It came from the BMI talk, about the smart roof systems. Before the formal talk, we found out that BMI are working on solar panel rooftops which can make a house self sufficient in terms of energy (plus a lot of other technology they want to implement in the roofs). We thought that this new technology, until it's constantly powerful, will do either of these two things:

  1. Underpower a single user, leaving him/her with no choice but to also subscribe to an outside energy plan.
  2. Overpower a single user, waisting a lot of the energy that it produced by not being used fast enough (solar power batteries, at the moment, tend to discharge faster than others). We found these two issues, so we wanted to find a solution to both of them, while solving some others in the meantime.

What it does

We create communities of smart houses which make enough energy to supply all the houses in the neighbourhood and more. Then, the surplus can be either sold or donated through a simple interface, leaving the actual details for the backend. Therefore we've solved these issues:

  1. A single user is now more improbable to actually be in danger of not having enough energy. If it can't produce enough that day, then it can receive some of it from his/her neighbours;
  2. A single user, in the case it produces more than enough energy, the surplus will be added to a shared energy grid, from which users in need will be able to benefit from the surplus. It's not their fault their solar panels had a bad day! That is why you have such nice neighbours.
  3. Now, the surplus from the grid (there will be some) will have nothing better to do than go off to some other places which are in desperate need of energy. Therefore, we proposed that each user can post on a social media-like app what he wants to do with the extra energy, either sell it to a power company or donate it to less fortunate people. If no one has anything else in the matter, then the surplus will be slowly drained from the amount the post specified it wants to give and will be off to the location the post specified. In the case of selling, the money will be split equally between the community.

How we built it

We've simulated a neighbourhood using java, each house having a battery. This simulation is connected to an arduino sensor, which sends info about the light/temperature outside, so it can make calculations for the energy storage and consumption. Also, we've designed a progressive web app, that can connect multiple devices to a server on which people can post what they want to do with the energy.

Challenges we ran into

Connecting all of these together:

  • Connecting each post to the firebase db,
  • Connecting the simulation to the arduino board

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Connecting most of these together :)

What we learned

Teamwork, technology, more about solar energy and its uses.

What's next for EnerCom

Hopefully make it big, make the dream real. We will try to find some investors and work with them to develop a much greener future.

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