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Intel Intelligent Home Energy Management

Last week at CES 2010, Intel showed off a proof of concept device for a home energy management dashboard. This device includes a programmable thermostat, weather information, energy monitoring and reporting, a motion sensor, video camera and stereo speakers, wi-fi support, an open API, Zigbee support, etc. It is powered by an Atom Z530 CPU, and it has a capacitive OLED touch screen. It will allow you to monitor total energy usage and usage by individual major appliances.They have a four minute video that shows the device in action here.

This is so cool! I would buy one of these tomorrow if it were available for sale. This device (or something like it) is a big part of the idea for a smart grid and having the ability to monitor and control a home’s energy usage. In the meantime, I just received my TED 5000 Energy Monitor that I ordered back in October (they are pretty popular). This unit integrates with Google PowerMeter, but not with Microsoft Hohm (at least not yet). Now, I just have to install it…

Just like a good DBA monitors and tunes the performance of his database servers, I think more people need to consider monitoring and improving the performance of their home energy consumption, for economic, environmental, and national security reasons. Personally, I get a kick out of seeing how low I can get my monthly electric and gas bills. Little things, like using compact fluorescent light bulbs, using sleep mode on computers, etc., are very easy to do for very little cost. So far, I have managed to cut my average energy consumption in 2009 by nearly 50% compared to what I used in 2007.


Posted by Steve Jones on 12 January 2010

That's really interesting. I'd like to give this a try as well. I wonder how well it would track usage across the various appliances I have, or does it require a brand new set of devices?

Posted by Glenn Berry on 12 January 2010

In the demo, they show a little plug device that goes between the appliance and the wall outlet, that communicates with the wall unit. That is what you would use for existing major appliances. I would guess that new appliances will eventually be able to communicate directly with the wall unit.

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