01. Intro

Smart use as the missing link in district energy development: a user-centered approach to system operation and management

The main objective is to conceptually develop the user interface of a home energy management system that enables and encourages people to use an integrated, attractive, and smart energy system in an efficient way. The overall horizon is visionary and looks at finding ways to match a smart system with a smart user. That is a user that learns from the system and interacts with it and then adapts accordingly. While the concept is very future oriented and visionary it will at the same time have to be realistic enough in parts to be tested and implemented in real life installations that are possible today.

02. Info

Client:

International Energy Agency

Deliverables:

Concept development
Product design, physical and digital
Project coordination

03. Challenge

CO2 - what can we do?

Generation of electricity and heat is the single sector that produces the most carbon dioxide in the world, where the residential energy use represents one fourth of that. To decrease the emissions of greenhouse gases the generation must therefore shift to non-emitting sources and residents must be provided with more efficient ways of fulfilling their need for heating, cooling, and need to use technical appliances.

Almost every smart system uses control algorithms and in most thermostats and energy consuming household appliance there are control systems. These control systems vary in complexity, from a crudely tuned control loop to more sophisticated logic taking the user’s habits into account. However, all these systems are controlled separately.

04. Solution

Matching a smart system with a smart user

In the smart energy efficient home, we designed a supervisory control system, communicating with the district energy supplier as well as with household equipment and thermostats. The control system can distribute energy where it is needed most and also automatically adjust for other energy sources connected to or detected by the system, for example open windows, direct sunlight, a fire place, or a sauna.

Communication with the district energy supplier also provides the supplier with information to predict the future demand and thereby a tool for adjusting the production.

The main objective has been to conceptually develop the user interface of a home energy management system that enables and encourages people to use an integrated, attractive, and smart energy system in an efficient way. The overall horizon is visionary and looks at finding ways to match a smart system with a smart user. That is a user that learns from the system and interacts with it and then adapts accordingly.

05. Result

Status unit

The Status Unit represents a more basic picture of energy and is focused on the present. As a clock it shows the user the current status of energy, thereby providing constant feedback and prompting to interact continuously with the more in depth platform of the Activity organizer.

06. Result

Activity Organizer

The Activity Organizer provides a more in depth energy platform that is inclusive and focused on organizing future energy activities. This forward-looking approach is what differentiates the project distinctly from many existing concepts that focus mainly on the history of energy consumption.

Letting the user interact and contribute to the smartness of the system

Your own personal energy threshold (PET)

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