A microgrid has small electricity generators connected to a local load. The microgrid can be connected to a larger national grid, or operate autonomously. In my graduate course "ICT Sustainability" I teach how to estimate the energy used by computers and telecommunication and, more importantly for micro-grids, how to reduce energy consumption by using ICT. Micro-grids depend on having computer systems to ensure the production and consumption of power are balanced. I will be looking at how to keep and analyze the large amounts of data needed to do this for Indonesia and Australia.
One option I have suggested is displaying energy data using mobile phone compatible web pages. Some buildings have flat screen displays dedicated to energy monitoring, but these are rarely looked at and themselves consume energy (and cost money). A small simple web page can be displayed on a smart phone. To check it is compatible you can use the
W3C mobileOK Checker (the Australian W3C Office is at ANU).
Some work has been done in the USA on energy data analysis:
- Energy DataBus: From the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). They provide free software to collect and report energy-related data.
- Standard Energy Efficiency Data (SEED) Platform: Open source software for managing data on building energy performance.
- Building Energy Management Open Source Software: BEMOSS is US Government funded and from Virginia Polytechnic. There is a paper describing the project (Khamphanchai et al, 2014), which includes a section on Data Management. The authors selected the Simple Measurement and Actuation Profile (sMAP) for time-series data.
ps: It is an interesting time to be doing this, as Australia has a new government today, which may have new policies on climate change and energy use.