Microsoft Vista Software | Microsoft Vista Books | Linux Books | Ubuntu Books | Ruby On Rails Books

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Internet-Connected Appliances = Lower Energy Bills

Internet-Connected Appliances Could Lower Energy Bills

Pilot test in Washington and Oregon lets dryers and water heaters check electricity prices and decide if its worth waiting until off-peak times.

Dryers and Water Heaters
The GridWise Initiative, led by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, is testing dryers, thermostats, and water heaters that are wirelessly connected to a server, which uses a broadband connection to fetch prices. Homeowners also can set monthly energy budgets and monitor in real time whether they're sticking to them. In another experiment, 50 dryers are equipped with a chip that will respond to instability on the power grid and shut off the heating units on the dryers for a few minutes. Spread across millions of homes, this program could provide a shock absorber in the grid, giving producers the few minutes needed at times of peak demand to bring new power online.

The project takes a market approach to trying to lower power consumption--or shift it to off-peak times. That could let utilities put off building new power plants, says Don Hammerstrom, Pacific Northwest National Lab's project manager.

Whirlpool and IBM modified Kenmore dryers and water heaters so they can connect to the Internet and use the data collected from the Net. IBM also customized the middleware that enables the interaction. "This has never been done live," says Ron Ambrosio, an IBM manager on the project.

Read the rest here

No comments: