Update from Newcastle University & Imperial College London

Work Undertaken

Newcastle University

We have concluded a 6-month domestic WEF study of 13 households in Newcastle upon Tyne. This study deployed electricity, gas and water sensors within metered dwellings to determine household WEF consumption. Food and Water Diaries were also used to capture food and water consumption within those dwellings. The key outcomes of this study centred on three points:

  1. how to frame, scope and improve visibility of domestic WEF nexuses,
  2. demonstrating that higher level WEF integration policy is not translating at a domestic level, and
  3. introducing a practice-based framework as a means of framing and observing domestic WEF nexuses for future research.

A paper describing the outcomes of the Domestic WEF pilot study in Newcastle has been submitted to CHI (A*).

Imperial College London

We have developed an end-to-end (E2E) sensing system in Ridgeview Winery in West Sussex. This system collects environmental data (including ambient temperature, pressure, moisture, and light etc.) and pushes them onto the Cloud in real-time. 46 sensor nodes have been deployed in the winery and the underground cellar to capture the WEF nexus details during the harvesting season 2016. The key outcome of this study will be:

  1. proving the stability of state-of-the-art Internet of Thing (IoT) technology in real-world an environment.
  2. constructing and testing an E2E solution which can be easily adopted by other WEF studies.
  3. a pilot study for other WEF sensing technologies (e.g. non-invasive sensing) that can be applied in industrial environments. 

A paper regarding an Internet edge-based data processing was also submitted to an A* computing conference.

Next Steps

Newcastle University

Newcastle/London Intensive Domestic WEF Study

We intend on undertaking an intensive domestic WEF study of 2-5 households for a 1-week duration. This will involve substantially improving the data disaggregation of electricity consumption to appliance level and the capture of household water consumption to faucet (event) level. Food Diaries will also be used in conjunction with grocery receipts to understand food consumption. We will also aim to understand household members’ movements through wearable technologies that involve or implicate WEF nexuses. For example, understanding fuel (energy) consumption involved in transporting food from a grocery store to the home and the energy an individual burns while undertaking exercise. This study will likely use a practice-based lens to observe WEF nexuses and will be located either in Newcastle or London.

London Domestic WEF Longitudinal Study

We intend on undertaking a longitudinal domestic WEF study of a number of dwellings in London (or another opportunistic location e.g. Cardiff). This study will examine whole-of-household WEF consumption for a number of households, each over several months. This study will aim to better understand the implications of domestic WEF nexuses over longer periods of time and how they differ in various dwelling dynamics (e.g. family household, shared household, couple household, single occupant household).

Imperial College London

Non-invasive water and energy sensing techniques for industrial settings

Through our first study and deployment. We realised that traditional non-invasive water and energy sensing technologies cannot be directly applied in industrial environments due to the safety issues. Therefore, we are now investigating new non-invasive sensing technologies. 

An outdoor large-scale end-to-end sensing solution

With the experience accumulated from the first winery deployment, we are now collaborated with other specialist to construct a sensing solution for outdoor precision agriculture, which help to further capture the WEF nexus in the wild. In this solution, new power harvesting equipment, water-proof casing and state-of-the art energy neutral operation (ENO) algorithm designs will be included to improve the quality of service and system sustainability. We aim to deploy this system in the Ridgeview vineyard in 2017.


First published: 20 October 2016