mashable.com By McKinley Corbley An inexpensive new kind of solar power has just been launched in Australia and it could signal the start of a groundbreaking new market for renewable energy. Professor Paul Dastoor has created organic solar panels that can be printed using conventional printers. By using electronic inks that are printed onto sub-millimeter […]
Like many things in life, saving energy also begins at home. There are many ways of reducing consumption and monitoring the use of energy at home. Users can, for instance, manually limit electricity wastage by switching of electronics devices when they are not in use. They can also divide usage into important consumption and less important consumption and avoid less important consumption when possible. Smart appliances for home take the concept of saving energy a step further.
“Smart appliances provide users the option to save energy automatically, check consumption remotely, and take advantage of time-of-use programs offered by their energy provider.”
Implementation of smart grid technologies is taking place all over the world. By deployment of technologies like the smart/ advanced meter, utilities can provide users with lower rates at off-peak hours.
General Electric’s Smart Home Pilot
An example of a smart home energy management program is General Electric’s pilot in Louisville. GE has provided participants with smart appliances that receive notification from the utility company’s smart meter, alerting both the users and appliances about when peak prices are in effect. The appliances will avoid consuming energy at that time or operate on a lower wattage. The users will still be able to change the settings of the appliance.
LG’s Smart Home Appliances
LG is another company involved in developing smart home appliances. The smart grid is central to its LG THINQ technology. LG’s smart refrigerators, for example, allow consumers to save money at peak hours by adjusting different functions, such as defrost time control.
LG’s Smart Access allows remote monitoring and control of home appliances. It enables consumers to use a smartphone or tablet PC to, for instance, set their refrigerator temperature from the office.
LG plans on offering a HOM-BOT robotic vacuum cleaner that allows users to remotely clean their home, monitor their home, and even feed their pets.
I wrote and posted this article in 2011. It’s part of a new series called the Back Then series.
Solar panels are quite an amazing technology with the ability to turn sunlight into electricity. Solar cells are made of silicon, a semiconductor that is the second most abundant element on Earth. They are constructed with a positive layer and a negative layer, which together create an electric field, just like in a battery. When photons hit a solar cell, they knock electrons loose from their atoms. If conductors are attached to the positive and negative sides of a cell, it forms an electrical circuit. That how it lights your homes, etc.