Space Age IoT Technology for Energy Management and Fault Prediction

Usually, NASA is the developer of new technology; this time it’s a beta tester. NASA’s Ames Research Center contains one of the most energy-efficient federal buildings, a LEED Platinum facility called Sustainability Base. It was designed to have a minimal environmental footprint, including ample daylighting throughout the building, passive cooling, water conservation technology, renewable energy generation, and an intelligent building automation system (BAS). Sustainability Base Although the BAS can monitor and control central devices like lights, pumps, and HVAC units, it can’t tell if those systems are working at peak efficiency, nor can it detect electrical anomalies that could indicate impending unit failure. Verdigris Technologies was developing an IoT energy monitoring system that uses clamp-on current sensors to detect individual devices turning on and off, and a sophisticated signal processing algorithm that identifies the device and analyzes its electrical “signature” to detect potential faults. Verdigris had several prototypes that were tested in-house but wanted to see how they performed in a more rigorous setting with a wider variety of equipment. Through a nonreimbursable Space Act Agreement, Verdigris installed its equipment at no cost to NASA, allowing NASA to optimize Sustainability Base while Verdigris put its product line through the paces.…


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