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Solar Internet

Constraints based Interaction Design for the Solar Internet

As electricity consumption from the internet and connected devices increases, designers need to find paradigms for our media consumption. This project develops a constraints-based approach to interaction design, using the Solar Internet as a real and imagined context for our design work.

The Internet accounts for 9% of global electricity use and the share is expected to double by 2030. Every new system assumes growth and is driven by the assumption that electricity and the Internet will always be available.

This project explores the idea of ​​a solar-powered Internet as a platform to encourage more energy-conscious Internet use. By limiting energy use, a solar-powered Internet challenges the consumption patterns on which our interaction is based. During the winter and for every square meter of solar cells, a Swedish home can consume 50 MB of data per day. Such a limitation can communicate and visualize the resource costs of using the Internet, e.g. in terms of "sun hours" for various Internet services.

The project will develop a test bed with a solar powered web server, five websites, a new paradigm for interaction design based on energy constraints and a tool to evaluate Internet usage for intermittent energy supply. 

Team Members

  • Rob Comber (KTH)
  • Daniel Pargman (KTH)
  • Mike Hazas (Uppsala University)
  • Jorge Luis Zapico (LNU)
  • Björn Hedin (KTH)



Project Duration