Austrian power supplier Wien Energie and electronics giant Bosch have developed a blockchain refrigerator to enable customers to track and manage electricity consumption.
In a press release published by Wien Energie, the company said that the device showcases how households will be able to manage their electric usage in the near future, in a “safe and transparent manner.” The device is currently presented at ANON Blockchain Summit in Vienna.
The refrigerator can be managed through a smart device app that allows the consumer to set the temperature of the fridge and freezer compartment, effectively adjusting and watching the electricity consumption. The app also offers feedback on the device, like sending a warning if the door is left open, along with providing an overview of the power consumption over time and carbon dioxide footprint.
The utility company stated that the device will eventually enable the user to become “active participants” in the energy market, utilizing smart contracts to allow swapping between several sources of electricity and offering a “transparent” and secure view of electricity used from production to consumption.
A transaction is verified on a blockchain network and proof of origin is given for every kilowatt-hour of electricity used by the device. According to Wien Energie, “This means that whether the energy comes from the photovoltaic system of the neighboring building or from the wind farm on the way to work, everyone decides themselves.”
The two companies consider to test the device with some users “in the coming months,” and intend to roll it out on a wider scale testing in the near future utilizing the blockchain infrastructure created by Wien Energie and blockchain company Riddle & Code. For that testing, around 100 residents will assist in assessing the effectiveness of capability to choose electricity tariffs utilizing blockchain tech and smart meters.
Wien Energie CEO Peter Gönitzer said:
“The blockchain infrastructure should enable new business models in the energy market. For example, an e-charging station could then use a computer protocol on the blockchain and automated contracts to purchase electricity from both the solar system on the roofs of a neighborhood and from the wholesale exchange and then market it to an electric car.”