Fall 2010 IAB
September 15 to 17

Paul Wright, Director, Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS)


Social Impact of Low-Cost MicroIntegrated Wireless Sensor Nodes

Over the next decade fundamental research on sensors, energy-scavenging and micro-storage will be combined with low-power radio research to model, design and prototype a new generation of "motes" that are considerably smaller and cheaper. We expect these will be commercially viable for a variety of Energy Efficiency and Smart Infrastructure monitoring and control. For example, Berkeley's "Demand Response" project funded by the California Energy Commission has the goal of increasing energy efficiency in California by using wireless-based technologies that monitor energy use and lower it when prices or demand are high. This automatic load reduction will avoid rolling blackouts in California's summer heat. In comparison with 'business as usual' this will reduce the need for an estimated 10 additional power plants by 2013. Consequently, it is estimated that this will save $10 billion in California's energy costs and nine million metric tons of carbon . PG&E has recently begun installation of their "Smart Meter," - an effort related to our research. It is likely that the eleven million homes in California will be outfitted with smart, indoor thermostats. These will be made by collaborators - possibly BSAC collaborators -- on the basic research now being done by our CITRIS/COE/Architecture multi-disciplinary group. Final devices (made by industry from our basic research) will contain small cheap radios that can receive emergency signals and up-to-date price information from the utility company to drive more efficient energy usage.