Under the microscope

We agreed to let Fraunhofer add little sensors to EVERY plug in our house. It’s a pilot program that Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is running Miscellaneous and Electronic Loads Research. It will report usage every 10 seconds from every plug back to the interweb via UDP

I am trying to imagine what useful information could come out of this for the greater good, and I can’t quite come up with anything. Perhaps they will be able to use the detailed data to disambiguate data coming from a single smart-meter on a house. (like Google Powermeter) In other words, being able to tell “oh, that’s the fridge coming on” vs “oh, someone turned on a light” or “that’s the dishwasher”. Who knows.

On a personal level, I probably won’t learn anything… but that’s totally fine, I am happy to help! I have pretty much figured out anything I wanted to know via a Kill-a-watt and the eMonitor/TED 5000 approach of “circuit” level monitoring.

I suspect it would be better to “follow the money”. I bet people (in New England at least) spend a lot more heating and cooling their house than they do on phantom loads from electronics and leaving lights on.

Both are worth doing I guess. Like Gary did with his “half” plan.


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