I have had the pleasure recently of listening to some people that are much smarter than I am. The topic of interest was a little outisde my normal area of interest but still is incredibly engaging overall.
The area is energy production. I talked about the concept of flipping the switch and the power is just there a couple of days ago. The concept is Trans active Energy. Beyond simply a centralized system of energy production this incorporates green energy. At the same time we expect the grid. We know that at night solar systems don’t produce well much energy. The reflected sunlight off the moon doesn’t generate the same production.
TE (Transactive Energy) dives into that topic and goes much further. Its why I am intrigued. As you consider building an energy consuming system of systems, there are a number of interesting problems to consider. The first is the reality of centralized control. In order to have a functioning grid you will have to have a level of centralized control.
But a central grid means that you also have to have two way energy flow. Today the grid is for the most part configured as an outbound path. Going from the central source (production) to the consumer (be it business or home). The shift in recent years has been the introduction of home based production systems (solar and wind turbine).
Its more than just home production of energy. Or converting a downtown buildings roof to a solar farm. Its about considering not only the energy that is produced but also how it is consumed and what can the intelligent device do to reduce the overall consumption footprint of a home.
There was a great presentation from Holland about the reality of consumption. You can have people switch from gasoline powered cars to electric powered cars but when they get home that changes the footprint and requirements of the power grid they are in. Smart appliances that turn off when you are not home, tend to be set to turn on when you are home. That also, by the way tends to be when you are charging your electric car. The peak consumption time is expanded based on this.
The interesting part of this conversation for me was the concept of smart devices. Devices that are aware not only of the reality of consuming power but also consider the cost of that power. Where during peak loads that exceed your homes ability to produce solar power the device checks to see if it should turn on.
I find myself geeking out when it comes to this topic. The concept of intelligent devices is something I have driven towards for many years. It isn’t just making me smarter, it is making the information I can gather greater.
Plus there is a certain satisfaction in being able to produce green energy at your home. The sun is there anyway. Why not capture it and use it to cool your home! “Oh Brave New World to have gadgets that are smart in it…”