life at Visible Energy

electricity is invisible but it doesn’t have to be

A Unique UFO is Spotted in Sayville

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John Farese and Mark Gunthner of HPT Inc. demonstrate the UFO Power Center Device.

It’s called a “UFO” because of its disk shape and glowing lights, but for Sayville Senior John Farese, the device took him where he has never gone before—to the International Olympiad as one of eight New York State students chosen to compete in the Energy Division.

Farese’s close encounter with the UFO Power Center was the result of being in the right place at the right time, but his creative spin on the data it collected propelled him into an under-explored realm of energy conservation in ordinary homes.

Congratulations to John!

Full article.

Written by Marco G.

May 4, 2012 at 9:42 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Remote sensor monitoring with the Tekmetrica service

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Remotely monitor energy, temperature and humidity from many locations using the Monostrip and the Tekmetrica service.

Written by Marco G.

March 25, 2012 at 12:56 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

New single socket Monostrip available for beta testers and field trials in the U.S.

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Our new, Wi-Fi enabled smart extension is available for selected U.S. beta testers and field tests. The Monostrip is a 15 A electrical socket with real-time power consumption and a remotely controllable switch. It is also available in a version with up to three wired temperature and humidity sensors.

Use the Monostrip with our EnergyUFO iPhone/iPad application and with our customer portal for plug load monitoring and control in commercial buildings and office spaces.

Specialized applications include the Tekmetrica online service for monitoring of commercial refrigerators.

Written by Marco G.

March 24, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Posted in Products

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Cloud Energy Management

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Today we have released the beta version of the Visible Energy Web Portal, our first milestone towards cloud energy management. This version is for personal use and allows for remote monitoring and management of multiple UFO Power Center and Monostrip products.

Written by Marco G.

February 27, 2012 at 6:34 pm

Setup the UFO Power Center with a browser

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Written by Marco G.

February 7, 2012 at 12:05 pm

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Q&A about the UFO design

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What is the size of the UFO?

The diameter of the UFO is 12″ and it is 5″ tall.

Isn’t the UFO too big?

It is interesting to see how many comments we receive regarding the shape and size of the UFO. Some have suggest amusing uses of the UFO with the top open, such us as a popcorn or chip holder while watching TV, or even as a fish bowl.

Admittedly, the size of the UFO is bigger than what you expect from a power strip but the most common use of the UFO and probably the most useful in terms of savings, is in a home entertainment system. The average US LCD or plasma TV is 42″ and it can get as large as 70″ (diagonal). In perspective and next to one of these, the UFO doesn’t really look that big to me.

The second most common use is in a home office setting and it most cases it should not be a problem per se, when for instance a UFO sits between a PC and a printer.

That is okay, but why is the UFO so big?

It has been noticed that the electronics takes only the central part of the UFO and that is correct. We are working on a different form factor that is made of only the central part. Code name is the Rocket Power Center. However, the circular cavity around the center has the important function to be the repository for electrical cords and wall warts of the appliances plugged in. This way the environment around the UFO is neat and the intertwine mess of electrical cords hidden inside.

Are you making smaller smart power strips?

Yes we are. The second product to be launched in the US is the single outlet Monostrip a glimpse of which can be seen on our website http://www.visiblenergy.com/products/monostrip.html. The Monostrip is about 4″ x 4″ and 2″ tall.

Why there isn’t a manual inside the package?

Inside the box there is a welcome sheet with a link to the online setup instructions. We maintain an online website with articles describing the use of the UFO online at http://help.visiblenergy.com. This way instructions are always up to date.

However, the main reason for not printing a manual is because we adopted a more ecological view in the manufacturing process and the material is built with. That in a way that is compatible with the safety of the product. The package is also made of recycled paper for this reason.

Who designs your products?

Our products are designed by an Italian designer, Sara Dal Gallo who is a component of the founding team. The UFO design has received the 2008 Green Dot award in the Products category and the 2010 Echotech award. Sara is also managing partner of the Italian boutique design firm Elastico Disegno.

Written by Marco G.

December 23, 2011 at 3:58 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

A third-gender approach to the electrical switch. New software to enable DELAY mode in Visible Energy smart products.

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It is on the news these days that a Thai airline has hired transsexual flight attendants, or what the airline calls “third sex” flight attendants. The world is not M or F anymore, or has ever been? At Visible Energy we have taken a “third-gender” attitude to the electrical switch that is not necessarily only ON or OFF. Perhaps our vicinity to San Francisco had its influence.

From the next release of our iPad software will be possible not only to switch ON a socket that is OFF, but also to set a socket on a third mode called DELAY. When in DELAY mode the socket will switch ON at a later time, for instance at a more convenient off-peak time when the electricity is less expensive.

To make things more interesting is that if one is undecided about what is the proper off-peak time, the software allows for a service to decide for you and provides an approximate time back to the user. This is possible if the product is registered with the Visible Energy or other energy service platforms.

Notice in the screenshot the new DELAY button:

Once delayed it shows the time of switching:

Written by Marco G.

December 20, 2011 at 2:40 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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