Project no. 113
Nick Hale1, Jose Velez1, Eva Andreakou2 and Mark Malloy3
1John Hopkins Univeristy
2DTU Design and Innovation, Techincal University of Denmark
3DTU Earth and Space Physics and Engineering, Technical University of Denmark
As households annually increase their power consumption, the amount of electricity that is
also wasted increases. Today, many households have multiple computers, televisions, and
smart devices that are some of the culprits behind our high idle power consumption.
According to many sources, up to 15% of our electricity consumption is consumed by idle
devices and appliances. Furthermore, the New York Times has stated that this issue is not
exclusive to Denmark, but that the average American household uses a quarter of its total
energy usage on idle devices and appliances. We believe that this is a hugely underrated
issue, and decided to look for creative solutions to combat idle power consumption.
Our goal and effort is to reduce the average households power footprint while also saving
money on their electricity bill.
We call our solution Eco-Breaker, which is a supplemental technology for circuit breakers.
We are expecting that the subsequent processing power for Eco-Breaker to work is low,
which helps us increase the affordability and spread of our device. The purpose of Eco-
Breaker is to help us transition to smarter and more efficient households by substituting
inefficient breaker panel systems. By relying on big data and optimization models, Eco-
Breaker will allow us to reduce the electricity consumption while leading the way to smarter
house grids. Eco-Breaker will work as an add-on to current household’s breaker panels,
while paving the way for standalone systems for new houses, apartments and one day large
RISKS AND CHALLENGES
One of the main challenges of Eco-Breaker is being able to design a supplemental device to
a households circuit breaker, that is versatile enough to optimally work alongside
households with completely different circuit layouts. Not only this, but one of our goals is to
design a product that people can install themselves. If people aren’t comfortable enough
with installing Eco-Breaker, then we will also offer trained electricians that can perform the
installation as well. The financial risk and general outcome of our prototyping/pilot will be
crucial to determine the effective value and necessity of our product.
It will take us a lot of work to optimize our models to help improve the efficiency of the
product, but Eco-Breaker will still aim to noticeably reduce the idle power consumption of