Sunday, 25 September 2011

Smart Homes

I have been looking into smart homes and how they work. Smart homes are not only designed with sustainable energy in mind. They are also designed to help the owners reduce their electrical waste. They use very modern technology combined with sustainable energy methods to bring down their carbon footprint and ultimately the cost of running the house.

Leaving appliances on standby is a big problem in most houses. It is said that leaving these appliances on standby can equate to 25% of a home owners electricity bill. Leaving appliances on standby is not only a waste of money but it is also a waste of electricity.

My idea is to create a smart phone app that will talk to the new PLC boards that are being installed in smart homes.
The app will have the capabilities to power different sockets on or off on the PLC board. So the idea is that when you install this app you have to calibrate your board. To do this the user must power off everything in the house that they don't use during the day when at work or at night when sleeping. Then they must sync these settings from the PLC board to the app on their smart phone. Now these power sources will be programmed to always stay on while the rest of the power sources can now be turned on and off. These power sources will be bundled together and the user will be able to switch them on or off with a simple switch. Now when the user is going to bed or going to work they can simply flick a button on the smart phone and it will ensure that there is no extra power being used in the house.

PLC's and smart homes

I have been researching about PLS's (Programmable logic controllers) and the role that they are set to have in the future of electricity supply. PLC's are digital computers that control the supply of electricity so in essence they are digital distribution boards. These PLC boards are mostly used in large industrial factories and are used in cars. Over the last 5 - 10 years these boards have been installed in homes which have now become known as smart homes.
I have taken a look at smart home technologies and how now most appliances in these homes can't be controlled using touch screen panels and laptops. I have been thinking of some ideas to link smart phones to these PLC's so that the user can start to control and maintain their electricity and heating from a simple app on their smart phone.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Research and Project ideas.

I have been researching sustainable energy in Ireland. It is a vast area that ranges from transport to businesses to homes. The main area I have been looking into is helping Irish homes become more energy efficient. I have come up with some ideas that I need to now look into further.

Researching Sustainable Energy in Ireland

I am researching the SEAI's strategic plan for 2010 - 2015. It also shows the progress that they hope Ireland will achieve over the next 25 years. I am trying to find an area within their plan that could be helped using interactive media.