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REISAP (Renewable Energy Information System Analysis Portal)

The REISAP (Renewable Energy Information System Analysis Portal) "Idea", has been developed from insights gained through my research phase of the "How might communities lead the rapid transition to renewable energy? " project. A primilary depiction of this idea consists of 4 parts: - A web portal - A smartphone application - A specialized computer measuring/input device - An integrated community portal section and electrical micro-grid/distributed storage and renewable energy generation system

Photo of anthony james
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*unedited version* final 1/25/15

(Picture: Bing-Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 License)

Idea Description:   The idea addresses four issues or pain-points, identified in my previous post, “The Complexity (Paralysis) involved in the "Transition to Renewable Energy"”:
 
-Decision analysis and comparison of current and future technologies

-Being able to select feasible and practical energy consumption reduction methods, to reduce the size and cost of the installed renewable energy system

-Being able to analyze and selecting between different system options (investing for water heating only first, then build on the system) paths based on least cost, investing in part now and the rest later, and available financing

-Being able to apply what if scenarios, based on usage and environmental factors 
 
The “web portal” serves as an input user interface and a reporting and visualization tool.   Customer information such as usage, house specifications, budget, location (geolocation – city, state/region or country), and energy needs (heating, plug-in car, air-conditioning, etc.) are entered.

Then constraints such as the technology options, availability of the nearest suppliers and installers, site, financing, historical and forecasted usage and weather information (based on forecasting algorithms) are applied to the requirements.  Self-install could also be a selection (option to reduce labor installation costs).

The system outputs and visualizes a scenario analysis based on the significant cost and revenue drivers and risk factors, so the customer has a good understanding of the range of the possible energy outputs, the most suited system components,  financing options and estimated money saved in the long run.

For the user that wants to establish and investment path over a longer time period, the portal will provide several investment paths and the least cost path (algorithmic planning) based on the user’s constraints and requirements.
Also shown are the top 10, 20 or more options, and the pros and cons of each system that can be compared using graphical analysis.
 
The “smartphone application” allows users to enter very simplified requirements (including subsets of their requirements eg.  Air Conditioning or cooking needs only) and constraints to do a quick feasibility and availability analysis.
 
The “specialized computer input advice” allows users to enter more detailed information about their dwelling/house.   This will enable users to access the different options (more efficient A/C units,  new low e-windows, energy management systems/programmable thermostats, new ductwork, new roof insulation, etc.) to reduce energy consumption first, and therefore reduce the cost/investment and size of the required renewable energy system (eg. solar), reducing the overall long term energy costs.
 
This input device will provide:

-Sophisticated room dimensioning and modeling using computer vision technologies

-Glass light transitivity measurements

-Actual wall assembly/insulation R values

-Actual diffusor air flow measurements and output temperatures 


The “community portal and micro grid” allows users to share space for solar installation to other users.   It also allows for users to trade/sell surplus energy generated to other users in the microgrid.
 

What community does this idea benefit and who are the main players?

This system is focused on users in low-density and rural areas where the local/regional utility is experience diminishing returns on their investment in providing energy to users (i.e. for every dollar the utility invests in energy product, they experience a negative return which increases with distance) The main players are the users, the portal operators and company, the microgrid operators, the suppliers and installers of energy efficiency and renewable energy technology and financing organizations.

How does your idea specifically help your community rapidly transition to renewables?

(Repeated from above) The idea addresses four issues or pain-points, identified in my previous post, “The Complexity (Paralysis) involved in the "Transition to Renewable Energy"”: - Decision analysis and comparison of current and future technologies - Being able to select feasible and practical energy consumption reduction methods, to reduce the size and cost of the installed renewable energy system - Being able to analyze and selecting between different system options (investing for water heating only first, then build on the system) paths based on least cost, investing in part now and the rest later, and available financing - Being able to apply what if scenarios, based on usage and environmental factors

What early, lightweight experiment can you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

An early, lightweight experiment that I can you try out in my own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations, is to choose a: 1. (option A) suburban home and apply a simplified version of the idea to a home in the suburban area 2. (option B) location in a rural area with basic energy needs

What skills, input or guidance are you keen to connect with from the OpenIDEO community to help you build out or refine your idea further?

The skills, input or guidance I would be keen to connect with from the OpenIDEO community to collaborate with and help you build out or refine this idea further are: A. Technology Designers B. Technology Engineers C. Engineering/Discipline Specialist D. Would be nice to have anyone with the following (idea refinement): 1. Anthropologist 2. Experimenter 3.Cross-Pollinator 4.Hurdler <-that's me 5.Collaborator 6.Director 7. Experience Architect 8.Set Designer 9.Storyteller 10.Caregiver ("10 faces of innovation"http://www.tenfacesofinnovation.com/tenfaces/index.htm )

Please indicate which type of energy is most relevant to this post:

  • A combination of various types of renewable energy

This idea emerged from:

  • An Individual

4 comments

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Comment
Photo of Natalie Lake
Team

Hey Tony,

Great idea, these four things combine into a really nice fully integrated system. I'd love to see some more screenshots of what you imagine the different interfaces will look like. You can throw together a quick app prototype or website prototype using

invisionapp.com

But it sounds like you have quite a bit of experience designing apps and websites :).

You might want be interested in collaborating with Nyko, ShuTing and I for the app portion of your idea. We are working on two ideas called SmarTraq and Greenfographics. SmarTraq would be the application you are talking about creating and Greenfographics would visualize the data to compare against neighbors, community members etc.

SmarTraq-https://openideo.com/challenge/renewable-energy/ideas/smartraq-track-play-compete-save-a-community-driven-app-that-could-be-a-first-step-in-helping-communities-understand-their-energy-usage-better

Greenfographics-https://openideo.com/challenge/renewable-energy/ideas/creating-community-s-infographics-as-posters-for-renewable-energy

Also for prototyping your simplified smart meter, you might want to take a look at this group, Spark, who I recently ran across.

http://spark.io/

Very excited to see more of this!

Photo of anthony james
Team

Hey Natalie,

Great feedback. I'll have some time to review your comments in more detail later this week, and comment more in detail on your post. :)

Photo of Shuting Zeng
Team

Hi Tony, thanks for inviting me to the team. I love the analytical focus of your idea and its comprehensive process. Would love to help and see this idea evolve! I also have a few questions here.

According to the idea, this tool will be consistent of four parts:
- A web portal

- A smartphone application

- A specialized computer measuring/input device

- An integrated community portal section and electrical micro-grid/distributed storage and renewable energy generation system.

Is it possible to make them all on one platform or app? Or will you clarify how they are different and why they need to be separate? I think that combing different features will make it much easier for a user to feel it is simple and addictive to use your invention.

Or, how about working with other tools and specialize on one part at the beginning? I think what makes your idea stands out is its analytical focus! So it will be nice if we can focus on that part and start working out amazing yet simple analytical tools for users to help them:
1. break down the data.
2. relate the date to everyday habits.
3. use the data as motivation to change their further energy choices and behaviors!

Let me know what you think! Besides the links shared by Natalie below, I would like to recommend Power Portal for your reference:

https://openideo.com/challenge/renewable-energy/feedback/the-power-portal-pushing-big-business-to-think-renewable#c-70294126ff1434ab05ab76dc14fdad47

Photo of anthony james
Team

Hi Shuting,

Great feedback! Thanks ! I'll be able to review your comments later this week and get back to you.