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Decentralised Solar Payment


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#1 SteamyTea

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Posted 13 March 2016 - 08:13 AM

There was a bit in my comic this week about using bitcoins to trade your solar power.
https://www.newscien...rs-in-new-york/
Now I like the idea of this as it relies on the trading rules being fixed at the start and after than it is autonomous.
It also has full traceability which is a good thing.

What I want to know is, how does it actually work?
Can you issue the coins based on generation i.e. a sunnier year produces more coins than a dull one
Can you limit the life of a coin i.e. you can't 'bank' the coins, just like you can't bank sunlight
How do you stop fraud i.e. how do you know it is solar power and not a diesel generator
How far back can, or should, you be allowed to see each transaction i.e. 1 step either way, or the full history

I am sure there are more questions, but I am feeling a bit sluggish this morning.

#2 cjard

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Posted 14 March 2016 - 02:16 PM

Who pays for the wires?

#3 SteamyTea

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Posted 14 March 2016 - 03:31 PM

I thought that.
I assume the DNO just charges by the MWh for transmission.
So it would be logged as a consumer rather than a generator.
There my be times when the DNO wants more 'local' power and are willing to pay fro that, as well as times they don't want any power and they charge more fro transmission.

#4 DeeJunFan

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Posted 14 March 2016 - 03:45 PM

I think the purpose of this is to remove the DNO, to have a local micro grid which all local houses sell their excess to.

You wont be paid in Bitcoins, its just the most well know use of blockchain technology.

The block chain is basically a ledger held on all nodes of the system that is compared with the ledger of all other nodes to ensure they all match and are accurate. They use crazy cryptography algorithms to make it more difficult to insert fraudulent generation into the system.

They gloss over most of the key details such as the infrastructure (who pays who for that) and also the payment system (how you get paid for what you sell)

Its a system that could work. I think its more likely to take hold somewhere like America where off grid living is more common.

Its hard to translate the Bitcoin model to the energy model as energy is an actual commodity where as paying a bank just for the pleasure of touching your own money was always ripe for replacement.

#5 SteamyTea

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Posted 14 March 2016 - 03:53 PM

How fast does the block chain ledger update?
That seems to be the important part when trading energy in real time. It would not be much good if it was too delayed, though as it is just an accounting system it could be a few hours. I suppose there is no reason, as long as everyone agrees (what contracts are for) that the billing is after the delivery period.

I would have thought that it is more useful for grid connection rather than off grid, or do you mean off grid communities rather than stand alone? i.e. one house, one PV system.

Edited by SteamyTea, 14 March 2016 - 03:54 PM.


#6 DeeJunFan

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Posted 14 March 2016 - 03:58 PM

The ledger update should be near to instantaneous.

There are holes in the system if you look up thinks like bit coin miners you can see some people with a lot of computing power are trying to fraud the system.

Yeah thinking more off grid communities than single dwellings.

#7 notnickclegg

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Posted 14 March 2016 - 04:06 PM

View PostDeeJunFan, on 14 March 2016 - 03:58 PM, said:

... bit coin miners you can see some people with a lot of computing power are trying to fraud the system.

Bitcoin mining isn't fraud though. It's the mechanism by which bitcoins initially come into being.

I believe the only way to commit fraud (short of cracking data repositories that store bitcoin info) is to take control of 50% of the value of all issued coins, which gives you the ability to change the blockchain to reflect an incorrect reality. The obvious thing to do would be to make you the owner of more bitcoins by amending entries in the blockchain.

The above could well be VERY inaccurate!

Jack

#8 SteamyTea

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Posted 14 March 2016 - 05:00 PM

Not really about bitcoins, it is about decentralising billing for micro-generators.

Instead of a bitcoin, it would be a kWh (multiple or fraction of) and the 'mining' is the generation.
Fraud would come in if someone just connected it to the mains, but if the value was always lower than mains electric, then there is no incentive to do that.

In a way it was what smart metering is hoping to achieve, just via a third party (which may have several steps along the chain).