San Francisco researchers help improve home energy management

Courtesy photoSami Rollins

Sami Rollins, an associate professor of computer science at the University of San Francisco is among the researchers from the school and the University of Arkansas who are investigating technology that could ease the burden of home energy management.

What is the purpose of this project? To study how people in off-grid homes manage the energy in their homes and to develop smart techniques for helping homeowners manage the energy in their homes.

What are you hoping this project will produce? The ultimate goal is to produce a system such that you could have in your house — measurement devices collecting information [about energy use] in a comprehensive way. Not only to provide access to that data, but to make smart recommendations — have the system run in the background, analyze the data and make recommendations.

Who will benefit most from your findings? We’re targeting people who live in completely off-grid homes. A lot of the techniques we’re discussing would likely be applicable to people who live in grid-tied homes — they’re connected to the regular utility grid, but also have solar panels. If your solar panels are generating energy you’re not using, you can sell it back to [the energy company]. Our system would provide smart recommendations.

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