Students show how to heat, cool, watch TV electric bill-free
iPhone apps, Web used to manage, monitor consumption for Solar Decathlon
Computerworld - WASHINGTON -- The 20 suburban houses standing this week on the National Mall demonstrate the use of alternative energy systems. One of many interesting aspects of this government-sponsored project is how IT is used to manage and monitor energy consumption via iPhone apps and Web interfaces. The end results are remarkable.
Undergraduate students from Santa Clara University in Silicon Valley, for instance, have built a solar powered house that monitors and measures every aspect of energy generation and consumption. The house produces 150% more energy than it uses, making it a net supplier of electricity to the power company.
Along with solar energy and computerized management technologies, the houses created for the U.S. Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon put a lot emphasis on design aspects such as blinds and shades for directing light.
Some of the homes are costly, but mass production could make them affordable in many housing markets. Affordability only improves once the cost of living without an electric bill or the price of oil for a furnace is considered.
A Canadian team, for instance, made up of three universities, says it has built a house that can produce about double the amount of energy its occupants consume.
"I don't think people realize we can build that," said Lauren Barhydt, the team's program manager, and a graduate student in architecture at the University of Waterloo. Students from Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario, and Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia, are also involved.
The Canadian entry is designed for the snowy north and its physical appearance defies the conventional look of housing in cold climates. Its windows are floor to ceiling, creating a loft-like, cube shape, open structure.
Even more impressive is that the large windows are as sturdy as normal Canadian stud walls that prevent the escape of heat. The house also includes salt-hydrate packets under the floor that, with the help of sunlight directed by blinds, absorb heat and release it as the temperature cools. The construction includes solar panels on the side of the building so light can be captured light from low angles, another aspect conducive to northern climates, said Lauren.
Electric power is measured at every circuit through a branch circuit power meter by Schneider Electric. The solar systems are also monitored, as is hot water usage. An industrial computer by Beckhoff Automation manages the control system but also works with a Windows-based, touch-screen system, which has controls that are also accessible via an iPhone application.
From the iPhone, users can control lights, exterior shades, interior blinds, temperature and humidity. The app also inlcudes a switch that will retract the bed into the ceiling to create more floor space in this 800 square-foot house, the maximum size limit for any house in the biannual decathlon.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- The Critical Role of Support in Your Enterprise Mobility Management Strategy Most business leaders underestimate the importance of tech support when they choose an EMM solution. Here's what to put on your checklist.
- Separating Work and Personal at the Platform Level: How BlackBerry Balance Works BlackBerry® Balance™ separates work from personal on the same mobile device, right at a platform level. Find out how it can work for...
- Protection for Every Enterprise: How BlackBerry Security Works Get an IT-level review of BlackBerry® Security, addressing data leakage protection, certified encryption, containerization and much more.
- Future Focus: What's Coming in Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) Find out why Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solutions that are truly future-ready must be designed to enable Machine-to-Machine (M2M) capabilities and much more.
- Live Webcast On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Live Webcast Unmasking the Differences between Consumer and Enterprise File Sync & Share The consumerization of IT combined with the rapid pace of the modern mobile workplace is forcing enterprise IT teams to evaluate file sync...
- Live Webcast Workforce Mobilization for Improved Productivity A mobility research director from Aberdeen discusses reasons for extending legacy applications to mobile devices, and an integration strategist from Attachmate shows how...
- Getting Ready for BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.2 Find out how BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 helps organizations address the full spectrum of EMM challenges, while balancing the needs of both the...
- Containerization Options: How to Choose the Best DLP Solution for Your Organization This webcast outlines a framework for making the right choice when it comes to containerization approaches, along with the pros and cons of... All Mobile/Wireless White Papers | Webcasts