Carbon Coop and Houseahedron meetup

Just got back from a couple of days visiting the Carbon Coop team in Manchester and Houseahedron in Liverpool.

On tuesday/wednesday Matt and I spent some time working on the open source SAP calculator, improving the domestic hot water section, fixing a bug where if the solar hot water section was not complete the calculations would break and another bug that kept causing us to loose data after having completed one of the most tedious data entry parts: putting in all the heat loss elements. A check was added to the server side code to ensure that the json string containing the sap data was not corrupted by a broken transmission or whatever that was causing the string to get corrupted.

try it out:

We spent time entering several SAP calculations that had already been done in a Mac Numbers spreadsheet implementation of SAP developed by Charlie Baker of URBED to check that results agree, the results don't quite agree yet as there are a couple sections in this new open source SAP implementation that are not fully complete but we're almost there.

The EcoHome_Lab event was on the Wednesday evening and James Pul, Julian Todd and John Donovan of Houseahedron came over from Liverpool and gave a demo of their work.

What they are working on is really impressive and it ties in really well with recent openenergymonitor developments such as the open source SAP model and the idea that quite a few people have been talking about of integrating temperature and energy sensing into a building energy model in order to cross check and reduce the number of assumptions needed.

What the houseahedron guys are working on would really take this idea to another level, going beyond the 1D steady state modelling that is the SAP model, implementing a fully 3D dynamic model of heat flow in a building and then visualising it with rich 3D webgl graphics.

They want it to be possible to walk through a house and explore wall temperatures on a tablet in realtime with data coming from multiple temperature sensors placed all over the house and then be able to explore what it would look like if you added say 100mm of insulation to the walls.

One of the best bits is the way they are creating the 3d model of the house using a laser scanner! which generates a point cloud from which they generate the model. The point cloud is used as a sketch on which to draw the model manually at the moment as its too difficulty a problem to generate the 3d model completely automatically but its a pretty incredible way of getting all the dimensions you need to build a 3d model of a house and it only takes 6-7 minutes. Here's a screenshot of an example point cloud of an office building they scanned:

The best bit is that they are planning on releasing all the software for this as open source under GPL, its all written in python + flask, javascript and webGL and they are keen to use openenergymonitor hardware for the sensing.

Here's their twitter and website:
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