Michigan Technology and Innovation University has made a $1 million investment in an energy efficiency technology developed by the university, the university announced.
The technology, called SmartSense, uses infrared sensors to monitor and measure how heat and light are distributed in the environment.
The goal of SmartSense is to reduce energy use by at least 40 percent in residential and commercial buildings and increase efficiency.
SmartSense has been approved for commercial deployment by the Michigan Energy and Environment Protection Agency and is scheduled to be fully deployed by 2020.
“SmartSense is a groundbreaking, new energy efficiency system that has the potential to reduce electricity consumption by up to 40 percent by 2050,” said Michigan Technology Director Chris Schulz.
“It will be a transformative technology that will change the way people live, work and play, and we are excited to be working with the university to bring this technology to market.”
SmartSense uses infrared sensor technology that can measure heat and UV radiation in the atmosphere and transmit this information to sensors on the outside of buildings.
This information is then used to generate energy that is used to power appliances and equipment, which can reduce energy costs by 20 percent or more in the process.
Smart Sense was developed by University of Michigan Professor Paul Ehrlich and his team.
Ehrleich, who was previously the vice president for energy and environmental sustainability at General Electric Co., said SmartSense will be one of the biggest contributions to reducing energy use in the future.
“This is the most innovative energy saving system I’ve seen,” Ehrlein said.
“You’re not just paying the electricity bill, you’re saving energy.”
The University of Detroit Mercy has also been selected as a partner in SmartSense.
SmartSensing technology is being used in buildings across the United States, and the University of North Dakota is also working with SmartSense to develop a smart grid that can manage the energy of the local grid and power the campus.
Michigan Tech University is one of several Michigan universities to have signed on to the SmartSense Initiative.
Other partners include the University at Buffalo, the University College of Michigan, the U.S. Army, the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the United Kingdom’s Oxford University.
For more information, visit www.michigandtech.edu/smartsensing.