#1 By: Peter Charles Glancy, February 13th, 2014 06:11
Whilst manning the Smartspaces display a member of staff pointed out that an instant feedback mechanism would be a good idea, eg if building users changed their behaviour to make part of the building more efficient, there could be a monitor which instantly displayed an appropriate Smartspaces face.
#2 By: Graeme Stuart, February 13th, 2014 07:48
This would be a great feature! Unfortunately there are some technical constraints.
The smartspaces system sits on top of the databird meter reading system which generates data every half hour and the dynamat plus software which gathers the data in a database. Databird currently only communicates data to dynamat every three hours (plus there is a delay whilst the data are actually processed by dynamat). This is why the data are usually between one and four hours out of date before they appear on the system. When building users save energy, the effect is recorded within half an hour and communicated to us within four hours. Users will have to wait at least an hour and potentially up to five hours to get feedback. In practice this means either saving energy in the morning or waiting until the next day.
However, it still may be possible to provide 'instant-ish' feedback.
As it stands, though performance is calculated every half-hour (like this) the smartspaces faces are based on average performance in either the latest week (on the league table) or the latest 24 hours (on the 'dashboard'). This means that the effects of recent changes are merged with older data and only persistent improvements have a significant effect on the faces. What we could do is provide an additional 'current performance' face somewhere in the system which could present the performance of the most recent half hour.
A possible problem with this is that a half-hourly face can be pretty unstable going from happy to sad all the time. This could be confusing, we want to avoid giving mixed messages. The overall picture averaged over a whole week is far more stable and needs to be the main message on public screens. This would be an advanced feature for those actively trying to make savings.
The only question is how to integrate this into the existing website. My feeling is it could be another tab in addition to the 'basic' and 'detailed' we could add a 'now' or similar tab with summary data for the latest 24 hours broken down into half hours (clicking on the latest 24 hours faces on the basic tab could also link to the new page).
If I get a chance, I will experiment with doing this. It should be quite feasible now we have the infrastructure in place.
What do you think?
#3 By: Peter Charles Glancy, February 14th, 2014 05:01
This sounds a great idea. When the data is gathered how could the faces conveying the efficiency of a particular building be displayed? On plasma screens around the campus? Thanks
#4 By: Graeme Stuart, February 14th, 2014 07:32
We are already displaying them on screens in the specific buildings I believe. The building specific page should be on rotation on the plasma screens in the Library within the normal template. I understand it may also be possible to add a small smartspaces face to the template (i.e. at the top of the screen outside of the box). This would mean it was permanently on the screen no matter what the rotation was showing.
However, my feeling is that this should present the weekly or daily picture only. If persistent savings are made then this will feed into the daily faces very quickly and after several days will improve the weekly faces and move the building up the league table.
I'd say an immediate, half-hourly view of performance is an advanced feature. It is useful to those who are already engaged in smartspaces and actively trying to save energy in their building. It should be available at any time on the website, much like the detailed view.
#5 By: Peter Charles Glancy, February 17th, 2014 03:59
That sounds like a good idea. The member of staff who spoke to me had a stand alone unit with appropriate faces in mind, I think, but I realise this would be expensive. That's why I was thinking about the plasma screens being used in some way. Thanks.