Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Singaporean Professor Develops Energy-saving Algorithm

A researcher at Singapore's Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has developed a new technology that provides real-time detection, analysis, and optimization data that could potentially save a company 10 percent on its energy bill and lessen its carbon footprint.

The technology is an algorithm that primarily relies on data from ubiquitous devices to better analyze energy use. The software uses data from computers, servers, air conditioners, and industrial machinery to monitor temperature, data traffic and the computer processing workload. Data from these already-present appliances are then combined with the information from externally placed sensors that primarily monitor ambient temperature to analyze energy consumption and then provide a more efficient way to save energy and cost.

The energy-saving computer algorithm was developed by NTU's Wen Yonggang, an assistant professor at the School of Computer Engineering's Division of Networks & Distributed Systems. Wen specializes in machine-to-machine communication and computer networking, including looking at social media networks, cloud-computing platforms, and big data systems.

Most data centers consume huge amount of electrical power, leading to high levels of energy waste, according to Wen's website. Part of his research involves finding ways to reduce energy waste and stabilize power systems by scaling energy levels temporally and spatially.

Wen's technology has been licensed by Evercomm Singapore, an energy startup founded by Nanyang Technological University graduates.

“By combining the software algorithm with hardware sensors, we can find out exactly how much cooling a room needs, whether there is an oversupply of cooling and so adjust the air flow and temperature to achieve the best balance,” Ted Chen, co-founder and product architect at Evercomm Singapore, said in a statement. He has been working with Wen to commercialize the energy-saving algorithm through Evercomm Singapore. The company is looking to use the technology in high-energy industrial spaces like housing developments, data centers, server farms, and power grids.

The algorithm can provide savings as high as 10 percent, according to a Nanyang Technological University press release. However, during a preliminary study, the Nanyang Technological University Green Datacentre saved only five percent on its monthly electricity, the same amount of energy savings Evercomm Singapore promises using only already-present devices without deploying external sensors.

-Clinton Parks

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