Household energy prices are increasing and so too is the uptake of roof top solar. In Australia over 30% of homes now have solar power. Home batteries are the next big thing as people look to take control of the energy needs. Despite this uptake, most households don’t have real-time awareness of their energy use, which can lead to bill shock. It’s also difficult for people to know when surplus solar generation is available for use, resulting in poor return on investment. But what if a simple device could help solve this?
The research team behind Josh’s House have developed a smart home energy monitoring device called ‘Huey’. Unlike the multitude of apps and web portals currently available which require you to log in, and can be difficult to understand, Huey is ever present and accessible regardless of age or technical ability.
At a quick glance, Huey will tell you your house electrical load, how much solar power is being produced and battery state of charge if there’s one installed. If solar generation is exceeding use, then it’s a good time to run appliances. Otherwise, you can switch things off, or leave high energy activities until later.
- Huey is extremely versatile – the hardware and software being developing will work with any solar system.
- Huey is adaptable – it will work with major brand smart home platforms.
- Huey is cost effective – it will pay for itself in under a year, and save money from then on.
Huey is being developed by Josh Byrne in partnership with long-time collaborator Gary McGhee who is the software engineer behind the Josh’s House real-time data dashboard. Josh and Gary participated in the CSIRO ON Prime innovation program where they tested market interest in their invention and refined how it looks and operates. This work is ongoing. Josh and Gary are finalists in the ‘Curtinnovation’ awards with the winners to be announced in September 2019. The next step is to test Huey in a field trial to determine its impact in a real-world setting.