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Capturing and sharing renewable energy generation data

Latest Solar PV energy production data (Wh)

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NB: these figures do not take into account size of array, orientation, etc. Some feeds are not updated often enough to show daily data.

Latest Solar Thermal energy production data (kWh thermal)

A new project to capture, store and share power generation and use data from domestic renewable energy installations, including solar, wind and solar/geo thermal sources. We will employ low-cost off-the-shelf systems, such as the emonPi, to send data to a central data store and allow students and courses to query that data in a wide variety of ways. We will make the collected data available to students and researchers.

Our initial installation makes use of the open energy monitor products, made in North Wales. These low-cost devices are quick and easy to set up, transmit their data over your domestic Internet connection and employ open-source software. They are also expandable - both to monitor a variety of sensors, including current and temperature, and into the arena of control.

Contributed data is anonymized and the location of the source limited to a partial postcode.

Project members:

  • Chris Valentine - hardware, data collection and database
  • Roger Bradley - OU Associate Lecturer
  • Allan Third - data processing
  • John Domingue - project manager

If you have a renewable energy installation and would like to contribute data, please download and complete a site profile form and return it to the address indicated. If you would like to make use of the data we collect in your teaching or simply ask questions about the project, please use the contact form. You do not have to have an existing association with The Open University.

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Photos of monitoring hardware installations:

Current transformer
Current transformer
House with two sets of panels
House with two sets of panels
Large solar array in Austria
Large solar array in Austria
Solar panels
Solar panels
Solar thermal collector
Solar thermal collector
Test installation of the emonPi
Test installation of the emonPi

Applicable courses:

Contributing partners - 'view' links are to individuals' data visualisation(s):

  • The Open University - Project officer (MK7)
    • Data comes from: Commercial portal, KMi hardware
    • Last data sent 00:05:32 5 Dec 2020
    • Readings contributed: 13,566,868
    • View Live feeds from Venables
  • Chris Valentine - Project Officer (LU7)
    • Data comes from: KMi hardware
    • Last data sent 17:33:01 28 Mar 2018
    • Readings contributed: 1,713,982
    • View Live feeds
  • Roger Bradley - Course tutor for T213 T313 T452 and U116 (TF9)
  • Roj Hudman - Renewable energy installer (B74)
    • Data comes from: KMi hardware, Other hardware
    • Last data sent 00:05:32 5 Dec 2020
    • Readings contributed: 28,872,388
    • View Live feeds
  • Jeremy Roebuck - Tutor for B100, B122 and B322 (EH41)
  • Associate lecturer with a solar PV installation (B90)
    • Data comes from: KMi hardware
    • Last data sent 17:00:41 31 May 2017
    • Readings contributed: 6,867,354
    • View Live feeds
  • Natalie - OU Student (MK17)
    • Data comes from: KMi hardware
    • Last data sent 00:05:35 5 Dec 2020
    • Readings contributed: 22,022,441
    • View Live feeds
  • Andy - (W13)
    • Data comes from: KMi hardware
    • Last data sent 00:05:41 5 Dec 2020
    • Readings contributed: 25,485,913
    • View Live feeds
  • Jens - Student with solar PV installations (Anogia, Crete)
    • Data comes from: Commercial portal
    • Last data sent 00:00:00 26 Nov 2020
    • Readings contributed: 164,904
  • Tomaz - Student on an environmental management and technology degree (Feistritz an der Gail, Austria)
    • Data comes from: Commercial portal
    • Last data sent 00:00:00 30 Nov 2020
    • Readings contributed: 15,332
  • Charles - (GU5)
    • Data comes from: Personal record
    • Last data sent 06:25:42 26 Jun 2020
    • Readings contributed: 970,769
    • View Live feeds
  • Mike - Student studying T313 Renewable Energy (DY10)
    • Data comes from: KMi hardware
    • Last data sent 13:50:05 17 Jun 2019
    • Readings contributed: 14,834,276
  • Member of the Energage MK/Champions network (MK15)
    • Data comes from: Other hardware
    • Last data sent 10:30:00 19 Jul 2020
    • Readings contributed: 165,870
  • Nick Braithwaite - (OX33)
    • Data comes from: KMi hardware
    • Last data sent 00:06:00 5 Dec 2020
    • Readings contributed: 11,511,889
    • View Nicks live data
  • Tony - (WR2)
    • Data comes from: KMi hardware
    • Last data sent 15:19:36 22 Feb 2019
    • Readings contributed: 1,278
  • Marc - Emeritus Professor of Artificial Intelligence, OU (MK10)
    • Data comes from: KMi hardware
    • Last data sent 10:47:33 25 Oct 2019
    • Readings contributed: 624,163

Recent news articles of relevance...

