Inspiration

Renewable solar energy is the fastest growing energy source in the world. Roof top installations bring the responsibility for electricity generation to an individual building manager.

What it does

Our Alexa skill allows a user to query the status of their solar installation. If the efficiency has dropped to a certain point, they can turn on the sprinklers to clean the panels.

How we built it

Our skill uses a lambda that queries a DynamoDB database for the efficiency values of different solar grid sectors. We can invoke a sprinkler intent on a sector that increases the efficiency of that sector. Since manually editing values in a database to reset the demo is very boring, we have a sandstorm intent that decreases the efficiency of a sector.

Challenges we ran into

For one day hackathons, data is always an issue. Ideally we would have a stream of instantaneous readings from a solar installation that we would aggregate to get efficiency values. Instead, we had to bypass that and add efficiency values directly to the data base.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

This is an Alexa skill with three intents and multiple slots, including one custom slot for the grid names. It reads and writes state in a DynamoDB database.

What's next for Solar Status

Having more realistic data in the form of Kinesis streams from which we could generate aggregate values would be valuable.

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