints.

Explore further: Morocco raises 1.7 bn euros for solar plants

More information: www.beywatch.eu/

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Power to the people, by the people

Jun 12, 2013

European researchers are investigating 'smarter' solutions to meet growing demand for electricity and fundamental changes in the way power is produced and consumed.

Can Western Australia get smart on energy use?

Jun 20, 2013

A Murdoch University researcher has examined the benefits and challenges of adopting Smart Meters in Western Australia as the state's peak energy use continues to rise. ...

Neighbourhood grids promise energy gains

Feb 24, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- European researchers are creating technology that will treat neighbourhoods like a miniature power grid, sharing energy generated at each house according to need. Allied to a host of other ...

Reduce energy consumption by 30 percent through ICT

Nov 16, 2012

According to a European research project, cities may be able to reduce their energy consumption by 30 % by leveraging information and communication technologies (ICTs). This breakthrough was made by the ENERSIP ...

Recommended for you

The state of shale

10 hours ago

University of Pittsburgh researchers have shared their findings from three studies related to shale gas in a recent special issue of the journal Energy Technology, edited by Götz Veser, the Nickolas A. DeCecco Professor of Che ...

Website shines light on renewable energy resources

Dec 18, 2014

A team from the University of Arizona and eight southwestern electric utility companies have built a pioneering web portal that provides insight into renewable energy sources and how they contribute to the ...

Better software cuts computer energy use

Dec 18, 2014

An EU research project is developing tools to help software engineers create energy-efficient code, which could reduce electricity consumption at data centres by up to 50% and improve battery life in smart ...

Cook farm waste into energy

Dec 17, 2014

It takes some cooking, but turning farm waste into biofuels is now possible and makes economic sense, according to preliminary research from the University of Guelph.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.