Project Details Screen shot of Current (live) Stats Panel and 3 active ECOSpheres at 3.22pm, 2 Nov 2012.

Published on November 5th, 2012 | by Deb


The ECOS model explained…

ECOS is a playful dramatisation of the relationships between energy generation types, human impacts and external weather. As such it uses a simple model to demonstrate an abstracted, simplified version of these relationships.

The user’s choices can impact the amount of energy consumed by their building, the amount of energy generated by the building, and the comfort of the people inside the building. These choices are the internal temperature of the building, the internal humidity of the building, and the allocation of alternate energy sources. Users can allocate the distribution alternative energy sources between  wind, solar, and on-site gas generation. The external weather conditions of each location affect the way each choice effects the energy usage and generation of the building.
Users can affect the energy consumption of the building by altering the internal temperature and humidity. The closer these two values are to the external weather, the lower the energy consumption of the building will be. Conversely, if the internal temperature and humidity of the building are very far away from the external weather conditions, the energy consumption of the building will increase. These options also affect the comfort level of the residents inside the building. The ideal temperature and humidity for the comfort of the residents is 24 degrees and 50% humidity.
Users can effect the energy generation of the building by selecting how many resources to allocate to each of the alternate energy sources – wing power, solar power, or gas generation. The effectiveness of these sources is directly related to the external weather of the buildings location. Gas generation’s effectiveness is fixed, but solar power relies on clear skies and a high temperature outside. Similarly, wind power relies on high wind speed. Solar and wind have a linear relationship with temperature and wind speed.
Ideally the energy generation of the building will exceed its consumption, resulting in a highly efficient building. This ratio is described by the efficiency value that ranges between neutral (energy generation matches consumption) to positive (energy generation exceeds consumption) and negative (energy consumpion exceeds generation).

About the Author

Deb is an academic (QUT), interaction designer (sims, games, DSNs) and researcher (play for change)... The ECOS project is Deb's current obsession.

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