  • Second solar array, wind turbine and vehicle charging hub for Leighton Buzzard
    Approximately 12 miles south of the Open University's Milton Keynes central campus lies the town of Leighton Buzzard. Already home to a large wind turbine and solar array, planning approval was granted today for the building of a second array, to be paired with a second turbine, on land among the sand quarries the town is famous for.

    The managing director of Checkley Wood Energy Ltd. said: "Our aim is to decarbonise the economy and local public transport system for residents in Leighton Buzzard and the surrounding villages. To do this, we need to generate significant amounts of renewable electricity to be utilised locally. We have built the Double Arches wind turbine and will soon build the Checkley Wood wind turbine. The turbines operate very efficiently in winter but less so in summer. The proposed solar farm will take up the spare capacity in the summer. All the electricity we generate connects to the local system at Clarence Road in Leighton Buzzard and it is then distributed to homes and businesses in the area. Our next aim will be to store some of this energy in batteries and then make it available to buses and cars at a new charging station at Checkley Wood on the A5."
  • Open University 'at the heart of switch to a green UK economy'
    New Vice-Chancellor Tim Blackman "cites the example of Blue Planet, Sir David Attenborough's wildly popular documentary series, produced by the BBC with the OU as a partner. The university's platform for free learning, OpenLearn, allowed viewers to find out more, and the resulting public outcry over the damage caused by plastic straws led McDonald's to drop them."

    He goes on to argue that "its distance learning delivery model is naturally 'green' and, already, 100% of electricity on its Milton Keynes campus is from green sources, while only 3% of its waste goes to landfill."
  • Central Bedfordshire council pioneers renewable energy road surfaces
    Central Bedfordshire council have been chosen to trial the latest innovative road and pavement surfaces, after securing £1.05m of funding from the Department of Transport and the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport (ADEPT).

    Following an intense bidding round, including a "Dragons' Den" style pitch, we've won the funding to trial three types of renewable energy generation ideas. We will be testing three different new high-tech techniques for using roads, cycleways and pavements to capture, store and re-use solar, kinetic and thermal energy. These trials will see how new technologies work in the real world, and will help influence how future roads are built in the 21st century.

    We are currently upgrading a 3km stretch of the A421 road into Milton Keynes. The new dual carriageway will have a pavement and cycleway running alongside it with a special surface that will capture solar energy. In the summer, this heat can be stored and used to power streetlights and electronic road signs, or even heat nearby buildings. In cold weather, this technology will be used in combination with water pipes laid just below the surface that use geothermal energy from the earth. Together, they can also be used to warm the road surface, to prevent icy conditions and reduce the reliance on gritting lorries.

    In another trial, we'll test kinetic pavement panels in Flitwick. These will capture the energy created by pedestrian footfall, which can again be used to power streetlights and electronic road signs. So, as people step on the pavement tiles, their weight will cause electromagnetic induction generators to generate off-grid electricity.

    The trials will help test innovative solutions that are currently very much in their infancy, but which could be rolled out to other local authorities in the future. And they will also help to ensure our communities' energy requirements rely on sustainable, eco-friendly sources.
  • Drilling starts to tap geothermal power from Cornwall's hot rocks
    A trailblazing energy project has started drilling the UK's deepest ever borehole in Cornwall in a bid to use heat from hot rocks as a zero-carbon source of electricity. The team behind the £18m scheme hopes to create the UK's first deep geothermal power station and ignite a renewed interest in the technology's wider potential.
  • Scottish Power shifts to 100% wind generation after £700m Drax sale
    Scottish Power has ditched fossil fuels for electricity generation and switched to 100% wind power, by selling off its last remaining gas power stations to Drax for more than £700m.

    Iberdrola, Scottish Power's Spanish parent company, said the move was part of its strategy to tackle climate change and would free it up to invest in renewables and power grids in the UK.

    The deal also marks a significant expansion and diversification for Drax, whose main business is a coal- and biomass-fired power station in North Yorkshire.

    Included in the £702m sale are four gas power stations in England, two hydro schemes and a pumped storage plant in Scotland. That leaves Scottish Power producing all its power from windfarms.
  • UK Wind Sets New Record
    Wind power in the UK set a new record recently by generating 14 gigawatts for the first time - nearly 37 per cent of the the country's electricity. The National Grid control room confirmed that 13.9 gigawatts was the highest ever metered wind output.


Current grid carbon intensity

Dashboard - simple

GCI embedded graphic courtesy of Dr Andrew Crossland CEng, MyGridGB and Associate Fellow of the Durham Energy Institute.