‘Expert in a suitcase’ Cuts Power Bills 10% in Small Commercial Buildings

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The trust and imagination of a seasoned appetite potency veteran has been packaged into a high-tech suitcase.

The Sensor Suitcase is a unstable box that contains easy-to-use sensors and other apparatus that make it probable for anyone to brand energy-saving opportunities in tiny blurb buildings. The programmed and reusable complement combines hardware and program in one package so a users can brand cost-effective measures that save tiny blurb buildings about 10 percent on their appetite bills.

Image credit: Andrea Starr/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Jointly grown by dual Department of Energy labs, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, a Sensor Suitcase has been protected by dual companies that devise to yield products or services formed on a technology. The licensees are GreenPath Energy Solutions and Cultural Quotient.

“Most tiny blurb building owners trust it costs too many to make their comforts significantly some-more appetite efficient,” pronounced scientist Michael Brambley, who led PNNL’s growth team. “But a Sensor Suitcase complement can change that. It helps someone with minimal training collect and automatically routine building data, that a complement uses to beget specific recommendations to urge appetite efficiency. The U.S. could revoke a inhabitant appetite costs by about $5.1 billion if all tiny blurb buildings used this technology.”

Implementing appetite potency measures in tiny blurb buildings has been notoriously difficult, pronounced automatic operative Jessica Granderson, who led Berkeley Lab’s growth team.

“The genuine creation is in a streamlining,” pronounced Granderson, who is also a emissary executive of Berkeley Lab’s Building Technology and Urban Systems Division. “It’s kind of like a ‘for dummies’ chronicle of how to brand improvements in your building. Instead of employing a veteran operative to control a full appetite evaluation, we could get usually about anyone to do it.”

The Sensor Suitcase is designed to revoke appetite use in existent buildings by anticipating ways to urge a proceed they operate, a use energy-efficiency professionals call “retro-commissioning.” Large blurb buildings mostly have a resources indispensable for retro-commissioning, while smaller buildings with 50,000 block feet or reduction don’t. PNNL and Berkeley Lab grown a Sensor Suitcase to overcome that hurdle.

How it works

Inside a container lay 16 pocket-sized sensors that can magnitude 3 things: temperature, either lights are on or off, and how a heating and cooling complement is operating. Users follow transparent instructions from a Sensor Suitcase’s operations software, that runs on a apart tablet, to implement sensors inside a building.

About a month later, users accumulate a sensors and lapse them to a suitcase, that users afterwards bond to a personal mechanism so they can send a collected appetite data. The system’s singular methodical program is used to automatically break a sensor data, expelling a need to sinecure a veteran to manually plot, check and appreciate data.

The final outcome is a news that identifies problems (such as extreme lighting), recommends low- and no-cost ways to repair problems (such as installing occupancy sensors that spin lights on usually when a room is being used), and provides estimated cost assets for addressing any problem.


The Sensor Suitcase complement focuses on 8 of a many common and cost-effective areas to urge appetite potency in tiny blurb buildings. As a result, it can assistance building owners save about two-thirds of a appetite that can be saved with a normal proceed to retro-commissioning, that requires a hands-on labor of several energy-efficiency professionals, who are mostly engineers. Conducting a normal retro-commissioning comment takes 6 months or longer, while doing a same comment with a Sensor Suitcase takes 4 to 6 weeks and costs about a third of normal retro-commissioning services.

Small building owners can buy and use a Sensor Suitcase themselves, though it will expected be some-more unsentimental for them to sinecure an outward association that provides services formed on a technology. Additionally, utilities could lend a record to blurb building-owning business or differently inspire a use. Though a Sensor Suitcase is dictated for tiny blurb buildings, it could also be used to addition appetite retrofits during vast blurb buildings.

Heading to a market

GreenPath Energy Solutions of Orlando, Fla., a provider of energy-efficient building solutions, will offer both a product and services with a Sensor Suitcase technology. The association helps trickery managers and building owners control their operational, appetite and trickery costs by providing appetite auditing, retro-commissioning and program solutions. GreenPath skeleton to marketplace a product and services to federal, state and internal governments by a GSA Schedule agreement with a General Services Administration.

Cultural Quotient of Arlington, Va., will offer a product formed on a technology. As a partner with a production organisation Zepher, Inc., of Bingen, Wash., a association will make and sell a product. CQ Corporation is also partnered with a Chicago-based nonprofit Invent2026 to sell CQ’s Sensor Suitcase-based product to internal and state supervision entities in a Midwest, as many tiny businesses franchise or occupy internal government-owned buildings

Both licenses are non-exclusive, definition a Sensor Suitcase record is also accessible for other companies to license.

PNNL and Berkeley Lab jointly grown a Sensor Suitcase concept, with PNNL focusing on a technology’s hardware and inscription program and Berkeley Lab focusing on a analytics software. DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory helped emanate a technology’s sensors for a second prototype. The technology’s growth was upheld by DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

Source: LBL

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