Hi there, i am absolutely new to Arduino and don't understand much in technical things (but fascinated :)). I am a designer preparing proposal and i need an advice from the people who are smart in this field. I run into Arduino researching different gadgets and it seems to be an amazing starting point that can do a lot of things.. So i decided to ask a few questions here..Hope you don't mind..
My brief is to find engaging and natural way to make people aware of their energy consumption in domestic environment.
At the moment there are many "smart meter" solutions on the market; they are monitoring your energy consumption for the whole house in real time and could include some features like being wireless, displaying your usage in money or even have an desktop application for profiling. The problem is that people don't really use them permanently and it demands some effort if you really want to find out energy consumption for the particular appliance.
Now.. i really would appreciate if you guys could help me with my idea.. in terms.. is it possible at all and if yes that are the ways to implement and develop such system? That components it would require? Is it possible to build something like that on the Arduino bases? How does it look like from the hardware point of view since the displays should be aesthetically appealing? From energy consumption and price points? Would it be a good idea to have it as participatory project? Please feel free to criticize or add something new :) Thanks a lot,
initial idea.. 1. different OLED displays that can be mounted on the walls, tables, mirrors and etc.. This displays are activated if somebody stays in front of them. The visualization looks like ambient lighting / animation and have 2 modes that are switched by touching the panel. In one modus it reflects the real-time energy usage in the second a projection of usage comparing to the standardized monthly consumption. Animation is expressed via use of different colours and their intensity, proportion to each other and may be shapes. Possibly it could produce ambient sound as well?? 2. Since the meter reading is for the whole house, it might be interesting to integrate feature to detect different appliances and record their energy usage individually. I thought it might be possible if you tag each of your devices with RFID transmitter that are shield than device is switched off and transmitting then switched on. I read that this transmitter can be really chip, can be easily attached to objects, don't use energy and can't be shield with metal foil. Not sure though it is possible, may be it should be something else. Assuming that it is possible.. than system could learn and develop profiles for different devices and an online tool could generate diagrams and models of user energy consumption patterns. So you could see when and how long / much did you use your TV or washing machine... How energy efficient is your fridge model comparing to your neighbor or to the overage.. Moreover it would be nice if system can register not only switched on device but who switched it on as well. So if you have 4 family members each of them has their profile and you could have a 4 small OLED screens to each other. In this way you could see who uses more. 3.