HAPI Hack Weekend App Ideas

We’re going to be one of the judges and prize-givers at this weekends HAPI Hack Weekend in our own San Francisco. There will be 100+ developers slinging code all weekend using our and other companies’ APIs. If you are coming along, this post is for you!

At Genability, our core mission is giving energy consumers (you and I, small business, large enterprises) more transparency, more choice and sharing the fruits of smarter energy consumption. With that in mind, our basic judging criteria will be to pick the apps that best empower the end user. Top marks to apps that:

  • give them more Transparency, (what are they paying),
  • turn facts into Actionable Insights (that have real value)
  • and do all this in an Appropriate context (most don’t want to spend hours analyzing their power usage and options)

If all else fails, create something that is fun or weird (Hot Tub Time Machine Calculator?). Bonus point go to apps that can tie in with our fellow API sponsors, Open-tok, Paypal, foursquare, box, twilio, mashery (and their hosted APIs), and factual.

We’re giving $500 to the best app using our APIs. Here’s some ideas to get the juices flowing ….

Current Price – what am I paying right now?
See what you are using and what you are paying on the Web, on your phone, on your internet TV, on or Orb or HAN dashboard. Maybe receive notifications when energy use becomes subject to higher tariff, or when prices are low.
Mash-up APIs from Plotwatt or Wattvision, Energy UFO etc.

Total Cost – What does that Big Screen Really Cost?
When you walk into Best Buy to buy that sweet appliance, why not compare models using Lifetime Footprint & Energy Costs as a criteria. Could be a Revenue generating Opportunity! Scan in prospective electronics purchases, identify footprint (Wattzon), compare prices, help them check-out (Best Buy allows for online purchase).
Mash-up APIS from Redlaser, Best Buy, Wattzon + Genability API

Time Shift – do the dishes at 1am
Take activity that can be deferred from expensive times of day (afternoon) to cheap times of day (middle of the night). Automation is the holy grail here.

Location Shift – send traffic to off-peak data centers
Florida is off-peak when California is on peak. Data-centers use a lot of power. Why not route traffic to where its cheapest? Power pricing varies significantly for server locations and time-of-day. While we only have residential data public right now (business data is coming very soon) you can “fake it” for now with residential tariffs. A simple tariff-aware routing algorithm could save significant amounts of traffic-induced energy costs.
Mash-up Amazon Elastic Load Balancing API

Be your own utility – cost/benefit calculator
Estimate the cost and value of generating and/or storing your own Power. For instance, Solar irradiation often coincides with peak electricity rates (i.e. when it shines the most power costs the most). Mash-ups of solar/wind/storage/V2G data with price data. And include available rebates, tax incentives and other factors for solar installs, EV purchases to get great total costs.
Useful Datasets: PVWatts, NREL SAM, Homer energyDSIRE USA Database.

Also, if you need some useful load profile data, check out the freely available usage data available from our friends at Pachube! (Or grab someone from Genability and we can give you access some ‘private’ usage data.)

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Any time electricity decisions are made, whether its selecting your power company, working on your home or business facility, or going about your day, power is (or isn’t) consumed. Put a price on that and make it smarter.

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