You make a point that is often overlooked. How will this actually save the consumer money or reduce power usage? Do I shut down my A/C during the heat of the day and turn it on at night when it is cool? Turn off the refrigerator during the day, so my food spoils and the freezer thaws out? How about my clothes? Do I stay up to run my loads at 2am in order to save $1? SmartGrid has great promise in allowing the power company to monitor outages and automate meter reading. Other uses are not well defined. I suppose that they can seriously jack up the rates during the day, but that is NOT going to save the consumer any money.
It seems to me that SmartGrids have been massively over sold and over hyped.
What can you **really** do with SmartGrid/SmartMeters that you can't do with current technology?
Current technology already provides load shaping for water heaters and space heaters via ripple controllers. That makes sense because: water heating is inherently a background activity which can happen any time so long as hot water is stored for when it is needed. Water heating is also a large load and controlling it has dramatic effect.
Applying the same model to most other domestic load just does not work. When I want to sit down with my bowl of popcorn to watch a TV program, I expect my corn popper and TV to work **now**, not at 3am when the power company has some surplus generation.
Ripple control of water heaters also works because there is absolutely zero effort from the consumer and very close to zero impact. Providing people with information is pointless unless they are prepared to work their lives around it.
Are you really going to gate your decision to wash some clothes or make a cup of coffee on a change in power costs that the power company offers to you?
Blog Doing Math in FPGAs Tom Burke 13 comments For a recent project, I explored doing "real" (that is, non-integer) math on a Spartan 3 FPGA. FPGAs, by their nature, do integer math. That is, there's no floating-point ...