Source: MIT Technology Review
A smart thermostat driven by cloud data analytics from startup EcoFactor will shave peak demand and improve efficiency year round.
A deal between startup EcoFactor and a Nevada utility shows the potential of coupling data analytics with smart thermostats to make the grid more efficient and reliable.
NV Energy plans to install 10,000 smart thermostats at homes in Las Vegas area for its demand response program to cut the power load on the grid during peak times. As with other demand-response programs, consumers receive a discount for agreeing to let the utility raise air conditioner temperature settings during very hot days.
What sets this apart from most other utility demand-response programs is EcoFactor’s cloud-based data analytics software. In addition to controlling thermostats during peak events, which occur only during the hottest days of the year, the software will make minor adjustments to thermostats all year round. By analyzing consumer actions and individual building performance, EcoFactor says it can lower heating and cooling load by 13 percent on average.
The company’s software continually gathers data from the thermostat, such building temperature, local weather and when consumers adjust settings. Based on an analysis of the data, it sends out instructions to the thermostat to improve efficiency. The thermostat communicates with the home WiFi network and EcoFactor connects to the thermostat over a home broadband connection.