Hacked Gadgets Forum

August 21, 2010

Intelligent Power Consumption Adjustment Device

at 12:24 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, Computer Hacks, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


I am lucky to live in Manitoba where we have an excess of hydro electric power that is sold to our neighboring provinces and states. I have not been impacted with the results of my electrical grid being shut down due to excess demand. Our friend David Pedersen from Volunteer Lab Rat has devised an Intelligent Power Consumption Adjustment Device which would help to remedy the issue many places have where the demand of energy exceeds the supply. The system works by monitoring the live voltage frequency, when there is a heavy load against the power grid the frequency will drop. By monitoring this drop this device can intelligently lower the demand to help the situation. David has been busy these days completing his PhD but as soon as he is complete I am sure we will see a surge of projects like the CNC machine, and High Voltage Tesla Coil.

You probably remember hearing about the rolling power outages in California years ago, this system would allow devices in your home to monitor the stability of the power grid and draw less power to help stabilize the grid. It would take a large number of these devices to become effective but if it were implemented properly it could be a great help.

California is taking the issue very seriously, they are trying to make it mandatory that the state can dictate the loads in your house, they will alter your energy consumption remotely and they will force adoption by denying a building permit that tries to avoid installing these energy control devices.

“It is possible to monitor the net frequency and help the power generating facilities to balance the power consumption to meet the production. The result is that the coal, natural gas and nuclear plants does not have to increase the fuel consumption when the wind suddenly stops to blow or a could pass by the solar plants.Instead it is the power consuming devices that meet the production.

A prototype of such a monitoring system has been designed, built, tested and shown good results. The prototype is based on an Olimex LPC-2478-STK development board and runs on an ARM7 processor. The prototype use a color touch screen as user interface and the grid status can be monitored on an embedded webserver based on the micro IP protocol.”