Insights and Early Results from the Pecan Street Consortium's Research on Residential Electricity, Gas and Water Usage

June 7, 2012 - 12:00pm
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Over the past two years, Pecan Street and the members of its University of Texas-based consortium have conducted nationally significant smart grid field trials focused on consumer products. Through these field trials, the Pecan Street Consortium has established:    the nation's deepest ever database of residential electricity and gas usage (managed on supercomputing systems at UT's Texas Advanced Computing Center (UT TACC)),  the nation's highest residential concentration of electric vehicles what appears to be the world's first research smart meter network installed at actual customer homes, with all meter data flowing into Pecan Street's database at UT TACC significant (33%) residential concentrations of south and west facing rooftop solar PV a diversity of commercial and early stage electricity, gas and water home energy monitoring systems    With these research assets in place, Pecan Street Consortium members are carrying out field testing and development of solutions blueprints and implementation guides in the consortium's focus areas of (1) big data, (2) customer side of the meter systems, (3) utility distribution systems, (4) electric vehicles and (5) data security and privacy.   Pecan Street is developing an unprecedented portrait of consumer behaviors and preferences and of how different types of retrofits, existing appliances and new products impact consumer behavior and home performance. In this discussion, Brewster McCracken from Pecan Street and John Thomas from Intel Labs will provide insights and early results from this real-world research testbed.   About Pecan Street Inc. Headquartered at The University of Texas at Austin, Pecan Street Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) smart grid research and commercialization consortium.  Pecan Street Inc. began operations in 2009 through seed funding from UT's Cockrell School of Engineering. Since then, the organization has provided over $6 million in direct funding to UT researchers and students. The organization is currently carrying out residential research trials through support from the U.S. Department of Energy, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and consortium member companies. In December 2011, industry journal Greentech Media ranked Pecan Street’s electric vehicle research trial as the nation’s  “top electric vehicle initiative” and Smart Grid News placed Pecan Street first in its ranking of Smart Grid “winners” for 2011. Pecan Street Consortium members are Best Buy, Freescale, Furukawa, Green Mountain Energy, Intel, Landis+Gyr, LG Electronics, Oncor, Oracle, Sony, SunEdison, Texas Gas Service and Whirlpool. Austin Energy also provides significant research support to the consortium and serves as the host utility for much of the consortium's ongoing research. Consortium member companies work with Pecan Street and University of Texas researchers on applied research and integrated consumer field trials.

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