Sensors & Behavior (ARPA-E) > Technology Projects

Stanford Energy Services Platform

While encouraging user's proactive involvement in reducing their energy use is an important goal, a complementary strategy looks at how automation can improve efficiency with minimal user input.

ESP functional architecture.
Investigators: K. Carrie Armel, Byron Reeves, Jay Bartels, Andrew Davidson

Many behavioral researchers in energy design and test feedback interfaces, often building the various parts from scratch. Valuable time and resources are wasted, and researchers are often confined to running very small experiments. An open platform could aid researchers, utilities and third party developers in this area. This project built the Stanford Energy Services Platform (SESP) to collect, clean and store data from sensors, such as smart meters, online interaction and surveys. It provides useful analytics (e.g., establishing baseline energy consumption, comparison with other consumers and disaggregation), graphing, a recommendation system, participant registration and assignment, and front-end display and email notifications suitable for performing experimental manipulations. Five behavioral interventions in the Stanford Sensors & Energy Behavior Initiative utilized the platform: PowerHouse, the three Facebook applications (Kidogo, Powerbar and PowerTower), and the appliance calculator. We built SESP to be modular, extensible, scalable and secure, with the goal of inviting other researchers and commercial entities to utilize and grow the platform.


Future work

A phase two effort involves further packaging and documentation for outside consumption. Also, SESP's advanced segmentation algorithms and methodologies need revised graphing modules, recommendation systems and potentially other interface features to fully incorporate lifestyle segmentation algorithms based on hourly or 15-minute data. The further development and integration is included in the plus-up funding.