On January 4, 2007, CITRIS professors and researchers attended Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s inaugural celebrations and participated in “Leading the Green Dream.” Under a large tent, dozens of participants, including four from CITRIS@Berkeley, presented their research on environmental causes. The four projects from CITRIS were:
Alternating Current (AC) current sensor and energy scavenger, Professor David Auslander and Project Coordinator Alex Do
A part of the UC Berkeley Demand Response project, this demonstration showed a miniature device based on a permanent magnet and a piezoelectric cantilever (“diving board”) that works when placed near an insulated AC circuit. The next step of this research is to embed tiny sensors with radio transmitters into the cables attached to major appliances so that consumers can monitor their electricity consumption and determine the impact on their electricity bill.
Smart Thermostats, Professor David Auslander and Project Coordinator Alex Do
Also part of the UC Berkeley Demand Response project, this demonstration showed how new sensors, wireless communications, and microprocessor technology has enabled the development of “Smart Thermostats” the next generation of thermostats, which allows consumers to monitor the pricing of energy to major appliances in their homes and purchase it accordingly, saving the State and individuals millions of dollars a year.
Small portable MEMS-based monitors for airborne particle matter, Professor Richard White
Approximately the size of a fat ballpoint pen, this sensor which could ultimately be coupled to a cellphone measures the concentration of particulates such as those found in diesel exhaust and environmental tobacco smoke and can be used for monitoring local air quality. The project is funded by the California Air Resources Board.
Solasure Lindsay Miller
This student project showcased an affordable, easy-to-use wireless device that equips potential solar power users with information about how well solar panels would perform at their site. SolaSure wirelessly transmits real-time data from a solar cell to a computer and graphs the power output. The data obtained from such a device could be used to help implement California’s Million Solar Roofs Initiative.
Wireless Lighting Controls/Adura Technologies Zach Gentry
Adura Technologies, a spin-off from CITRIS energy efficiency research, has developed a cost-effective approach to providing improved control of lighting in commercial buildings that can reduce lighting energy consumption by 50 percent. By empowering individuals to control their working environment, the technology can reduce the aggregate energy use in office buildings.
Arch Rock Corporation Malay Thaker
This new company, a spin-off from CITRIS technology, will allow all of the new sensing, control, and smart-energy technology to reside on wireless network infrastructure. This company is building the next generation of wireless networks.