Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley Receives Funding From DOE to Enhance Building Energy Efficiency-Silicon Valley Campus - Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley Receives Funding From DOE to Enhance Building Energy Efficiency

Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley’s Abraham Ishihara is the principal investigator for one of 10 awards from the U.S. Department of Energy in support of Smart Controllers for Smart Grid Applications. The award is part of an 18 million dollar investment supported by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Ishihara, a research faculty member at the Silicon Valley campus will direct the work, which is in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley scientist, Shahar Ben-Menahem, and Wattminder, Inc., a startup based in Sunnyvale, California.

“The primary goal of this project is to enhance the energy efficiency of building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV). Due to the diverse solar panel locations and orientations, influence of numerous environmental factors can significantly reduce performance and overall efficiency rendering the BIPV system economically infeasible. This project will develop online fault detection methods and an actionable alert messaging system for the building owners/operators in order to optimize performance and integration with the smart grid”, Ishihara said.

The smart grid is, loosely speaking, the entire gamut of technologies that enable the transmission and distribution of electricity. The smart grid market is projected to reach $100 billion by 2030. A key component to this growth is the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI). This project addresses AMI by developing a suite of algorithms to monitor and detect faults that may occur in the photovoltaic system.

“By alerting building owners/operators to the fault, intelligent decisions can be made to optimize demand response and increase energy efficiency”, Ishihara said.