Internet Refrigerator

Saw some notes on Marc Cantor’s blog about the internet fridge.  The best concept seems to be a fridge from GE that adjusts its settings and reduces power consumption based on pricing signals from the electricity company.  However, this depends on smart meter technology, yet to be deployed in most areas (supposed to be deployed in the Bay Area within the next year or so).

The usability features revolve around the idea of the fridge tracking it’s contents via RFID tags and experimental models, which include a computer and RFID sensors, seem to miss the mark, not to mention, drive up the cost of the fridge.

Why would the fridge need an embedded computer?  Couldn’t it just be another device hanging off of the home network along with energy sensors, water meters, security cameras, etc.


GreenVolts – Concentrating Photovoltaic

GreenVolts Logo

GreenVolts is a company that specializes in concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) systems.  They deliver the solution as a 3 kW, two-axis tracker called a CarouSol.  Basically it is a module about 20 feet wide that stands about 3 feet high and supports a number of mirrors (the light concentrators) which focus the sunlight onto specialized PV cells.

They focus on utility scale power generation.

Alt Energy – Silver Spring Networks

Silver Spring Networks is a venture-backed company headquartered in Redwood City.  They talk up Internet Protocol (IP) connected devices as the main approach to communicating between the software and the monitoring devices.

Their technology seems to be oriented towards Oracle, PHP, Perl, VC++, Java / JBoss, SOAP / Web Services, ASP, IIS, SSL, XML.

Here’s an overview of their infrastructure:

Bay Area Companies – Alt Energy Management

I’m looking at companies in the Bay Area that are involved in alternative energy products.  My initial search indicates that most companies are involved in commercial buildings and larger projects.  Some are installers, most are sales organization.

My interest is to find a local (East Bay) organization that develops software for residential energy monitoring and management.  Hopefully I can find some meaningful work.