UMBC Professors Nirmalya Roy (IS), Nilanjan Banerjee (CSEE), and Ryan Robucci (CSEE) have been awarded a $500K National Science Foundation Cyber-physical Systems Grant to develop sensing systems that can automate energy consumption and wastage estimation in low income homes in Baltimore.
Electricity usage of buildings, including offices, malls and residential apartments, represents a significant portion of a nation’s energy expenditure and carbon footprint. Buildings are estimated to consume 72% of the total electricity production in the US. Unfortunately, however, 30% of this energy consumption is wasted. Energy assessment is an approach that can optimize building energy efficiency and minimize waste at a low cost with minimal expert intervention. A virtual energy assessment includes a thorough and near real time analysis of different sources of building energy usage, individualized energy footprints of load appliances and devices, and proactive identification of energy holes.
The three-year project, Low-cost Continuous Virtual Energy Audits in Cyber-Physical Building Envelope, will build a low cost solution that combines the use of non-intrusive single point energy monitoring and low cost sensors to provide continuous energy assessment reports to residential users or landlords. The system will be deployed in low-income neighborhoods in Baltimore, Maryland, where poor insulation problems are assumed to be a problem and low cost solutions to determining these issues is important for the landlords.
The award was part of a highly competitive Breakthrough solicitation from the NSF Cyber-Physical Systems program in which only 5%-8% of the grant proposals were recommended for awards this year.