More than 3 billion consumer electronic devices and appliances are contributing to over 10% of the U.S. residential electricity usage. These plug load devices collectively pose major challenges to future sustainability plans. Systems for personal energy consumption reporting influence individuals to adopt energy efficiency behavior and make knowledgeable decisions on purchases of new energy efficiency technologies.
The “Wall of Power” (WoP) project is an innovative embodiment of residential plug load monitoring and management to bring significant research attention to energy consumption at the personal level. The WoP is designed to offer interactive education on energy consumption at home. It provides feedback on plug load energy consumption through the home area network, and also provides information on new efficiency technologies released in the market.
The WoP consists of three major components: a scalable physical-virtual environment, a mobile/web platform for consumer access, and an open database service.
The physical-virtual environment simulates a user-specific residential environment consisting of a number of consumer electronic devices. It provides dynamic energy usage information on the same wall where appliances are mounted.
Personal mobile devices, as a voluntary, non-intrusive plug load interface are introduced as a controlling and monitoring tool energy consumption.
An open database is constructed for WoP users and manufacturers to exchange information on products, energy consumption, incentive programs as well as usage data. This database offers consumers a trust channel to make decision when buying new products based on factors such as price, performance, and energy efficiency to encompass the rapidly evolving categories of plug load devices. The user submitted data, either through the internet or by operating the device directly, can become a valuable reference to design new incentive programs by government agencies and utility companies.