Today, I almost accidentally found information about one of Google’s projects. They are planning to use the information from “smart meters” to help you keep track of your energy use at home. I haven’t yet found out what Google mean by smart meters but I guess that they need the metering device or something connected to it to send information to a Google based server by the Internet. The user should be able to login to its Google account and analyze their energy use. In Sweden all meters should be able to send accurate meter standing the 1st every month but a lot of the installed meters reads, saves and sends meter values to a management system and stores all data at a server. The meter readings can also be forwarded through communication lines like PLC (PowerLine Carrier), GPRS, Internet et cetera. I think that it qualifies for Google’s Powermeter.
I have been thinking about this and I think that it’s a pretty good idea to use a Google account to publish this information instead of having all grid owners and electricity suppliers to rebuild there own website with this information. I guess some of you will disagree. Perhaps Google can open their API so that some information from Google will be embedded on “your” website? Future will tell.
An interactive website costs a lot of money so therefore I believe that it would be nice to spend that money on other things. The problem might be that Google gets even more information about you. How will the information be used?
From the information that I have found so far it seems like the electricity use is displayed in a rate the meter can read and save. In the demo it’s hour values. You can’t see exactly what device connected that is used at the time. You can only try to analyze this information from the diagram displayed as far as I know from search in the web. I would like to see smart meters that know where the consumption comes from. In a nearby future I think that all new devices like TV, computers, radiators and perhaps even your energy saving lamp will be able to send consumption information by a wireless connection.
I will try to find more information about this and come back!
Here comes some links and videos! Thank you for you time!