Friday, 16 August 2019

economyGREEN

For some time I have been investigating the idea that we could decrease the amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere due to electricity generation by changing the time we use electricity.
To make this possible, we would need a forecast of our electricity's carbon intensity* throughout the day.

With this information, we could decide to change our behaviour and run washing machines, tumble driers or storage heaters when the carbon intensity is at its lowest.

The name economyGREEN is inspired by economy7. It was introduced in the late 70s to incentivize people to use off peak electricity (during the night). economyGREEN does not offer a monetary incentive, but does enable you to use as green electricity as is possible from the UK grid.

My first step was to find a source of forecast information and after some searching, I found that a forecast of generation required, solar generation and wind generation is produced by the Balancing Mechanism Reporting Service (BMRS) RenSMART now provides a view of this forecast https://www.rensmart.com/UKGenerationForecast we also have a live view of current carbon emissions from electricity generation https://www.rensmart.com/UKGeneration

The second step was to make this information easy to act on. To achieve this I have designed a 24 hour clock web app that gives a days forecast view.



Please take a look and feel free to offer constructive feedback. The idea it that you can scan around the clock and choose a time when the most of your electricity is from renewable sources. Then you can choose to run washing loads, dry clothes or switch on a slow cooker at that time.

Future enhancements that are underway are to add an automation element that will integrate with smart sockets, appliances and electric cars so the technology can take the action for you.

Another element that is nearly ready for publication, is a personal forecast for those with micro solar or wind installations. We have been trialling it for a year with good results.




* Carbon Intensity - The amount of CO2 and other green house gasses released per unit of electricity often given and grams per kilowatt hour g/kWh

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