Throughout my junior year I did an independent research project working as an Energy Consultant for “Hotel X.” The purpose of this project is to monitor and analyze the energy expended down at “Hotel X.” To do this we use sensors made by Veris Industries. These Sensors detect the amount of energy expended by each wire, and then, using a 5V output, the sensors are able to send the information it has just received from the hotel, all the way up to the monitoring room in the Energy Lab. This process happens every five minutes and is recorded on Elab2, which is one of the many monitoring systems we have up at the Energy Lab.
This year I am expanding the energy-auditing project to the golf center at the hotel. Although there are many possible projects at the golf center, we are starting with the golf carts. The golf carts down at the hotel are plugged in to be charged immediately after use. The cost to charge the hundreds of golf carts matches the payment of about 5 employees. To try to escape these high costs, the hotel bought the Watt-Miser, which is an electric power management system that is designed to charge a large group of golf carts efficiently. Essentially the program automates charging of electric golf carts during off-peak hours. The Watt-miser does this by charging groups of golf carts at a time (group 1, group 2, etc.); when one group is fully charged, it movers on to the next group. According to the Watt-Miser website, savings can be from 10 to 60%, depending on the area. In one example, a 70 car fleet could save an average of $550 per month. Throughout this year, I am going to apply what I learned at the hotel to a new project at Parker Ranch; however, we will be monitoring water, which will eventually translate into energy.
That project is only one of several projects I will be working on this year. I will also be working on several HPA Energy projects, as well as presenting some of my work to MacWorld in the spring.
I will be meeting will Dr. Bill every E period, and because I am an Intern and the Energy Lab, I will be up there every night, and every weekend working on my project. I have made an ibook describing what I have already done with my projects and I will continue use that, along with the wiki as a portfolio.
This project is something I hope to continue for the rest of my high school career. I would also like this to be a jumpstart for every environmental project I will work on in college.