Tablets maximising use of on-site renewables

Residents in Scottish eco-village Findhorn (pictured) can download ‘renewable energy forecasts’ via their tablet computer to tell them when locally-produced renewable power is available. The scheme is expected to result in savings of up to 40% on their electricity bills by maximising the use of renewable resources.

Researchers led by Heriot-Watt University has spent the last two years monitoring locally-produced green energy and matching that with energy use in households in Findhorn and households in the village can now schedule their peak energy use to coincide with peaks in local energy production.

Around 60 homes, businesses and public buildings took part in the £3.5 million (US$5.56 million) green energy research project which monitors renewable energy generated from wind turbines, solar panels, and biomass district heating to match the energy requirements of local residents.

Dr Edward Owens of Heriot-Watt’s Energy Academy said, “Every household will receive a personalised ‘renewable energy forecast’ showing the best times to schedule their energy and hot water. This means that local people will use a greater proportion of the energy they generate from embedded devices such as photovoltaic panels and wind turbines, maximising the use of renewable energy and minimising the need to import energy from the grid.”

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