实时反馈系统有助于节约能源和水

2017-02-09 10:21:47 来源: 中国科技网 作者: 张微编译

那些花费很长时间洗澡的人会消耗大量的水和能源。但是,喜欢长时间淋浴的人通常不会意识到他们对环境的破坏程度有多大。如果一个智能的测量系统显示出当前的消耗量,那么就会立竿见影地提高能源的使用效率。当洗澡的时候,如果能源消耗信息能够实时显示出来,那么就足以激励人们降低水和能源的消耗,平均来说消耗量会降低22%。这是波恩大学和班贝克大学以及苏黎世联邦理工大学的一项研究成果。该研究已经发表在《管理学》期刊的网络版上,印刷版也即将出版。

在社会上,环境保护已经受到重视,但是谈到具体实施的时候,往往缺乏得力的措施。许多人想要保护自然资源,但是在日常生活中却忽视了很多细节,例如当你洗澡的时候。当你站在温暖的水流下,你很快就忘记了有多少水和能源已经被你消耗掉了。“淋浴时能源和水的密集消耗,对此大多数人仅有一个很模糊的概念,” 波恩大学应用微观经济学研究院的Lorenz Götte教授说,他之前也曾在洛桑执教。

“当他们想到节能的时候,许多人会关灯以及使用节能冰箱。在德国和瑞士平均每个家庭在洗澡的时候消耗的能源是照明电灯的5.5倍,是冰箱和冰柜的4倍,” 论文的主要作者Verena Tiefenbeck说,他是波恩大学,也是苏黎世理工大学的研究人员。由于将水加热的能源强度,还有很大的节能潜力,因此这个领域还有大量的工作可以实现节能要求,Thorsten Staake教授补充道,他是班贝格大学能源效率系统集团主席。“淋浴是一个理想的出发点,因为对超过三分之二的家庭来说热水都是必需的。”

在洗澡的时候如何才能节省能源?来自班贝格大学、波恩大学和苏黎世理工大学的三位学者认为,这涉及到一个非常实用和根本性的问题,就是如何让人们的能源相关行为发生变化。在多项试验中,在瑞士,共有700个家庭接受了苏黎世市电力公司(EWZ)的智能系统来测量洗澡时水和能源的消耗。

测量装置安装在淋浴头下面。它们能够让你对水的消耗,水温和能源的使用量一目了然。“这些智能系统将用户洗澡行为的能源消耗直接反馈给他们,” Staake教授说。该测量装置记录了大约两个月时间里,受试者的淋浴情况。随机选择一部分受试者,他们能实时看到在洗澡过程中使用了多少能源和水,而其他参与者则没有显示这些信息。

如果受试者通过测量系统获取了实时反馈数据,那么洗澡的时候能源消耗量平均下降22%。对于那些喜欢长时间淋浴的人,能源消耗量甚至会下降30%。在进一步研究中,研究人员测试了这样的情况:当测试对象接收到之前消耗量的连续反馈数据后,他们是否会提升能源节约量。“这个后续信息没有产生额外的效果,” Verena Tiefenbeck博士说。

然而,这项针对淋浴者的研究显示,在两个月的实验过程中,持久的行为变化发生了。总结他们的研究,Götte 教授和 Staake说,“即使过去几周的时间,也没有在观察对象中发现重蹈覆辙的情况。” Tiefenbeck博士补充道“理想的节能效果在观察期结束和观察期开始的时候一样好。”(张微编译)

以下为英文原文:

Real-time feedback helps save energy and water

Those who take long showers use a great deal of water and energy. Yet people who enjoy taking long showers do not usually realize to what extent they are damaging the environment. However, if a clever measuring system shows current consumption, this immediately leads to increased efficiency. The consumption information available on the display is incentive enough to reduce water and energy consumption when showering on average by 22 per cent. This was shown by a study conducted by the Universities of Bonn and Bamberg, as well as ETH Zurich. The results have initially been published online in the journal Management Science. The print edition will be published soon.

Environmental protection is very popular within society, yet it is often lacking when it comes to implementation. Many want to protect natural resources, but lose sight of the aim in everyday life – for instance, when showering. When you stand underneath a pleasantly warm jet of water, you quickly forget how much water and energyhave already disappeared down the drain. "Most people only have a very vague idea of how energy- and water-intensive showering is," says Prof. Lorenz Götte from the Institute of Applied Microeconomics at the University of Bonn, who previously taught in Lausanne.

"Many people think of switching lights off and more economical fridges when they think of saving energy. The average household in Germany and Switzerland consumes five and a half times as much energy when showering as for its entire lighting and four times as much as for the fridge and freezer together," says the lead author Dr. Verena Tiefenbeck, who researches at the University of Bonn as well as at ETH Zürich. Due to the energy intensity of heating water and the as yet unexhausted saving potential, a great deal more could be achieved in this area, adds Prof. Thorsten Staake, chair of the Energy Efficient Systems Group at the University of Bamberg. "The shower is an ideal starting point, because it's where more than two thirds of a household's hot water is required."

How can the greatest amount of energy be saved when showering? For the three scholars from the Universities of Bamberg, Bonn and ETH Zürich, this concerns a very applied and also fundamental question of how resource-relevant behavioral changes can be brought about. In multiple experiments, a total of 700 one- and two-person households in Switzerland received intelligent systems from Elektrizitätswerk der Stadt Zürich (ewz) to measure their energy and water consumption when showering.

The measuring devices were fitted below the shower head. They allow water consumption, water temperature and energy use to be seen at a glance. "These smart systems give the agent direct feedback about the consequences of their own showering behavior," reports Prof. Staake. The measuring devices recorded the showering behavior of the subjects for around two months. A randomly selected proportion of the subjects was able to track live on the display how much energy and water they had used since the start of their shower, while other participants were not shown this information.

If the test subjects received immediate feedback via the measuring systems, energy consumption when showering fell on average by 22 percent. For people who take long showers, the savings even came to almost 30 percent. In a further investigation, the researchers tested whether additional saving behavior occurs when the test subjects received subsequent feedback on their previous consumption. "This subsequent information resulted in virtually no additional effect," says Dr. Verena Tiefenbeck.

Nevertheless, the study into shower use shows that lasting behavioral changes occurred during the two months of the experiment. Summarizing their findings, professors Götte and Staake say, "Even over the course of weeks, no desensitizing effects were seen among the subjects." Dr. Tiefenbeck adds that "The desired saving effects were just as great at the end of the observation period as at the beginning."

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