This paper describes a technology platform for monitoring homes within a community energy scheme. A range of sensors were deployed to measure in-home environmental conditions, occupancy, electrical power, electrical energy, thermal energy, heating behaviour and boiler performance to better understand and predict energy consumption in individual homes and across the community. The community assets include solar photovoltaic panels that are deployed in an urban solar farm and on rooftops to generate energy that is used to charge a central battery. This community scale storage supports participation in grid services to help balance the national grid and in future phases to power a community heat network, electric vehicle charging and self-consumption within individual properties. The monitoring data aims to help develop insights to help optimise this multifaceted system and to provide feedback to residents to help visualise and control their energy consumption to encourage reductions in demand. It was found that a diverse range of Internet of Things technologies was required to generate this data and make it available for subsequent access and analysis, which are described together with associated challenges that were experienced during the system design and implementation. The diversity in the monitoring technology was consolidated in the cloud to provide a common data structure for consumption by other services via industry standard APIs. The cloud infrastructure developed to achieve this is described, which utilised scalable and easily deployable services that are readily available from the major technology companies. The paper concludes by highlighting promising areas of focus for community-level monitoring in related projects.
Shipman, R., & Gillott, M. (2018). A technology platform for monitoring homes within a community energy scheme: design and implementation challenges. In The 17th International Conference on Sustainable Energy Technologies (SET 2018) : proceedings