The Solar Energy House That Twitters

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Performance data from theEnergyCrowd's experimental domestic passive solar energy and heat storage system is being relayed to members of the development team around the world as a series of short Twitter messages, or 'Tweets'. The numeric message consists of a string of temperature and solar energy level measurements that can be transferred from Twitter to a spreadsheet.

We see the way this current research project is structured as being as important as the technology being developed. We believe that crowd-sourced based research has a key role to play in the energy market and that its growth will be driven by the increasing availability of social networking and collaborative software.

theEnergyCrowd.com, the crowd-source based developer of renewable energy technologies, has found a novel use for Twitter - the popular online messaging service. Performance data from theEnergyCrowd's experimental domestic passive solar energy and heat storage system is being relayed to members of the development team around the world as a series of short Twitter messages, or 'Tweets'. The numeric message consists of a string of temperature and solar energy level measurements that can be transferred from Twitter to a spreadsheet.

theEnergyCrowd have recently added a short-term energy storage unit to their passive solar heating system. The storage unit enables solar energy captured and converted into heat in the late afternoon to be used to heat the house in the evening - eliminating the need for any other form of heating in the late winter and early spring

With 39% of the UK's energy currently being used for heating, theEnergyCrowd regard its current project as an important piece of research into alternative ways of providing space heating for existing houses. It believes that, due to the simplicity of the technology involved, it may be possible to retrofit passive solar energy systems for less than the cost of installing solar panels.

Peter Kruger, founder of theEnergyCrowd.com, commenting on the use of Twitter to disseminate results, said: "We see the way this current research project is structured as being as important as the technology being developed. We believe that crowd-sourced based research has a key role to play in the energy market and that its growth will be driven by the increasing availability of social networking and collaborative software."

As well as applying Twitter as an engineering communications tool, theEnergyCrowd are also using the MindMeister collaborative online mind mapping service to develop and evaluate new alternative energy technologies.

For further details on theEnergyCrowd's passive solar energy technology for commercial and residential buildings and its use of Twitter and MindMeister visit: http://www.theenergycrowd.com

About theEnergyCrowd

theEnergyCrowd brings together engineers and developers who have hands-on experience of developing renewable energy technologies and innovative energy systems.
http://www.theenergycrowd.com

For further details contact:

Toby Jackson
Steinkrug Publications Ltd
+44 (0)1223 208926

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TOBY JACKSON
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