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Smart Buildings

Yarnell Station research house

Oak Ridge National Laboratory is researching advanced wireless sensor technologies, building energy modeling, communications and control, and energy optimized solutions for buildings of the future. Researchers work with transactive controls to improve energy efficiency by developing new building technologies and creating software that leverages data from internet-connected residential appliances to enhance energy management. ORNL is a research partner for Smart Neighborhoods in Alabama and Georgia. The 62-home Alabama neighborhood demonstrates transactive energy by evaluating power sources and choosing the most efficient and economical resource. The homes are connected to a microgrid that can function independently or in conjunction with the main electrical grid. ORNL has deployed an open source, secure platform that interacts with the homes’ heating, ventilation and air-conditioning and water heating systems. The Georgia neighborhood features 46 multiple story townhomes powered by solar and battery energy. ORNL has deployed a home energy optimization platform to schedule each townhome’s major appliances, in coordination with solar and batteries and a residential microgrid, to minimizes costs while optimizing the homeowner’s comfort.