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Use of wirelessly controlled socket switches

I wanted to propose a few ideas that could be integrated to OEM, to allow people to not only monitor their energy production, but also (have the system) make changes in real life based on that information. This will allow them to buy power at the lowest price or sell the renewable power they generated at a greater price (selling it back to the mains electricity grid during peak hours).

The idea has also been posted online at

and

To grow the project organically and add in these features proposed, it would be best to use following procedure:

  • first off, it would be best to include OpenEVSE to the project.
    OpenEVSE could adapt their charger to also allow charging: nickel iron
    batteries, deep cycle batteries and regular lead-acid (SLI) batteries.
    These are the most common battery types used in houses/off-grid
    systems, and are also more ecological/durable then the lightweight
    battery types used in electric vehicles. Make sure the charger allows
    for using 120V, 60Hz as input power (US system) as well as 230V, 50 Hz
    (EU system). Both these would need to be supported by the
    emonbase/emonpi as well btw.

  • next, as you’ll have read, the most important part of the proposed
    system is the use of wirelessly controlled socket switches -like the
    ones from http://www.fifthplay.com/en/news/press/smart-
    energy-box - Either allow communication (reading of data between the
    switch and the emonpi/emonbase) and ability to activate/deactivate the
    switch with this, or support another (similar) wirelessly controlled
    socket switch type

  • make sure the data received (active and deactivated switches, and
    power consumption) gets shown on the openenergymonitor software so the
    user can read it as well

  • one of these switches would be placed before the batteries. Then, integrate the static system proposed at the forum pages (which involves using a table with hours when there’s peak and off-peak power available at the mains electricity grid, as well as the price range limits system to trigger the
    emonbase/emonpi to activate or deactivate certain switches when its
    currently peak-hour or off-peak hour prices).

  • the dynamic system can then be integrated later; using the static
    system only would be sufficient for the time being. The changing of
    the solarpanel tilt angles can also be integrated later (if at all).
    Since the switches would allow for activating/deactivating other
    renewable power plants at home, most of the benefits will already be
    available when the above has been done.

I guess I best explain how the batteries would come into play as well:
as you’ll read above, there’s a wirelessly controlled socket switch in front of the batteries (so between the batteries and the mains power supply). Obviously, this allows the batteries to be charged with power during off-peak hours.

But then: the batteries would be used to either power DC appliances or AC appliances (but for the latter, you’d need to put an inverter in between). In either case, you’d need to physically change the wiring in your house to do this. For which DC or AC appliances you connect, you’ll need to figure out what’s the most economical/practical for you specifically. The main issue you’ll need to take into consideration is that the more you want to power, the bigger your battery capacity needs to be (and batteries are expensive). Things you don’t necessarily need to power from it, can just be kept hooked up directly to the mains electricity grid. Another option is to power it from a renewable energy power plant (like an internal combustion engine running on ethanol, biodiesel, or wood gas) as with these, the energy is stored in fuel and that’s cheaper as using batteries. Besides engines, you could also use a small hydropower plant (which stores its power in water, which you can let flow or not remotely, using electrically operated valves).