In 2009, Pecan Street began building the world’s largest volunteer network of residential energy customers whose energy use and generation are measured every second, 24/7.

Data from our network is housed on Pecan Street’s servers and is available to clients and partners for independent research through our Dataport website.

But connecting hundreds of homes produced more than data. Our network offers energy technology companies a real-world testbed of energy customers where they can test and refine their products. And since our network is the first of its kind, we had to design and deploy our own hardware and software solutions.

World-Class Energy Data Collection and Analysis

In total, we’ve installed research equipment in more than 1,000 homes in Texas, California, Colorado and New York. And we’re expanding into new markets, like Detroit and Puerto Rico. Our systems measure energy use from up to 21 individual circuits, total use, and solar+storage performance every second of every day.

In addition to real power, we measure voltage, current, phase angle, current THD, and apparent power.

Our network produces 7 billion data points per day, which are then processed, verified, and fed into Dataport, our online data analytics site, where researchers from around the world can run queries directly on our servers.

Real-World Field Trials

In addition to the use and generation data they provide, our research volunteers often participate in field trial research of energy hardware and software solutions. We have conducted demand response, dispatchable V2G, stationary storage and energy pricing trials and have the capability to deploy trial technology in homes in a matter of weeks.

Research Technology Engineering

In our first few years, we learned why utilities and customers knew so little about how residential energy is used and how to optimize clean energy: there wasn’t a simple way to measure it. So we invented one. Our custom monitoring system combines existing measurement technology with custom software that makes 24/7 measurement and data transmission reliable, secure and, most important, completely invisible to participants.

Our lab is unique, too. The 3-story, 3,800 square-foot facility allows our staff and companies and organizations to develop and test prototype hardware and software solutions before deploying them throughout our network. We designed and deployed a residential “ microgrid-in-a-box”, Texas’ first dispatchable V2G resource, and an inter-home EV charge management tool that tracks with excess solar on neighboring homes.

Dive Deeper: Pecan Street’s Energy Research