Management of consumption
The last level of uses in which the system interacts with users is management of consumption. The aim of the system is to optimise electricity consumption without impacting on the overall level perceived by the user. Depending on the user’s choices and the context, the domotics system intervenes to avoid loads that exceed the contractual threshold and simultaneously to reduce electricity consumption.
- Overload. Overloads can occur in a normal kitchen, such as when the oven is on and the dishwasher starts its cycle at the same time, thus exceeding the threshold of 3 kW. In this case, the system detects the excessive consumption and intervenes by blocking the appliances and switching on the red led bars. An overload warning information pop-up appears at the same time on the interface. At this point, the system will suggest switching off the oven or pausing the dishwasher. The red led bars switch off in both cases.
- Management of consumption. The system detects and memorises electricity and water consumption of the kitchen and allows the consumption history in specific time periods to be analysed. The system also controls weekly electricity consumption and, in the case of excessive consumption (threshold values initially established on the basis of the number of people and household appliances used and then as a function of average consumption), intervenes through feedback on the interface (‘coach’) to inform the user and reduce waste. This system has been implemented both for electricity and for water consumption and also indicates the financial expense. Trials based partly on assessment of the usability and ergonomics of previous activities have demonstrated that the system has a good level of usability. Optimisation activities have focused on system reliability. Efforts have been concentrated on making the system more stable by simplifying several operations and optimising several scenarios and the corresponding rules.