Office buildings are power hungry, with lighting, computers, air conditioning systems, and other technology. Upgrades to lighting, windows, and insulation, as well as changing habits has added much to a building’s economy, but there is still much that can be done to reduce energy consumption, aside from reading in the dark.
STEM, data, analytics, and power has found a way to convert a standard building into a hybrid building. STEM’s unique technology can reduce a building’s utility costs, much like the software in a hybrid vehicle controls when to use external power, the engine, or to conserve power by shutting it down.
Using large battery packs combined with software to regulate the storage and release of electricity, STEM’s system keeps track of power usage, electricity pricing, and environmental factors to control the hybrid building’s use of grid power. Simple things like storing power at night when electricity is cheaper, then releasing it during peak hours, can reduce a building’s utility costs by five to fifteen percent.
“As battery prices and the prices of computing and data and bandwidth drop, we’re going to see these types of devices in every building in the world, whether it’s in 20 or 30 years,” says STEM founder and executive vice president Brian Thompson, “The types of systems will allow us to move to a 100 percent renewable future.”
Additionally, STEM technology could also facilitate implementation of renewable power sources, such as solar or wind, allowing the storage of electricity during peak solar or wind hours and then releasing it back into the system as needed. Hybrid buildings could eventually become grid-independent, leading to a much greener future for office or even residential buildings.