Using smart grid technology, the machine allows users to select the most favorable time for using energy.
In cooperation with power company Greenchoice, grid operator Enexis will install over 300 smart devices in sustainably-designed homes in the Dutch city of Breda. If they accept the devices, residents will then participate in a two-year test to see whether people are ready to use smart grid technologies.
One of the most interesting installations will be solar-powered washing machines. In this smart network, the washing machine is logged into an online weather channel so that it knows exactly when the sun shines or when the price of power on the energy exchange APX -ENDEX is most favourable. For example: it could be more efficient to do your laundry at night and not in the evening. Or maybe it's best to do it during the day, when solar panels produce power.
The project involves 246 apartments with woodstoves and solar panels and 57 houses with heat pumps and solar panels, to be completed in 2012. In each home, smart devices like a smart electricity meter or a smart washing machine will be installed, connected to a smart energy computer. Besides giving residents information about the energy they use and produce, it collects their preferences and controls all devices as efficiently as possible.
Enexis' main purpose is to explore how much people are willing to use electricity in a flexible way in order to save money and the environment. They hope the outcome will demonstrate ways sustainable energy, like solar panels, can be integrated into the grid and used to meet growing demands.
Image Credit: Flickr CC - aLindquist