Towards Self-Managing Energy Systems in Buildings

Principal Investigator’s Organization (PIO):

Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Lahore

Principal Investigator (PI):

Dr. Naveed Arshad, Dr. Jahangir Ikram

Summary

With global warming and impending scarcity of fossil fuel; cleaner sources and better utilization of energy has been considered as a major goal for future technology advancements and research. To this end, many governments worldwide are working on a new energy infrastructure commonly known as “The Smart Grid”. A smart grid is envisioned to better manage the processes of energy generation, transmission and distribution. A smart grid allows two-way communications between all the stakeholders including the producers, distributors and consumers in the energy value-chain, thus providing ample new opportunities to produce, distribute and consume energy in more intelligent ways. Buildings such as houses, offices and other structures are the biggest consumers of energy. According to a study out of all consumers of energy in most developed countries 37% of energy is consumed by buildings. This is ahead of energy consumption in industrial sector which consumes 28% and transportation sector which consumes 32%. Due to smaller industrial and transport sectors, the percentage of energy usage of buildings in developing countries is even more. Therefore, the conservation of energy, and using alternate cleaner sources of energy in buildings is cited as a major step towards solving the energy shortage problems faced by the developing countries such as Pakistan. In fact, Energy conservation has been cited as the ‘most important fuel’ in energy generation. Energy conservation in buildings is only possible if the energy usage is known in real time. With this information one could plan the energy usage thereby reducing energy consumption and saving bills. Moreover, if the heavy duty devices could be controlled in an automated way then more energy could be conserved by adjusting the usage of these devices automatically. Another possibility is to use low-powered alternate energy sources such as solar cells and wind turbines in buildings to reduce the dependence on energy purchased from power companies. With this proposal we are aspiring to develop a system that is capable of conserving energy usage in buildings. However, this conservation does not mean load shedding as well as any other optimization method that in any way interferes with the normal day to day life of the building occupants. The project was carried out to investigate energy efficiency and renewable energy integration in the existing electricity systems of common buildings such as houses or office. The major goal was to develop low cost solutions for energy efficiency and maximal utilization of renewable energy through hardware/software interfaces. In this regard, the team developed software tool called PCAT to monitor and control energy utilization in buildings. With this software there is an intelligent module known as Smarti to automatically control the energy utilization. The Smarti uses an algorithm called ColorPower 2.0 that allows the users to specify devices preferences. Additionally, in SESB we have developed an indigenous implementation of a meshed Home Areas Network (HAN) to control the devices from PCAT.

Start Date 18-Aug-2011

Duration 26 months + 2 months extension

Budget PKR 12.95 million

Status  Closed Project

Progress Report View Progress Report

Publications   N/A

Thematic Area  Engergy

Project Website 
N/A