A Building Technologies Office (BTO)-supported technology won a 2018 R&D 100 Award, recognizing it as one of the 100 most exceptional innovations worldwide in science and technology over the past year. The technology, called foreseeTM, received the award at a gala ceremony on November 16, 2018. Awardees are selected each year by an independent panel of judges based on the technical significance, uniqueness, and usefulness of the technologies developed from across industry, government, and academia. Since the first year of the awards in 1962, U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) national laboratories have received more than 800 R&D 100 Awards. This year, DOE took home almost a third of the awards, including the foresee platform, developed by a team led by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and co-funded by BTO and Bonneville Power Administration (BPA). Project partners included Bosch, ESCRYPT, and Colorado State University.
foresee is an energy management software that incorporates and prioritizes resident preferences between which are often difficult for a homeowner to balance and choose. So far, occupant comfort (i.e., suitable air flow and hot water temperatures), utility costs, and level of convenience (i.e., automatically adjusting to meet occupants’ preferences) have been tested. The software has been designed such that other variables could be added and tested in the future. Optimization is automated by integrating weather forecasting and electricity grid demand from utility signals with resident preferences and energy usage of household devices and loads. The platform has demonstrated promise by achieving 5-12% savings of home energy usage while prioritizing and balancing inputs, including occupant comfort. A cybersecurity layer has been embedded to enable security and privacy protection. The ability to customize preferences and accordingly adjust usage of connected appliances and devices in an automated manner can be of benefit not only to homeowners, but to utilities and energy service aggregators when balancing loads across multiple homes.