This summer (2014), I decided to conduct a smart home experiment with my 4 boys and some of their friends in the school robotics club.
During the past several years, I’ve watched technology make significant strides in renewable energy, programmable thermostats, energy-efficient light bulbs, and many other amazing products. But that being said, there haven’t been too many advancements in tying all of these technologies into one system that can efficiently work together.
The smart home experiment will expose the kids to basic energy measurement, renewable energy options, awareness on what consumes energy in our home, along with some basic wiring and electricity.
We also got a chance to work with some great vendor partners for this effort which we’ll detail on subsequent pages, as we do thorough reviews on their products’ performance. These include: Goal Zero, Renogy, and WindBlue Power.
The pictures below detail our starting concept and how we planned to wire the devices together:
After a lot of on-line product review sifting and reading various evaluations, we decided on buying the following items, below, for our smart home experiment. Our plan is to thoroughly test each of them. As we do, we’ll create links for each one that details the product and our experiences with it:
The smart home concept is very attainable with today’s technology, but yet it still has a long way to go. It’s really exciting to think what the future can hold…picture this: Your home has an energy storage system that collects and stores energy from the sun, wind, exercise and heat loss; your home senses when it is unoccupied and reduces lighting and heating or air-conditioning; your electric car plugs into a smart energy storage system that can redirect or store energy where most needed; power plants are reduced in size and number and become efficiently located within the communities that they support. It’s closer to reality than you think!
Why do a Smart Home Experiment?
For kids (or adults) that ask why is this even worth it? I’ve given them my hybrid car statistics:
I know that I’m thrilled with my decision to get a hybrid!
Below are the planning phases with the questions that our team will have to answer:
Please keep checking back or subscribe to our blog, as we continue to build, test, and update our information based on what we’ve learned.
We hope that our smart home experiment sparks your thoughts & creativity on its many possibilities which might just bring this futuristic concept into a near-term reality!