Final report done!

This week we finished up our final project report. We felt pleased with the result as a group, with the focus being on the demo and prototype that are included.

The bulk of the work was done on Thursday on our group meeting as well as on Saturday and Sunday as the deadline got closer. One thing that’s still left to do is our feedback session with Timo Seppälä – we wanted to get it in our final report but could only get a meeting for this week.

So we still have that to look forward to – and depending on the outcome maybe change our presentation for the grande finale a bit accordingly. We also have some polishing to do this week on our poster as well as the setup for our presentation table.

The layout is set but the content is mostly what we’re going to adress – how to articulate our project and final product in an understandable way that doesn’t need any verbal explanation from us.

This is our current situation – looking forward to the grande finale!

Prototype walkthrough

We have a finished prototype that can be found and used at:
blockchaindemoweb.herokuapp.com

  1. Register as a user or producer (or both)
  2. Log in
  3. Set price that you want to buy/sell energy at
  4. Set input and output of much energy produced and/or used (this is the input that would come from the smart energy meters)
  5. Voila! The mosaics are sent or received to you wallet accordingly
  6. To generate the bill you would receive, visit: https://blockchaindemoweb.herokuapp.com/geninvoices
  7. Wait 45 seconds
  8. Go to “laskut” and if you are a energy consumer you will see the amount of euro you owe and how much energy you have used at a certain price (euro/kWh)

Thats the end of our prototype, in a full scenario this bill would then be sent to the consumer and the profits divided up so that the producer gets the majority.
This blogpost will be a typed out script for how to use the prototype, will be updated during the weekend.

More progress – website, backend and BMC

Hello again, we’ve been doing work behind the scenes – sorry for the blog silence. What have we been up to the past two weeks? We’ve been moving forward according to the plan.

Much of the work has been on the code side of things, we’re now able to create mosaics for the energy producers and then send them to consumer’s wallet – according to how much energy they use. To give you an idea of we’re we are at, here is the sort of output data we’re getting from our prototype:

{“quantity”:7500,”mosaicId”:{“namespaceId”:”blockchaindemo1.demogrid”,”name”:”kwh”}}

{ producer: ‘test1’, consumer: ‘test5’, price: 0.1 }
{“quantity”:7500,”mosaicId”:{“namespaceId”:”blockchaindemo1.demogrid”,”name”:”kwh”}}
{ producer: ‘test1’, consumer: ‘test3’, price: 0.1 }

This is a scenario where a producer named ‘test1’ has produced 15kWh extra energy and then sold it to two consumers, ‘test3’ and ‘test5’ accordingly. They both get half of the 15kWh produced (1kWh = 1 mosaic => 15000/2 = 7500 mosaics each). This information is read straight from the blockchain, meaning it is safely stored there and not changeable.

Based on this you can then bill the consumers according to the amount of mosaics x price sold and the profits can be moved straight to the producer.

In our current prototype we’re not connected to any real electrical circuit – instead we’re using input data that is similar to that produced by smart energy meters. That is, we get input and output electricity for each house at a certain time interval. This process still needs to be automated with the sending of mosaics in order for scalability to happen, since manually moving mosaics is not feasible.

We’ve also done a very rough first version of the poster for our final stand, it looks like this:
Posteri SCI-projekti

Other than this some small adjustments has been done on our website which can be found at:
blockchaindemoweb.herokuapp.com

However, it still needs some front end polishing which is on the agenda for this week. We’ve met with the team each week and will do so again this week on thursday – discussing our concerns and our plan of attack for the final push before the end of this semester and our final presentation.

We also worked on our Business Model Canvas which I’ll upload here tomorrow.

BMC

So  going forward this week will be front end week and perhaps some developments on the automatisation of mosaic sending. Also some polishing on our poster will be done.

Cheers.

Plans on next iteration

Our main goals on next iteration is to implement working database that can allow users to register and login to view their assets and to connect to their neighbourhood and view all nearby electricity producers. In addition to that we are planning to implement secondary server to keep track of the produced electricity by each of the producer.
We currently have done multiple iterations but we are not having any negative feedback on our potential product. However in the future we may have additional iteration.
Our product may be very popular. Even in Finland in large city like Helsinki we could have over 500 thousand users.

Another week done

This week we met with Timo Seppälä who had some interesting insights into what we are doing. It turned out that he has done a similar project where the idea was to charge electric vehicles while they are parked in traffic lights etc.

This involves the same kind of automatic trade of energy via blockchain so we are certainly able to build upon what he and other have already done. We have access to that project’s source code and another one at:

https://www.etla.fi/wp-content/uploads/ETLA-Raportit-Reports-71.pdf
https://www.etla.fi/wp-content/uploads/ETLA-Raportit-Reports-78.pdf

Even though this is based on Ethereum (another blockchain technology platform) the logic is the same, so we can still use those parts when creating ours.

This week we also got the first version of our website up at and running, it can be found at: http://blockchaindemoweb.herokuapp.com/

However, this is only the front end part of things as mentioned in last week’s blog post -we are yet to implement the real back end functions so this only works as a way of seeing what we are doing before it is completely working.

Next week we’re going to meet with our assistant Arne Kiupa since we didn’t have time this week. We’ll show what we are up to – hopefully some back end parts are more developed by then.

Another thing that caught our attention was this large event on the smart grid, right here in Helsinki, Finland! At least one group member will attend so there will be another opportunity to gain insight on how the grid works today (and also how it will change smarter in the future).

