Mobile heat technology helping to save energy

2015-02-02 16:14


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - A Boston company has come up with a new and efficient way for homeowners to save money on energy costs, a timely innovation given the impact of this week's snow storms in the northeast US.

The company is using a newly developed technology that can map heat signatures for entire cities in matter of days, generating data that could potentially produce billions in energy savings.

On a cold wintry night in Cambridge Massachusetts, an SUV equipped with state-of-the-art sensor technology is roaming the streets. Outside it's near pitch black, but the laptop screens operating inside are glowing with colours showing the heat signature of each house the car passes by.

Sanjay Sarma, a professor of mechanical engineering at MIT, says those vivid colours represent a lot more than heat.

"What you should really see is dollar bills flying out of the building. That is really what is happening, you are just throwing away dollar bills, they are just flying out. And we can grab those dollar bills and return them to the consumer."

To catch all that money, Sarma set up a company called Essess. The company has developed technology which can generate an accurate heat loss analysis for a home in a matter of seconds.

Tom Scaramelino, CEO, Essess said that, "what the system is really designed for is simply to measure heatflow against the building facade in as accurate a manner as possible such that we can really deliver actionable advice around what improvements to make in the home from an energy savings stand point."

He says this scan technology accomplishes in a short drive-by what used to take hours using conventional scanning techniques.

To make that possible Sarma and his team fitted a car with infrared cameras to sense heat, conventional cameras for orientation, a LIDAR sensor which uses lasers to measure depth and map the surroundings and a GPS to pinpoint location. Sarma says it would take a human months to analyse the terabytes of raw sensor data produced by his technology, but he and his team have also developed machine learning algorithms, which he says can produce results in minutes.

The potential of the technology says Scaramelino, is enormous. "We have more than 130 million homes in this country. With our system we can scan all of those homes."

"You can use this technology really as a sort of intelligence gathering mechanism for our surroundings. To see what is working and what is not. It is a way to make cities more efficient, buildings more efficient, infrastructure more efficient."

Sarma says more efficient infrastructure is good for the environment as well, another reason he says his technology is a hot tool... even in the dead of winter.

Read more on:    us  |  energy  |  technology

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.