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Julia Gontarek
Feb 11, 2021
In Concept notes
#d2120 #CarbonIntensity #EngineeringAndSociety The future of our planet does not lie solely in the hands of the governments and research institutions. On the contrary, it is equally important that ordinary people are aware of their collective impact through the engineering they use and willing to contribute to the global quest for sustainability. The transformation of the energy sector must be accompanied by conscious and coherent social actions. In particular, the weather-dependent nature of renewable energy sources requires active participation of individuals, for example, by using the most energy-consuming devices at the times of the day when the renewable energy supply is the largest. However, there is no tool indicating those periods and aiding the implementation of a new, smarter model of energy consumption among households. Having identified this problem, we concluded that the most accessible and efficient way of equipping consumers with the essential information is by creating a mobile app where the information shared by the UK National Electricity grid would be presented in a straightforward fashion. We are planning to include graphs showing the share of energy coming from different sources at a given moment and predictions of how that distribution may change in the immediate future. Alongside them, practical suggestions regarding when the users may wish to undertake certain activities to adjust the energy demand to the rapidly changing supply are going to be displayed. Furthermore, we are considering extending the functionalities of the app to enable checking the average power consumption of common devices and subsequently improve the overall understanding of the energy sector. By adopting a user-centred approach, we are aiming to bridge the gap between engineers and the society. Our app will emphasize the direct impact of the end-users on the grid - a hitherto intangible concept.
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