Energy industry experts exchange ideas

By Sharon Henry



Irvine, May 15, 2015—The California Plug Load Research Center (CalPlug) hosted its seventh semiannual workshop on energy-efficient plug loads on May 12 at Calit2. The center, located at Calit2, was established in 2011 to improve energy efficiency in the use and design of appliances and consumer electronic devices.

Worldwide, phantom power alone wastes more than 15 GW of power every hour; inefficiencies when devices are in use waste even more. Left unmanaged, these plug loads threaten to derail California’s plans for zero net energy in new homes by 2020. CalPlug focuses on energy efficiency solutions, efficiency evaluations of consumer electronics, standards development, education and public outreach, and user behavior studies.

The CalPlug workshop series was designed to maximize communication of the latest research findings and development, and to address challenges in plug load efficiency for both residential and commercial buildings. The events bring together utilities, manufacturers, advocacy groups, research institutions, and energy policy makers.

Representatives from the Consumer Electronic Association, Southern California Edison, California Energy Commission, Intel, Hewlett-Packard, Natural Resources Defense Council, Electric Power Research Institute, Dhaani Systems, Phoenix Energy Technologies and REV Sustainability, along with UC Irvine faculty and researchers, attended the program.

Event moderator and Calit2 Irvine Director G.P. Li greeted attendees and shared his goals for the workshop – “to have an open format for plug loads information exchange and to accelerate their energy efficiency by all means. Li also said he expected “to create an energy efficiency working group for strong collaborations among players including research centers, manufacturers, service/content providers, utilities and government agencies.”

Presentations were made by 20 industry experts. Each presenter had 15 minutes to report energy efficiency progress and opportunities, as well as address energy demand issues, challenges and possible solutions. Presentations were followed by Q & A sessions.

Morning presentations reported on energy efficiency progress in small network equipment, small data centers and smart power, while the afternoon sessions focused on energy-saving opportunities and challenges, and PC power management and cloud-based solutions.

The day concluded with a networking reception and lab demonstrations by students at CalPlug.

PDFs of the presentations can be viewed below.