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With Wiki Energy, Pecan Street Project shares the largest residential energy database with the world

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There’s a new resource for researchers on residential energy usage called Wiki Energy, which is a new initiatve from Austin, Texas-based Pecan Street Project. A blog post on Environmental Defense Fund’s website has more:

Pecan Street Research Consortium houses the largest residential energy-use database in the world. From solar energy to electric vehicles and everything in between, they are figuring the dynamics of a smart grid, in real-time, with real residents in multiple cities across the US. Now the data that they have been collecting since 2010 can be utilized by academics and researchers from all over the world on this new website platform.

Once registered on the site, members will help validate and curate the data, giving it meaning. Membership to WikiEnergy is currently free, yet restricted to faculty and graduate students at a four-year postsecondary educational institution in the U.S., equivalent-level institutions in other nations, and researchers at non-profit research institutions. EDF, as a founding board member of Pecan Street, will be utilizing the data to analyze the environmental benefits of the technology deployed thus far, such as energy efficiency and rooftop solar power. This will help us determine the best combination of technologies needed to reduce energy consumption and pollution. It will also shed light onto what type of behavior people lean towards when provided with various tools, like demand response (which rewards those who reduce electricity during an energy “rush hour”), time of use pricing (which bases the price for energy on the real-time demand), west-facing solar panels (which collect solar energy at key times), and water leak detection.

I haven’t had a chance to play around, but sounds like a useful resource. Wiki Energy has already enrolled 100 universities in 12 nations.


David Wogan About the Author: An engineer and policy researcher who writes about energy, technology, and policy - and everything in between. Based in Austin, Texas. Comments? Follow on Twitter @davidwogan.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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