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TWEET-A-WATT! A Power Monitor That Twitters Your Energy Use
Posted By Daniel Flahiff On February 4, 2009 @ 11:00 am In Greener Gadgets,Renewable Energy | 3 Comments
This year’s Greener Gadgets Competition  is loaded with brilliant ideas. One of our favories is the Tweet-a-watt , a fabulous open-source, power monitoring project from ladyada . One part off-the-shelf hardware, two-parts hackware and a dash of environmental consciousness and social networking, Tweet-a-watt  monitors and “tweets  ” (publish wirelessly) your home’s daily energy use to your Twitter  account, all for less than fifty bucks!
What can you do with Tweet-a-watt ? Many things, not the least of which include monitoring your domestic power usage without having to hack your main power grid (handy, especially if you’re a renter). The Tweet-a-watt automatically uploads the data to your Twitter  account for sharing, competing or bragging. There’s nothing like a little public accountability to keep us all honest!
Designed by MIT  graduate and open-source maven Lima of ladyada , Tweet-a-watt  is an open-source hack with a green heart. You can make your own Tweet-a-watt  by opening up an off-the-shelf Kill-a-Watt  power monitor and making a couple simple modifications – wire an Xbee  wirelss module, super capacitor and transmission indicators to the power sensor output, then syc it to an Xbee  receiver connected to your PC via USB. Clear as mud? Never fear, Ladyada.net  has all the details  mapped out nicely — with diagrams  !
The process goes like this: “The modified Kill-a-Watt  uses a “super-cap” to slowly recharge itself. Once there is enough power it turns on the Xbee  wireless module which transmits the data to a nearby computer (or internet connected microcontroller, like an Arduino). Once the power usage for the day is recorded it uses a predefined Twitter  account (it can be your own) to publish your daily KWH consumption for the day. Multiple units can be used for an entire household.”
Be sure to check out the fifty other finalists in this year’s Greener Gadgets Design Competition  and vote for your favorite! We’ll be using your votes to help determine the top ten designs to showcase at this year’s Greener Gadgets Conference , and we’ll be giving away $5000 in prizes to the top three designs!
+ Tweet-a-Watt 
+ Ladyada 
Article printed from Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building: http://inhabitat.com
URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/tweet-a-watt-by-ladyada/
URLs in this post:
 Image: http://www.inhabitat.com/2009/02/04/tweet-a-watt-by-ladyada/
 Greener Gadgets Competition: http://www.greenergadgets.com/index.php/design-competition/
 Tweet-a-watt: http://www.ladyada.net/make/wattcher/index.html
 ladyada: http://www.ladyada.net/
 tweets: http://twitter.com/tweetawatt
 MIT: http://web.mit.edu/
 ladyada: http://www.ladyada.net/about.html
 Kill-a-Watt: http://www.amazon.com/P3-International-P4400-Electricity-Monitor/dp/B00009MDBU
 Xbee: http://www.adafruit.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=29
 diagrams: http://www.ladyada.net/make/wattcher/make.html
 Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/killawatt
 Greener Gadgets Conference: http://www.greenergadgets.com/
 + Tweet-a-Watt: http://core77.com/greenergadgets/entry.php?projectid=63
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