Skip to main content

Smart Homes and Buildings Research at the Energy Systems Integration Facility (Text Version)

This is a text version of the video "Smart Homes and Buildings Research at the Energy Systems Integration Facility."

So, the big promise of the smart home is to enhance your comfort and your convenience. And at the same time, allow us to save energy. So, we're doing the right thing, but we're also more convenient and more comfortable while we're doing it. When we walk into that home 20 to 25 years from now, it'll look and feel just like our homes today. We're not talking about the Jetsons future here. The core functionality of the smart home is this emerging integration of all of our systems that'll help us be more comfortable, save money, and be more connected.

This is sort of the new frontier in residential buildings, and now we have a great space to actually work and test things out.

We have the ability to bring in a wide variety of systems, different products from many different manufacturers, and test and evaluate how they interoperate with each other.

The lab was definitely built to be flexible so that we could change out any of these appliances at any point. They're all plugged in like you would normally see in your house. We have the electrical infrastructure that will stay. So, it really is intended to be as flexible as possible.

It's one of the aspects that really makes ESIF unique.

In the future energy system, our homes are gonna be connected to the grid. No other lab that's out there today offers the richness and the dynamics of the connection between the residential home and the internet of things approaches there with how the rest of the energy system is changing. No other laboratory allows us a present to simulate your real world environment with real data the way that ESIF does. It's a tremendous opportunity for us all to work together to accelerate that clean energy future.

We have a number of partners that we've been working with.

They're in effect using our ESIF here at NREL as a design studio to test different configurations of appliances, building designs, heating and cooling structures, to get at that optimum product that then they can offer to consumers in different parts of the country.

We're all learning something, and we're also moving the whole space forward. So, it's been a really fun space to work in.

And while we're improving peoples' comfort, while we're reducing costs, we'll also be able to use these devices in the homes to help increase the amount of renewable energy that can be put onto the grid. We'll be able to substantially improve our energy security and reliability. So, these big issues are really what excites me, and I'm just so passionate about working in this space because of this long-term impact that we'll be able to have. So, even though I as a homeowner will have one refrigerator, and one air conditioner, and one lighting control system, the collection of these across the whole country can make a really big impact.