Researchers led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley, CA, USA) researcher Philip Haves have won a $1.9 m ARPA-E grant to develop a system to help reduce the energy consumption of commercial buildings.
Haves, leader of Berkeley Lab's Environmental Energy Technologies Division (EETD) Simulation Research Group, will lead a project to develop computer hardware for generating 3-D physical and thermal maps of the interiors of buildings using cameras and laser scanners.
The cameras and scanners will be mounted on a backpack. A person wearing the instrument package will walk through the rooms in a building to make a video of it from which a digital model will be generated on a computer.
The models will help identify how buildings could be made more energy efficient, as well as to ensure that any improvements that are made are performed correctly and are delivering the expected energy savings.
Berkeley Lab's team is collaborating with UC Berkeley (Berkeley, CA, USA) Professor Avideh Zakhor, who leads the video and image processing lab in the electrical engineering and computer science department, and Oliver Baumann of Ebert & Baumann Consulting Engineers (Washington, DC, USA).
The image processing techniques and the prototype backpack have been developed by Zakhor's group.
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-- Dave Wilson, Senior Editor, Vision Systems Design