Members of the development team around the world receive updates on the solar energy house as a series of short Twitter messages, or ‘Tweets’. The numeric message consists of a string of temperature and solar energy level measurements that can be transferred from Twitter to a spreadsheet.
Peter Kruger, founder of theEnergyCrowd.com, commenting on the use of Twitter to disseminate results from the solar energy house, said: "We see the way this current research project is structured as being as important as the technology being developed. We believe that crowd-sourced based research has a key role to play in the energy market and that its growth will be driven by the increasing availability of social networking and collaborative software."
As well as applying Twitter as an engineering communications tool, theEnergyCrowd are also using the MindMeister collaborative online mind mapping service to develop and evaluate new alternative energy technologies.