New Energy Management Technologies for Intelligent Buildings

EPFL scientists are developing a new concept of a smart building that adjusts to your lifestyle, by allowing you to control your preferences. The Internet of Things (IoT) involves monitoring your overall energy consumption by networking together all of your devices. The EPFL team is using the IoT to redefine the idea of the smart building by putting the user's comfort at the core of the system. You, the user, can control your own comfort – temperature, humidity, and lighting – in careful balance with how much energy you consume and how much is available from the power grid. Their concept of a smart building has three components. The first consists of electronics that would have to be integrated into all of the building's appliances and plugs. The electronics make each appliance intelligent, first by adding control-at-a-distance, but also by collecting data about how you use a specific appliance. The second component is the user interface, with a built-in learning mechanism: the interface allows you to control your appliance, while learning about your energy habits and preferences. The third is the building, as a whole, and how it interacts with the environment and its energy demands for intelligent management with the grid.