Inventiveness, modifications, add-ons relatively incremental. In wood pellets 90% to 1-2 minor improve,ent categories. 75% in heat pumps.Ease of implementation, Wood pellet systems relatively easy to implement. Only 20% in the most difficult to implement categories. Surprisingly many ground source heat pump inventions were easy to implement but they didn't have any energy saving potential either.Diffusion potential
They were either useful for relatively specific locales, compromised the durability or reliability of the system in a manner that could be locally compensated for but would not suit all users, or combined different technologies in a manner that commercial manufacturers would not find appealing even when local benefits were obvious
What is (user) innovation?• Innovation according the Oslo Manual (OECD): Technological product and process (TPP) innovations comprise implemented technologically new products and processes and significant technological improvements in products and processes. A TPP innovation has been implemented if it has been introduced on the market (product innovation) or used within a production process (process innovation). TPP innovations involve a series of scientific, technological, organizational, financial and commercial activities.• User innovation: Innovation by consumer users (individual end-users or user communities) or intermediate users (e.g. user firms) rather than by suppliers (producers or manufacturers).
Lead User• von Hippel (1986) • Bilgram, Brem & Voigt (2008) – Ahead of an important market – Being ahead of a market trend trend – High expected benefit – Expect high benefits from – User investment innovating – User dissatisfaction – Speed of adoption – Use experience – Total period of use – Number of different disciplines – Product related knowledge• Belz, Dodita& Moysidou (2012) – Frequency of use of information – Social benefit sources – Professional background or hobby
This talk• What are our findings in user innovation research so far – What kind of innovations – What is the value of these innovations – What are the implications – How community helps to innovations to develop – How (some of these) innovations proliferate
User innovation in renewables• User innovation has been documented to occur in – Biomass heating systems and solar collectors in Austria (Ornetzeder and Rohracher, 2006) – Wind turbine cooperatives in Denmark (Jorgensen and Karnoe, 1995; Karnøe, 1996) – Energy efficient buildings in Germany (Ornetzeder and Rohracher, 2006 – Straw bale housing in the US (Seyfang, 2009)• Finland as a ―hard case‖ – No large producers—no ―supplier ecology‖ – Wide availability of district heating systems and low energy and electricity price backed by recent pro nuclear power decisions – Weak signs of renewable energy activism that could explain user inventiveness
What, where and how significantly usersinvent renewable energy technologies in residential homes?
Data & Methods• The main Finnish forums www.lampopumput.info, and www.maalampofoorumi.fi , www.pellettikeskustelu.fi – E.g. Heat pump forum (www.lampopumput.info): 202 875 posts, 12 700 threads by over 3943 registered users in 5 years, by Nov 2012 viewed over 55 000 000 times• Sampling: overview of all major categories by going through 40-100 thread headings and following 5-20 threads in detail per category• Coverage: Key threads such as those in ―own modifications and improvements‖ where user designs and alterations were centered, 1206 discussion threads in total• Semi-structured Interviews: – 30-120 minutes – 35 users – 5 companies• Analysis: posts and interviews coded for inventions, background, support given and received, learning, forum activities, development pathways,• Evaluation: The found user inventions by three experts
User inventions in Finland• 105 inventions in heat pumps• 87 in wood pellet burning systems• User system level designs• User modifications• User hacks, add-ons, relocating, repurposing
Air Heat Pump Diagram1-2 Installation location3 Installation conditions4-12 Melting mechanism of bottom cover13-16 Melting mechanism of collector outdoor coil17-20 Add-on for the outdoor unit21-26 Channelling of the water out of the unit27-30 Handling water outside of the unit31 Refrigerant fluid32-35 Hot water tank36 Water circulation37-51 Repurposing (air-to-air pump to air-to-water)52 Repurposing of air-to-air to geothermal pump53 Repurposing swimming pool HP to Air-to-water HP54 Repurposing of internal unit55 Utilization of cooled air from outdoor unit56-60 Add-on for internal unit61 Mechanical structure62-65 Sensors in internal unit66-75 Add-on for monitoring and controlling the overall system76-79 System level design
Ground Source Heat Pump Diagram1-8 Add-on for monitoring and controlling the overall unit performance9-12 Add-on for monitoring ground heat exchanger13-17 Coil location or modified use of coil and well18 System level design19-20 Water piping21-22 Well23 Add-on for control logic24-25 External hot water tank as add-on26 Heat distribution system
Wood Pellet Diagram 1-11 Burner 12-22 Pellet Boiler System 23-24 Burner Control 25-27 Pellet Auger 28-32 Cyclon 33-37 Indoor silo 38-46 Outdoor silo 47-51 Measurement 52-60 Automation 61 Exhaust gas vacuum 62 Hot water tank 63-86 Other pellet burning systems 87 Pellet Production
Summary of Innovation rating: 3 specialist reviewers Inventiveness Ease of Implementation Diffusion Potential Energy Saving Potential
Correlations• Inventive modifications were thus evaluated as more difficult to implement but had higher diffusion potential than incrementally inventive solutions.• The inventions that resulted in higher energy savings were also more difficult to implement and had less diffusion potential.
