I-SAVE could reduce your energy usage, save you cash (w/ video)

Mar 11, 2011 by Katie Gatto weblog

(PhysOrg.com) -- We all want to decrease our energy consumption. That does not mean that we want to spend all of our time and energy thinking about it. This is where a good feedback system can come in handy. They can give you an idea of how you are doing with your energy use. The use of real-time monitors, that give consumers feedback on the real effects of their energy usage, in the market has been shown to create an energy savings of between 2-11 %. That percentage does vary based on the design of the interface, data access issues that range from too limited of data to too much and a lack of understanding of the behavior of consumers.

A group of Architectural Engineering students at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln, Under the supervision of Assistant Professor Moe Alahmad, are working on developing a real-time monitor and controller system that will allow you to turn off all the devices you have on that are just wasting power, with the press of one button, making saving power more convenient. The system will be called I-SAVE.

The system works by adding a single sensor to your home. The I-SAVE then analyses where power is being used and, with a little bit of help from the user, figure out what devices are in each room, and when they can be turned off and on. That user input is an important part of the process since it ensures that the system will not accidentally turn off your refrigerator during the night, or your bathroom lights during a shower, both of which could have unpleasant consequences.

If you are interested in learning more about the device check out PBS' Planet Forward competition, I-SAVE is in the running.

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