2007 智慧化居住空間情境模擬創作競賽  第一屆「創意狂想 巢向未來」

特 別 獎 Energy usage awareness through user experience
參賽成員:黃文靜、Jakob Normand、Katrine Rafn Knudsen、Lars L. Christensen、Jonas Kjar
單位/學校:丹麥商帝山諾有限公司 台灣分公司
 

Background

Climate changes are an important global challenge and we all have a joint responsibility in solving them - we are all part of the solution. The Earth has given us limited resources and we must all help to protect and care for our surroundings and environment. It is important to our own future and it is absolutely essential to our children’ future. It is paramount that both our children and we help to protect the environment. The aim of this project is to heighten people’s awareness of their energy consumption at home, including heating, cooling, water and electricity.

Concept

FlowerPod is both a fun, playful and none-dictating way of displaying your home’s current energy consumption and a serious tool for reducing your carbon footprint. FlowerPod provides you with an immediate graphic representation of your energy use, which can help you save money and protect the environment. At the same time it helps you by providing an overview of your households energy consumption in total, in detail and by suggesting improvements to reduce your use of water, electricity, air conditioning and heating. The concept consists of a physical object (The FlowerPod) and The Information Portal, which is accessed through a home computer.

The Information Portal

The Information Portal shows your usage of electricity, heating, cooling and water in total and in details. Using graphs and statistics, the portal gives you an overview of the complete energy consumption of the household – past, present and projected future use. The portal will use these figures to give you advice on decreasing your family's environmental footprint and suggest improvements to the devices, domestic appliances and physical surroundings that affect your overall energy usage in a negative way. Many of the providers (water, electricity etc.) already have digital monitoring equipment, and The Information Portal serves to gather these data in a single, clear interface. Where digital resource monitoring is not yet implemented, separate sensors can be connected to work in collaboration with existing equipment. The data from the providers and any separate sensors are all gathered and processed by The Information Portal and can be accessed via the internet from a home computer. The Information Portal gives you the ability to monitor your energy usage as a whole and in details, from your annual amount of CO2-polution to the electricity used by our TV when in stand-by. The Information Portal is a serious tool in heightening your awareness on energy consumption and reducing your environmental impact.

The FlowerPod

The FlowerPod is a simple visual update of your home’s current energy consumption. It will help you and your household stay aware and give both children and adults a fun and colourful digital plant to take care of. When The FlowerPod is first connected to The Information Portal, a small green sprout will appear. Based on the demographic composition of your household, past energy usage and the energy consumption of your devices and appliances, an average energy usage will be set. The FlowerPod’s well-being is determined by the overall energy usage of the household. When energy usage is lower than projected, the flower will grow and blossom. When energy usage is higher than projected, the flower will slowly wither and – if usage is too high for a prolonged period of time – die. But The FlowerPod will of course sprout again, so that hopefully the family can do a better job with their new flower. Being part of a concept that is to minimize energy consumption, The FlowerPod is designed to use only very little power. The display of The FlowerPod is a colour EPD (electrophoretic display, also known as e-ink), which only use energy when changing its content and it connects wirelessly to the Information Portal for data retrieval on scheduled intervals only, thus using a minimum of energy. In order to keep The FlowerPod interesting in the long run, upgrading your household appliances to new energy efficient ones, investing in better insulation for your house or similar will result in new and up-graded graphics – new types of flowers, new colours, added details etc. These up-grades can of course not be bought, only earned through energy efficiency and taking care of the environment.

Household Resource Consumption Awareness

We all use energy to maintain our modern lifestyles; but we need not waste energy. Massive investments in alternative energy are being made all over the world. From wind mills to geothermal power, hydrogen cars to solar panel parks we are already investing heavily in alternative energy. But as long as not all our power comes from renewable resources, we need to think about how much energy we use and how we use it. The Earth and our environment is one of a kind and we do need to take better care of them. One household can not save the planet, but by teaching ourselves and our children that every single person on this planet is responsible and that every single person can make a difference The FlowerPod Project aims to better the world of tomorrow, one family at a time.