Computer Science and Engineering at the Nexus of Energy and Environment: A View from UCSD Microgrid

October 24, 2013
2:50 pm - 4:00 pm
Halligan 111a


Energy is a precious societal resource, and increasingly rated for its quality or lack thereof as a contributor to greenhouse gases. Modern electrical energy systems operate at the intersection of technological advances in microelectronics, communications, and control. In the context of energy distribution systems, this trend has led to popular visions of smart electrical grids that dynamically match generation, transmission, and storage for the most efficient and reliable usage of electromagnetic energy. This talk examines how microgrids, which are self-managed grids with local cogeneration capabilities, can be used as testing grounds for the prototyping and testing of smart grid technologies. Using the prototype of a microgrid at the campus of the University of California at San Diego, we present energy data that points to promising methods for operation of various types of buildings that leverage coordinated use of sensing, information processing, and building HVAC systems. Based on measurements and analysis, we show that for the emerging class of mixed-use buildings a that is, buildings with a non-trivial component of energy use by IT equipment -- significant possibilities exist to reduce total energy use from 10% to 30% based on effective duty-cycling of the IT and HVAC equipment, without affecting the comfort quality or availability of the building and compute resources. We focus on our efforts to sense differentiated presence sensing for proactive HVAC control and the possibilities it entails in reaching aggressive energy efficiency goals for buildings. We examine the emerging computer science problems arising from energy arbitration, alternative energy sourcing and capacity provisioning for computational resources through dynamic deferral of energy loads.

Bio: Rajesh K. Gupta is a QUALCOMM professor in Computer Science and Engineering at UC San Diego. His research focus is on energy efficiency from algorithms, devices to systems that scale from IC chips, data centers to commercial buildings. His past contributions include SystemC modeling and SPARK parallelizing high-level synthesis, both of which have been incorporated into industrial practice. Earlier Gupta lead or co-lead DARPA-sponsored efforts under the Data Intensive Systems (DIS) and Power Aware Computing and Communications (PACC) programs on role of adaptation in energy efficient system architectures. His ongoing projects are focused on mitigating microelectronic variability and creating non-volatile storage/memory systems. In recent years, Gupta and his students have received a best paper award at IEEE/ACM DCOSSa08 and a best demonstration award at IEEE/ACM IPSN/SPOTSa05. Gupta received a BTech in EE from IIT Kanpur, MS in EECS from UC Berkeley and a PhD in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. Gupta is a Fellow of the IEEE. Gupta serves as chair of Computer Science and as associate director of the Qualcomm Institute at UCSD.