ReDUCE Projects


Cyber-Enabled Efficient Energy Management of Structures (CEEMS)

Sponsor: National Science Foundation CNS-0931748

Cyber-Enabled Efficient Energy Management of Structures (CEEMS) concerns the sensing and control of energy flow in buildings, as enabled by cyber infrastructure. Energy is used for many activities in structures, including lighting, heating, cooling, and powering equipment. Coming changes in the way we generate and distribute electric energy will  complicate the control of energy usage in buildings, yet hold great promise to enable significant improvements in energy efficiency. These changes include the development of local sources of energy production (solar, fuel cells, or gas turbines), energy storage (hydrogen production, active thermal storage, or hybrid cars in parking lots), and grid interconnections (smart meters and smart grids).

Wind Turbine Management and Control

Sponsors: Department of Energy, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, National Science Foundation

Wind energy is a rapidly growing field, with installed capacity increasing at an annual average of 32% over the 2004-2008 time period, according to the American Wind Energy Association.  The 2008 increase in installed capacity over 2007 reached an astounding 50%.  Turbines continue to grow in size as well as number, presenting a myriad of engineering, atmospheric science, political, and economic challenges all ultimately geared toward reducing the cost of energy from wind.  Advanced controllers can contribute to this cost reduction in two primary ways.  First, controllers that increase efficiency, and thus energy capture, with little or no increase in cost directly decrease the cost per unit energy.  Second, advanced controllers can reduce fatigue and extreme loads, thus allowing the components to be made less expensively or increasing the lifetimes of the components and turbine structures.  Both types of advanced controllers are under investigation by CSM researchers and colleagues at partner institutions.

Process Control for Low-Cost Electrochromic Film on Plastic

Sponsor: ITN Energy Systems/Department of Energy

Electrochromic windows have the ability to darken or lighten in response to an electric signal, and if broadly used in buildings they would have the potential to greatly cut back cooling costs by reducing the amount of radiant energy entering the building. Unfortunately, with current manufacturing processes, electrochromic windows remain too expensive for widespread use. With support from the Department of Energy, ITN Energy Systems of Littleton CO is developing a low cost manufacturing process based on a wide-web, continuous processing sputtering systems. CSM is working with ITN Energy Systems on the control systems for this process, as repeatable processes with good cross-web uniformity are key to high yields, and thus low cost manufacturing.