What, where and how significantlycitizens invent ?• In all three technologies users are able to invent in practically all parts and subsystems of the technology: capacity invent considerable• Few inventions new to the world, commercialized / widely proliferated• The most user inventors built solutions that had one or several facets that would have rendered them useless for mass producers of the systems• A reason for why these improvements have been neglected in mass products even when they give clear benefits to users• User inventiveness capitalizes on locally appropriable possibilities, where downsides do not matter, can be ignored or compensated locally• As elsewhere highly concentrated activity, less than 0.5 % involved in actively inventing and adopting modifications
Implications for Technology development• Examine the inventions from the perspective of what needs to be done to proliferate them to new local markets• Invite ‗lead-users‘ into ideation workshops to chart the future tech. development trends• Importance of modularity and adaptability for allowing tailoring
Supporting role of user run Internetforums in user innovation
Internet forums are used by corporatesto activate lead users to co-create andinnovate
Internet forums vs. innovative Internetforums“lämpöpumput.info is a rather conservative site and [it is]not nearly as welcoming and inventive as people in free-energy forum or pelletforum… [but] e.g. free-energy forumdoesn’t give much help for development work for there aretoo few folks in there”(an user inventor in AHP and wood pellets)
Deepening engagement• ―Thanks for clear information. In this area [ground circuit] it feels that when one grasps one thing, you just end up with further questions‖ (user, GHP forum)• ―Without this forum I would have faced huge problems with this unit. I doubt that I had proceeded building this further. It [forum] has been of great help.‖ (An inventive lead-user)• ―I have rather given more to the forum than taken from it, that‘s the direction‖…‖I have tried to instruct guys who do this (DIY project), especially in dimensioning so that they get it working and one does not go a too far a stray.‖ (This user is semi professional and currently making designs to small local heat pump manufacturer-reseller)
Getting the means needed: Exchanging parts,tools and services
How Internet Forums support citizeninventiveness • Forum size and diversity core to effective support; hinges on purchase and scaling support, troubleshooting, assembler and reseller presence etc. • Comparative data & Parts and services exchange: inadvertent support for innovative users • Learning environment within heat pump ecosystem for users, pro-ams and professionals alike; ―legitimate peripheral participation‖ (lave & wenger, 1991) • Boundary infrastructure (Bowker & Star, 1999) that allows multiple orientations to enter, legitimately co-exist vs. ―centrist‖ OSS. • Few citizen inventors ―born‖ but most ―grow‖ with others by learning deeper competences. • ―User runness‖, active segmenting moderation to retain quality, anonymity and multiple communication modes … easily knocked out as experimental environment. • Collective memory and encouragement.
Finnish User inventions in heat pumps – 4examples User Interaction arena Producer User-1: Ground Meeting source heat pump to a Relative‘s coolant applicance house without water SME central heating: Air heat pump inside unit as a convector. Idea of ‖GAHP‖ Internet forum On sale in Finland. User-2: Turning Air SME manufactures on Heat pump to Air Posted extensively at the order. water heat pump (at forum, DIY AWHP becomes 10-20% cost) popular hack among users User-3: AWHP Posted at the Forum function can be and news spreads logged and remote control with computer or cell phone. An Email discussion Producer X in China. addition to initial Product not in range. Idea revealed to a Chinese AWHP user design manufacturer as next to all primary HP manufacturing in User-4: Dual source China heat pump that uses ground source in the Producer Y in China in winter and air when Catalogue the same city. air warmer than Product added to selection ground. ‖DGAHP‖ (Alibaba.com)
von Hippels User innovationbookshttp://web.mit.edu/evhippel/www/books.htm
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