Like the quantified self movement (my Nike Fuel Band and my Apple Watch), and like the quantified car movement (my Tesla and my Ford Escape Titanium), I am ready for the quantified home movement.
I have a specific interest – but it falls under the general class of the “smart home” or the “internet of things”. For the latest on these trends, check out:
Business Insider on Smart Home
Specifically, I am ready for “power shaping”. Here is how it will work:
The subject is: can you take greater control of the power you consume in your home? Can you shape it to who you are and what you need?
– If I leave home for a week, can I turn the water heater down to lukewarm, and turn it back up a hour before I project I will arrive back into the home?
– If I leave home for an evening, can I turn the lights off except for three that I choose, and then turn the lights back on when my smart phone detects that I am a mile from the house?
– if peak power pricing starts at 4 and ends at 7, can I turn off my draw from the grid and turn on my draw from the PowerWall battery in my garage? And can that then trigger a recharge of the PowerWall when prices are cheapest, between midnight and 6 am?
– if the US Weather Service predicts, three days before, that the sun will be bright and hot from 9 am to 6 pm, can I plan to use solar power to the maximum? I choose to draw all of my electricity from solar during that time period, and then to add any left over to recharge my PowerWall (or sell back to the grid). In fact, I will set s goal for myself that I will be 100% solar 50 days this year, 70%+ solar 100 days, and 50%+ solar 150 days – without any inconvenience to myself or my family. Also, my goal is to be 100% “off peak draw” (only draw from the grid during off peak periods) 300 days this year.
– my goal is to reduce electricity draw by 30% and cost by 40% (by shaping my draw to off peak). This saves $1000 per year.
Process is entirely driven by default choices. The most basic default is “keep on keeping on”.
But there are other defaults – that I can buy or download.
For example, my power consumption can be driven by “expert user algorithms” that others say are awesome. I take advantage of what some geek has figured out about electricity usage.
Then, I “opt in” over time, and I learn about algorithmic capabilities, assets that I own (like solar panels), and needs that I have.
Apps are evolving to support this future. Take “COMFY”, for example.This is from NYT:
A couple of computer scientists have developed a smartphone app that proposes to solve that problem by making people the thermostats. Users can tell the app, called Comfy, whether they are hot, cold or just right. Over time, it learns trends and preferences and tells the air-conditioning system when and where to throttle up or throttle back the cooling. So far it’s used in a dozen buildings, including some of Google’s offices and some government-owned buildings, for a total of three million square feet. The developers claim Comfy-equipped buildings realize savings of up to 25 percent in cooling costs.
“We have a lot of data that people are most comfortable if they have some measure of control,” said Gwelen Paliaga, a building systems engineer in Arcata, Calif., and chairman of a committee that develops standards for human thermal comfort for the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers, or Ashrae.