A first step in this direction, both necessary and important, is raising the energy awareness of the buildings’ occupants by providing them with immediate feedback on implications their actions have on energy.
Energy awareness is even more important when it comes to students, as behavioral changes at a younger age are longer lasting, easier to accomplish, and have a larger cumulative impact.
This is why we became involved in a pilot installation composed of about 50 schools of the Greek School Network (GSN), implemented in the context of the GEN6 project. The Greek School Network already supports IPv6 interconnection services and other basic services over IPv6.
Another reason we focused our efforts on public educational buildings as opposed to general public buildings is that in the former case the buildings’ architecture and topology are more suitable for running energy efficiency studies.
We present a system and set of practices that gather energy consumption data from these buildings over the Internet and process them in order to identify hidden correlations and produce actionable advice; the results are presented to the buildings’ occupants real-time. The system consists of a set of IPv6 enabled smart meters, an energy information system, a web platform with social engagement tools for the students, and an IPv6 enabled network that interconnects all of the above.
One of the pillars of our system is the broadened use of IPv6 technology; IPv6 promises to meet the needs of the huge Internet growth (and the “internet of things” vision), eliminating some of the restrictions caused by IPv4 technology.
The basic architecture of our Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) consists of the following components:
• energy meter
• aggregator and analysis system
• user interface
as can be seen in the following figure:
An interactive IPv6 web platform (http://gen6.sch.gr) is in charge of monitoring the processed energy consumption data coming from Meter Data Management (MDM). Via a real-time intuitive interface, the school community will be taught the correlation between the actions they undertake and the energy consumption/CO2 emissions of their schools, providing in this way significant motivation for behavioral changes.
Moreover, the IPv6 web-based platform will become an educational and social engagement tool for teachers and students through their interactive display using animations, graphical statistics, historical data, comparative energy data from various schools, average factor, best performing school competition, etc. Results from the competition among the participating school communities will be disseminated to the public through various communication channels including the web portal and social networks. At the final stage, the students will be given the opportunity to participate in a series of interactive workshops designed to develop their knowledge of environmental and energy issues, which will encourage them to take actions in the direction of sustainable living, energy consumption minimization and climate change, and motivate them to adopt a long-term environmentally friendly behavior, inside and outside the school.
Additionally, the money savings resulting from the energy saving can be translated into the ability to hire more teachers, and purchase more textbooks and computers.
As a conclusion we present the power energy saving results in KWh from ten schools after a period of 33 weeks.