Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Application of smartphone technology to economic and environmental analysis of building energy conservation strategies

Date:
November 16, 2012
Source:
Taylor & Francis
Summary:
They can help us pass the time, socialize and yes, even work, but can smartphones also help us save the planet? A new article suggests they can.

They can help us pass the time, socialize and yes, even work, but can smartphones also help us save the planet? A paper recently published in the International Journal of Sustainable Energy suggests they can.

Four researchers from Canada, Patrick Leslie, Joshua M. Pearce, Rob Harrap and Sylvie Daniel, investigated how smartphones could be used in energy 'audits', designed to help householders adopt energy conservation measures (ECMs) to reduce emissions, conserve resources and reduce operating costs.

Traditionally, energy audits are undertaken by trained staff who travel from house to house, burning lots of petrol on the way. Their audits tend to focus on heating and cooling, and ignore other energy-thirsty devices, such as appliances. As the authors note, householders don't often lack the ability to make the energy-saving changes the auditors suggest, 'but the ability to recognize which changes are possible and which have the largest potential to reduce energy use'. The vast majority of homes will also never have such an audit. Enter the smartphone.

Rather than waiting for an audit, the authors suggest that if suitable software could be created, householders could perform their own with their smartphones. Much of the technology needed already exists: phone sensors can take pictures for reports, act as crude light meters or confirm a variety of measurements; GPS data is already available for a wide range of applications. Even existing technology could analyze users' appliances, provide the energy-efficiency rankings of similar homes, and give breakdowns of current energy use.

The authors envisage an intuitive tool with which an untrained user would be able to choose their house type, energy source and payment method, choose an ECM and input data as instructed. For example, a user might provide the type and number of light fittings in their home, then receive suggestions for energy-saving replacements in real time; as technology developed, the range of tasks that could be performed by smartphone would grow.

A smartphone could also 'push' users to make changes when conditions are right, for example, when a federal rebate or cheaper tariff was available. Unlike the traditional 'one-off' audit, this system 'has the potential to keep users actively involved and constantly engaged with the energy efficiency of their homes'.

Smartphone audits aren't perfect, the authors admit, crucially lacking a 'blower door test' to measure how well a home is sealed, so some alternatives would need to be found. A smartphone-based system would also require changes to subsidy programs in many jurisdictions.

But by far the biggest advantage of the smartphone-based energy auditing system is the high potential for accelerated energy and emissions savings. In their Southern Ontario case-study area alone, the researchers estimated that it would take auditors 55 years to cover all 157,000 dwellings in the current fashion. With smartphone technology, all the homes could, in theory, be audited simultaneously, allowing homeowners to make ECMs much sooner; cumulative carbon-dioxide savings from smartphones would surpass those from traditional audits in 13 to 17 years, even with conservative assumptions. In Canada, residential buildings account for 16.3% of total energy use, so the implications for vast energy savings throughout the smartphone-using world, as outlined in this innovative article, are immense.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Taylor & Francis. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Patrick Leslie, Joshua M. Pearce, Rob Harrap, Sylvie Daniel. The application of smartphone technology to economic and environmental analysis of building energy conservation strategies. International Journal of Sustainable Energy, 2012; 31 (5): 295 DOI: 10.1080/1478646X.2011.578746

Cite This Page:

Taylor & Francis. "Application of smartphone technology to economic and environmental analysis of building energy conservation strategies." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121116124419.htm>.
Taylor & Francis. (2012, November 16). Application of smartphone technology to economic and environmental analysis of building energy conservation strategies. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121116124419.htm
Taylor & Francis. "Application of smartphone technology to economic and environmental analysis of building energy conservation strategies." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121116124419.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts

New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts

AP (July 21, 2014) New Orleans is the first U.S. city to participate in a large-scale recycling effort for cigarette butts. The city is rolling out dozens of containers for smokers to use when they discard their butts. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

AP (July 21, 2014) A rise in shark sightings along the shores of Chatham, Massachusetts is driving a surge of eager vacationers to the beach town looking to catch a glimpse of a great white. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spectacular Lightning Storm Hits London

Spectacular Lightning Storm Hits London

AFP (July 19, 2014) A spectaCular lightning storm struck the UK overnight Friday. Images of lightning strikes over the Shard and Tower Bridge in central London. Duration: 00:23 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
A Centuries' Old British Tradition Is Far from a Swan Song

A Centuries' Old British Tradition Is Far from a Swan Song

AFP (July 19, 2014) As if it weren't enough that the Queen is the Sovereign of the UK and 15 other Commonwealth realms, she is also the owner of all Britain's unmarked swans. Duration: 02:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins