Miscellaneous and Electronic Loads Energy Efficiency Opportunities for Commercial Buildings: A Collaborative Study by the United States and India

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This report documents the technical evaluation of a collaborative research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) project that aims to address energy efficiency of Miscellaneous and Electronic Loads (MELs) (referred to as plug loads interchangeably in this report) using load monitoring and control devices. The goals of this project are to identify and provide energy efficiency and building technologies to exemplary information technology (IT) office buildings, and to assist in transforming markets via technical assistance and engagement of Indian and U.S. stakeholders. This report describes the results of technology evaluation and United States–India collaboration between the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), Infosys Technologies Limited (India), and Smartenit, Inc. (U.S.) to address plug-load efficiency. The conclusions and recommendations focus on the larger benefits of such technologies and their impacts on both U.S. and Indian stakeholders.

Since 2009, LBNL has conducted collaborative activities with Infosys to develop a smart plug strip that can monitor and perform intelligent control of individual outlets via a wireless and sensor network. The current technology platform allows building managers and occupants to monitor and control plug loads from their computers or handheld devices. Any enhancements through this technical evaluation of plug-load technologies would make the plug strip a hub for office environmental monitoring and control (e.g., temperature, lighting). Infosys has funded their internal product development costs and provided cost-share for this study. For the project described in this report, LBNL tested and evaluated the plug-load monitors and controllers and provided feedback to Infosys on the design and user interface and on the energy-efficiency impacts.

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