Feeds

My home is bugged ... with temp sensors to save me cash

Monitoring benefits of insulation

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

iButton it: fitting a sensor array in your own home

In order to track the performance of the room, which now has extra insulation above and below too, I'm using four 15mm-diameter iButton Thermochron devices that automatically take up to 2,048 temperature samples at selectable intervals. I'm taking samples every 30 minutes for just over a month for "mission 1". The iButtons are small enough to be placed where the temperature is to be monitored, don't need any power or wires or clutter, and plug into a USB reader to download the readings.

ibuttons damon hart-davis energy-saving piece

The four iButton sensors I'm using,
each about 15mm across

I have one button under the floor (which immediately showed up a huge draught coming in through the exterior wall below floor level), one in the room at about eye-level, one immediately above the plasterboard of the ceiling under the loft insulation, and one hanging in the loft above the insulation. I'm hoping to see how good my efforts are, aerogel and otherwise, at keeping the heat in the room and minimising demand from the radiators.

Initial readings from the first two buttons - one under the floor and another at about eye-height (Click to enlarge)

The drop in external temperature in mid-October is fairly evident from the graph from just the first two sensors, and the air leak under the floor letting sensor 1 get cold also stands out. That problem has now hopefully been obliterated with squirty foam; more readings will confirm or deny.

Stay tuned for more pretty graphs.

iMeasure, I manage

iMeasure.org.uk is a free site designed to help track your energy consumption at home. sMeasure.com is its SME (small business) counterpart, which I'm using to try to help my local school trim its energy use, too, and save some money in better ways.

All you have to do is enter your gas and electricity meter readings about once per week and the site will tell you how well you are doing and draw funky graphs, and do some quite sophisticated analysis. If you can measure, you can manage to save.

Performance-line heating chart (kWh/week vs HDD) (click to enlarge)

The clever thing to notice here is the normalisation against heating degree days, which allows you to work out how efficient you're being regardless of how cold the weather happens to be. Sign up, give it a whirl, and maybe join my "Zero" community, aiming for zero carbon footprint and heating bills, or as near as we can get. ®

Bootnotes

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Voyager 1 now EIGHTEEN LIGHT HOURS from home
Almost 20 BEEELION kilometres from Sol
Ex-Soviet engines fingered after Antares ROCKET launch BLAST
Speculation rife, but Orbital claims it's too early to tell
MEN: For pity's sake SLEEP with LOTS of WOMEN - and avoid Prostate Cancer
And, um, don't sleep with other men. If that's what worries you
Jim Beam me up, Scotty! WHISKY from SPAAACE returns to Earth
They're insured for $1m, before you thirsty folks make plans
ROGUE SAIL BOAT blocks SPACE STATION PODULE blastoff
Er, we think our ISS launch beats your fishing expedition
NASA: Spacecraft crash site FOUND ON MOON RIM
'What fun!' exlaims NASA boffin who found the LADEE
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
BAE points electromagnetic projectile at US Army
Railguns for 'Future fighting vehicle'
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.