Visualizing home performance data

Seeing a month of home performance data isn’t easy. If you’re looking for patterns it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack.

Hourly data becomes too dense at more than a day. Day data is also a bit dense when viewing a month. Viewing usage, solar, net, indoor and outdoor temperatures all on the same chart also becomes too dense.

I decided to try a few different methods to visualize a month of home performance data. My main desire was to find the coldest days, or the days with the most sun, or the days of highest usage. The calendar heat map does a good job helping me find the answers to those questions. I can choose different data series, and click on a day to view the hourly data in the line chart.  You can also click on the chart legend to hide or show a series of data.

I’d like to take the heat map a step farther and combine questions. What were the coldest days with the smallest total usage? I’d also like to narrow the time ranges within a day. What hours do we tend to use the most energy? I’d like to plot the same time frame for multiple days to compare performance. Since we now can track our major appliances, I’d like to chart those for comparison over time.

In the meantime, if you’d like to take a peek at the first prototype, I’ve uploaded it to netplusdesign.com. Please note, I’m not a developer, so it is guaranteed not to work on all browsers. I’ve only tested it on the latest versions of Safari and Firefox on the Mac, and the iPhone 4S and iPad 2. Tell me what you think in the comments.

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