Feeds

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

Monitoring benefits of insulation

New hybrid storage solutions

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

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS
Weighed several adult elephants, contend boffins
Chelyabinsk-sized SURPRISE asteroid to skim Earth, satnav birds
Space rock appears out of nowhere, buzzes planet on Sunday
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
'Duck face' selfie in SPAAAACE: Rosetta's snap with bird comet
Probe prepares to make first landing on fast-moving rock
Square Kilometre Array reveals its 1.6TB-a-day storage and network rigs
Boolardy Engineering Test Array - aka BETA - is about to come out of Beta
LOHAN invites ENTIRE REG READERSHIP to New Mexico shindig
Well, those of you who back our Kickstarter tin-rattling...
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.