Cilicon Energy Controller Cuts Supply when you're Spending too Much


Photo: Emdesa.com.ar.

Even though this would be obsolete if smart grids and smart meters were extended worldwide, truth is in Latin America and in many developing countries those things are far from becoming a reality.

So meanwhile, in places without smart energy regulation or without the money to install smart meters, alternatives as the Cilicon electronic controller can be an option to control power consume. When installed in a household energy grid, this simple device cuts the supply when the amount of watts you've specified is finished, and gives it back after a period of time (after you've switched something off). It was designed by a group of Argentine scientists and is currently being used to regulate the power used by poor households, La Nacion newspaper informs.

Keep reading for details on how it works.According to La Nacion, once installed in a household's power grid, the device basically cuts the power when the amount of watts you're allowed to consume is surpassed. The power is gone for a period of 1 to 10 minutes, time in which you should turn something in your home off (say the extra computer or TV you had running). When Cilicon gives the power back, it measures consume again and, if you haven't turn anything off, cuts supply again for another period.

The device has the additional ability to protect your home from high tension peaks (those times when an excess of power sent to homes can damage appliances). If a peak takes place, the system will cut supply until the tension is normalized, protecting your electronics.

Designed by engineers Gastón Ainchil y Agustín Reibel, Cilicon is being tested on poor households that are irregular in paying their bills. The energy suppliers are offering them a fixed bill and regulating the consume with this device.

As mentioned, this seems way behind when compared to the advanced technologies that are being developed in the US and Europe to control energy consume through smart grids, but it could be very beneficial for developing countries. On one side, because it's a simpler and cheaper technology than complex smart meters (which are not extended in places like Latin America so far). On the other, because poor households don't have enough information and culture on energy saving.

For more information on the device, visit its website or contact Emdesa.

Links:
Cilicon official website

Via La Nacion
More on saving energy at home:
How to choose a Home Energy Monitor system
Save Money and the Environment with Smart Energy Meter
Google Power Meter

Tags: Argentina | Developing Nations | Electricity | Energy Efficiency