Plugwise is the first company in the world to expand the Smart Grid beyond the meter closet. Network operator Enexis approached Plugwise in 2010 to develop a system with which a Smart Grid solution could be put into daily use to gain experience with the technology and to discover user opinion in regard to this technology. The goal of this Plugwise solution is to better adapt the electricity consumption to the local electricity production by solar panels.
What is Smart Wash?
One of the biggest energy consumers in the home is the washing machine. In contrast to a TV or central heating, for example, it matters little when this appliance is turned on, as long as the wash is clean on time. That is actually effective, because the electricity production of solar panels varies widely. After all: solar panels are strongly dependent on the weather and on the position of the sun.
Plugwise has developed intelligence that, based on local weather conditions, determines the ideal moment at which to utilise the yield from the solar panels most optimally. The washing machine is then sent a signal to start the washing cycle. The users notice little of this process: after they place the wash in the machine, it is simply a question of indicating at what time the wash cycle must be completed at the latest.
In everyday use
During the pilot project, 25 participants had a Smart Wash system installed in their homes. Among other things, the system consisted of a set of solar panels and a Plugwise enabled washing machine specially produced by Electrolux. The participants also received a Plugwise Screen which included the Smart Wash application.
The pilot is still ongoing, but the initial responses from the participants are exceptionally positive. Using their ideas and feedback, Smart Wash is being further developed.