Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Energy Datapalooza!

My name is John Gorman and I was one of the folks initially involved in starting the SolarNetwork platform, and am a director of Greenstage Power Ltd. SolarNetwork is a software platform for the the acquisition  storage, visualization and analysis of energy data from distributed and heterogeneous sources. In fact, it will do more than that now, thanks to Greenstage Power's efforts, but this is my first Greenstage Blog entry,  so hello!

Back in May 2012, I was invited to attend an Energy Data Jam at Stanford University, to help brainstorm how the use of open government data in the U.S. could serve as a catalyst to innovation in efficient energy use and conservation. Split into groups, we dreamed up and presented to the full group (about 40 people) a dozen or so "apps" that used government datasets.  At that meeting, U.S. CTO Todd Park told us it wasn't just about brainstorming, it was about really coding these apps, in 90 days.

Following up from the Energy Data Jam,  I was invited to represent SolarNetwork at the Energy Datapalooza in Washington DC on Oct 1, 2012. This was the conference organized by the OSTP (Office of Science and Technology Policy) an arm of the White House whose mission is to drive innovation and advise the president on technology changes and opportunities. The Energy Datapalooza was focused on celebrating the release of a number of open APIs allowing access to government data sets, and to highlight the entrepreneurs who were already starting to leverage those APIs for new products and services. From census data, to auto efficiency standards, to near real-time electricity usage, the APIs exposed a huge amount of valuable data and developers were busy doing mashups and apps that used it. A lot of credit should go to two guys who were really energetic in making this a reality: CTO Todd Park and EDI (Energy Data Initiative) Director Ian Kalin. Their passion for opening up data as a  catalyst for innovation and their bold, aggressive and open approach to welcoming experimentation is really appreciated. I think that once the GreenButtonConnectMyData API is opened up, (to be released soon) we're going to see some very interesting applications appear. One very interesting speaker at the Energy Datapalooza was Dr. Steven Chu, Secretary of Energy. A Nobel Prize winner in Physics, Dr. Chu spoke about the role of data streams and core technology as a fuel for innovation, and mentioned the impending falling prices of both PV and deep-cycle storage, with some very interesting applications coming up. We are of course eager to hear more, so we'll stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Multiple EV Events!

Over the next couple of months there is a mad frenzy of EV and Energy related events in NZ!  Make sure you get a slice of the action:

    * Auckland EV Expo (13th Oct, Auckland)
    * Greenstage 2012 Gathering (18th Nov, Auckland)
    * Plug In Electric Vehicle Symposium (22nd Nov, Auckland)
    * Sustainable City Showcase (22nd - 24th Nov, Auckland)
    * Plug In Electric Vehicle Symposium (23rd Nov, Wellington)
    * SEANZ Smart Energy Expo (23rd - 24th Nov, Wellington)

Enjoy :)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Greenstage Gathering 2012

Yes, it's time for another Greenstage gathering!

It's a one day event being held from 10am till 3pm, on Sunday 18th November at 19 Newton Rd in Auckland (head down Newton Rd from Khyber Pass Rd, it's just past the North Western motorway over-bridge on the left, just before you get to Ponsonby Rd).  Parking is available in the nearby back streets and pay and display parking is available on the corner of Karangahape Rd and Gundy St.

Grouse EVs

As well as having a bit of fun and showing off a few grouse EVs, the purpose of the gathering is to launch new clarity around desirable positive actions we can collectively and individually take to make life more enjoyable, less costly and overall better for everyone and the environment.

The Future is Now:

1) it's desirable
2) it's community focused
3) it's knowledge driven (and fuelled by sharing)
4) it's high tech and high performance!
5) and it's a whole lot of FUN!

Here's some of what will be happening on the day:
  • Join the launch of a distributed energy Co-op (sign up for cheaper renewable power)
  • Meet Vik and the RepRap fabricating physical Open Source components (print your own objects!)
  • Talk to the experts about photovoltaic systems with storage and SolarNetwork monitoring and control
  • See and learn about the Greenstage GS750V (now with high performance race battery)
  • Talk with the owner of the Switch EV Ute (NZ designed and built electric induction motor, controller and instrumentation!)
  • Learn about the Tumanako Dashboard (controlling SolarNetwork EV charge points from an Android phone)
  • See the ScottDrive powered Honda Prelude (exceptional NZ designed and built motor controller and powerstage!)
  • See the Switch EV Toyota Celica (a very tidy conversion, powered by solar generated electricity - no fuel bills)
  • Marvel at the Tesla Roadster (Yes! The world's leading high performance electric road car)
  • Consider the Nissan Leaf  (a very practical mid sized EV)
  • Investigate the Mitsubishi i-MiEV (a nice 4 seat EV)
  • Drink Coffee (it's Sunday morning)
  • Eat solar hotdogs (weather permitting)
  • Listen to live Music!!! (Grey Lynn dogs and more)

In addition to the look point and talk discussions and conversations in the carpark, there will be a number of scheduled presentations indoors:
  • 11:30 am - The RepRap, Vik builds a casing for the KiwiAC bluetooth module (which is used to talk wirelessly with the Tumanako Dashboard)
  • 12:30 pm - Co-op Launch
  • 1:30 pm - Tumanako Dashboard (Android powered EV dashboard and charge controller)

Please email if you plan on coming along (we need a rough idea of numbers), also, if you have any ideas or suggestions to make the event even better.

Let us know!