Energy Internet and eVehicles Overview

Governments around the world are wrestling with the challenge of how to prepare society for inevitable climate change. To date most people have been focused on how to reduce Green House Gas emissions, but now there is growing recognition that regardless of what we do to mitigate against climate change the planet is going to be significantly warmer in the coming years with all the attendant problems of more frequent droughts, flooding, sever storms, etc. As such we need to invest in solutions that provide a more robust and resilient infrastructure to withstand this environmental onslaught especially for our electrical and telecommunications systems.

Linking renewable energy with high speed Internet using fiber to the home combined with eVehicles and dynamic charging where vehicle's batteries are charged as it travels along the road, may provide for a whole new "energy Internet" infrastructure for linking small distributed renewable energy sources to users that is far more robust and resilient to survive climate change than today's centralized command and control infrastructure. For more details please see:

Using eVehicles for Renewable Energy Transportation and Distribution: and

Free High Speed Internet to the Home or School Integrated with solar roof top:

High level architecture of Internet Networks to survive Climate Change:

Architecture and routing protocols for Energy Internet

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Turning university campuses into "Living Labs of the Greener Future"

[Here is a great example of the type of detailed metering that campuses will need in order to convert saving in IT such as clouds and virtualization into additional funding for researchers and educators. Some excerpts from UCSD press release—BSA]

See also Educause paper on this subject:

A major step forward in turning university campuses into "Living Labs of the Greener Future" - UCSD's Energy Dashboard

UC San Diego Energy Dashboard to Help Campus Curb Appetite for Power

San Diego, March 29, 2010 -- After an extensive period of testing, researchers have launched an Internet portal to showcase the real-time measurement and visualization of energy use on the University of California, San Diego campus.


The UC San Diego Energy Dashboard ( allows users to see up-to-the-second information on a structure-by-structure basis for 60 of the largest buildings on the La Jolla campus. The data is provided by UC San Diego Physical Plant Services from over 200 energy meters providing energy usage at the building level. The portal also features information coming from roughly 40 individual power meters that measure energy consumption in the office, e.g., a computer and monitor drawing power from a single socket. A denser deployment of meters, which would measure and display individuals’ energy use, is currently under planning and development.

The Energy Dashboard grew out of a simple premise. “If you cannot measure energy use, you will not be able to make much headway in reducing your energy footprint,” said Yuvraj Agarwal, a Research Scientist in the Jacobs School of Engineering’s Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) department.

“Energy models of buildings are decades old, and nobody was looking to see if those were still valid,” added Agarwal, principal architect of the dashboard. “People tend to think that by shutting off the lights in an office, they’ve done their part for the environment. In fact, our measurements indicate that personal computers can account for almost 25 percent of energy consumption of a building, and most of the time, these PCs are turned on but are not actually in use. If you also include servers and data centers, the contribution of so-called IT equipment can be a staggering 50 percent of total baseline energy use, because a lot of the energy is used during nights and weekends when utilization for these PCs and servers tends to be very low.”

The tools available on the Energy Dashboard include real-time power measurement of the entire UCSD campus; energy consumption for each building; and power usage of individual devices such as PCs and servers that are plugged into electrical sockets in some CSE offices. The campus meters are all viewable by the public, but access to the individual meters is currently restricted to the owner of that meter (for privacy reasons).

The Web portal provides statistics updated at least once every minute on total power consumption, power generation, imports from San Diego Gas & Electric, and a comparison between power usage and production. (UC San Diego produces about 82 percent of its annual energy load using 1.2 megawatts of electricity from photovoltaic panels and a 30-megawatt natural gas-fired co-generation plant.) To locate energy-use data on each building, visitors to the Energy Dashboard can select the UC San Diego School of Medicine, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, or any of the university’s six undergraduate colleges (e.g., both the CSE Building and Atkinson Hall are located on the Warren College campus).

“According to some estimates, buildings account for roughly 70 percent of electrical power use in the United States and approximately 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions,” said Gupta, who is also the associate director of Calit2 on the UCSD campus. “UC San Diego is rapidly becoming an important testbed for technologies to improve energy efficiency, and the Energy Dashboard is an important step toward achieving that goal.”
The researchers were able to identify where peaks in energy consumption came from and the primary components of baseline energy use – including IT’s large energy drain even when computers were not in use (e.g., at night or on weekends when the computers are often left on, just in case the user ever wants to connect in remotely or they are running a background application that requires the machine to be powered on).
“Buildings with a large IT footprint can therefore reduce consumption significantly by decreasing their base energy load,” concluded Agarwal. “Our ability to look at energy use in fine detail gave us greater insight about how to reduce power consumption significantly in these campus buildings. To do that, you have to create effectively duty-cycled buildings.”
To improve the value of data in the UC San Diego Energy Dashboard, they are also working with a private company on a less expensive plug-level meter. Today individual meters that can monitor energy use remotely cost approximately $200 each; Agarwal thinks that if they can get that price down to the $30-$50 range, individuals wanting to track their own carbon footprint will be happy to invest in a meter that would transmit its real-time data to the Energy Dashboard, where the user would be able to use the portal’s tools to track their own usage – and even compare it to the energy profile of a colleague in the next office. “Working with a set of very creative and intelligent students, and leveraging their talent to address some of the energy issues of today, is also immensely satisfying since it feels like you are solving a real-world problem in the end,” said Agarwal. Among the graduate students working on the Energy Dashboard project: Ph.D. student Thomas Weng, a co-author on the November 2009* paper with Agarwal and Gupta.
According to Agarwal, his group is now working on an Energy Dashboard API that will make it possible for anyone at UC San Diego to integrate their own power meter into the dashboard and take advantage of its visualization and comparison features. In the longer term, the researchers are looking into ways to release the API to the larger community outside of UC San Diego, so that anyone with the appropriate energy meter can post, visualize and compare their energy use data on an externally available Energy Dashboard.
* “The Energy Dashboard: Improving the Visibility of Energy Consumption at a Campus-Wide Scale,” Yuvraj Agarwal, Thomas Weng, Rajesh Gupta, First ACM Workshop on Embedded Sensing Systems For Energy-Efficiency In Buildings, November 2009.
“Somniloquy: Augmenting Network Interfaces to Reduce PC Energy Usage,” Yuvraj Agarwal, Steve Hodges, James Scott, Ranveer Chandra, Paramvir Bahl, and Rajesh Gupta. In Proceedings of USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation (NSDI ’09), April 2009.
“SleepServer: A Software-Only Approach for Reducing the Energy Consumption of PCs within Enterprise Environments,” Yuvraj Agarwal, Stefan Savage, and R. Gupta.
To Appear at the USENIX Annual Technical Conference (USENIX '10), June 2010.
Doug Ramsey, 858-822-5825,

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