Next week we’re continuing development with focus on coding, led by our software wizard Petri. As mentioned would be awesome to see some functionality on the back end of things since more than half of the course is already done – it depends on if any unforeseen issues arise or not.

Until next week.

 

 

Information gathering & more

This week we settled on a path forward that builds on the model we came up with last week.

We discussed extensively for what our energy distribution system could look like. This involved lots of talking back and forth combined with drawing our thoughts on a whiteboard. After several hours we came up with a solution that should work, as long as we get the automated sending of Mosaics (digital assets stored in the blockchain via NEM technology) working.

We’ll start by working on a simple front end website that will work as a way for us to see the whole picture with all needed features. We can then build upon this simple site and develop the needed back end software as we go along. Among our first problems are how to use the data collected from smart grid meters and the automatic buying & selling of Mosaics.

We also presented our current idea to other students in Aalto and the general response was positive. People think it would work – as long as the energy you can buy is cheaper than that you get from big players like Fortum people will use it. We got in touch with the other energy prosumer group in this course and we do have similar topics albeit different approaches. We will be keeping them up to date with what we are doing and they will do the same – cooperation is good for both ours groups.

However, this we only spoke with people who are not very familiar with blockchain technology. Next week we have a meeting booked with Timo Seppälä who has much more knowledge in blockchain technology than we do. He will hopefully be able to give some more concrete feedback to what we are doing – like is there some essential benefit of blockchain we have missed and/or is our solution even feasible at all.

Also on next week’s agenda is communication with Caruna, a company that owns many of the electric grids in Espoo. They will hopefully be able to shed some light on how possible it is to sell energy peer to peer using their grid.

So in essence what we have on the menu next week: coding and more information-gathering. The more we can good feedback the less mistakes (and mistakes equal wasted time) we will make.

Problem and solution

This week our team’s plan was to deepen our knowledge about Nem mosaics and how electricity networks actually work. We also looked into what kind of resources we would need to make something applicable to Finland. In addition of this we also found parties that could possibly help us.

We accomplished to get a better understanding of the thing we are trying to make. W e also assured that making something that is straight a way usable in Finnish electricity network won’t be possible.

Next week we are hoping to contact some people that could help us. We are also still deepening our knowledge about mosaics and hopefully get some coding practice done already. We are also having our second presentation next Friday.

 

What problem is being solved?

We are currently solving the problem of continuous usage of the electricity. The problem is that there is no effective way to use renewable energy sources and possibility sell it in exchange to reasonable reward.

 

How user experiences the problem?

Using for example solar panel and selling the generated electricity is not integrated to any kind of electricity grid, thus leaving the electricity unused.

 

Value proposition

Our solution ensures that the technology will provide user with highest possible reward for generated energy, also which will possibly lower the electricity bill.

 

Wireframe

Blockchain energy grid

Screening opportunities

Last week we ended up with 6 ideas and the intention to review each of them, here’s how we did.

We went more in depth and discussed as a group the pros and cons of each idea, and on that essentially organizing an opportunity tournament. We got to think more about each idea on a conceptual basis – what potential unknowns and problems might be and also what positive sides it had.

Doing this we managed to filter out a top 3 which was

Energy grid solution

Decentralized Marketplace

Accounting

And to decide which one we wanted to proceed with we did more thinking and googling on these potential topics and then voted within the team distributing 3-1 points per team-member. After a close shave the energy grid solution came out on top.

Going forward we distributed different team roles and  responsibilities to be able to efficiently attack the energy grid solution head on and start doing work. For starters it will mostly be more research on the micro-grid, Finnish electricity grid and blockchain contract solutions.

We also started writing our project plan and it should be finished by Monday (9.10) next week.

Our mission statement will also be worked on – currently it is something like this:

Incentive to produce own energy and sell it to gain $$$$$$

 

 

 

Idea session 28.9

This weeks agenda was to come up with a number of potential topics and to chart each person’s interest and thoughts on the subject. The goal was to find interesting ideas and help us proceed in choosing our subject that we will continue to work on.

To do this we used three different tools for generating ideas:

  1. Standard brainstorming with free-flowing ideas we had thought of beforehand
  2. Brain-writing where we tried to build upon each others’ ideas.
  3. The six thinking hats method where we tried to improve and see the ideas we had already come up with from different angles.(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six_Thinking_Hats)

We feel we made good progress this week generating 6 solid ideas we can move on with and build upon. The brainstorming and brain-writing was where we had most success in finding interesting ideas.

The ideas are:

  1. Electricity grid (to Fortum?) [ethereum smart contracts]
  2. Supply chain- project (to NEM? Indepently?) [like Fishcoin]
  3. Enhancing current Databases using NEM technology (to NEM)
  4. Decentralized Marketplace buy/sell (ethereum smart contracts)
  5. Decentralized computing power (like Golem-poject)
  6. DNS (Domain name system)

After having these ideas we made an uncertainty horizon map that looks like this with corresponding numbers to ideas listed above:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BwzBC3Gb435RbERlblBiVldZMmM

Since all our ideas are based on the same blockchain technology they all land similarly on the x-axis point which represents known technology that is not yet widely implemented.

We decided we will each review the ideas, and going forward  be able to discuss and vote which topic we will continue in this project – hopefully one that is interesting and understandable by every group member.

Might still edit this post with more information after our group meeting tomorrow (Friday 29.9)