IBM’s conservation research is not limited to Smart Grids and EVs though. In another Swiss-based project called Steeper
, the company is working with the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (and other research organizations across Europe) to manage the growth of energy consumption by electronic devices, ranging from mobile phones to laptops to televisions to supercomputers. The goal of the project is to increase the energy efficiency of active devices by a factor of ten, and virtually eliminate power consumption when they are in passive modes.
In Canada, IBM does not maintain a discrete research laboratory; however, IBM analytics capability has demonstrated how IT can be used in the service of energy management. According to Campbell, “we are doing things here, not only to report on energy usage and consumption, but also to develop predictive capabilities so we can learn more about seasonal trends of energy beyond the obvious things like temperature change. When you combine the information that we are now learning from sensors and from the grid as it reports more information about individual usage, we get a much richer picture of energy consumption, and predictive capabilities begin to play a major role in carbon management, etc.” And while predictive capabilities around consumption enable better resource management, they can also help to identify “weak spots in your system” for prescriptive systems management. Examples of this capability in action in Canadian urban centres include Cambridge, Ontario’s use of analytics to improve efficiencies and eliminate waste across the city’s physical systems
, and McMaster University’s use of analytics to forecast, model and improve energy conservation in buildings
across its campus.