THE UNIVERSITY of Limerick (UL) has launched an energy research project offering the opportunity for people in Limerick to install free smart sensors to monitor and reduce building energy use.
The research, led by principal investigator, Professor Stephen Kinsella of UL, and funded by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, is part of the SmartLab project which adopts a living lab approach to examine financial and technical barriers to the use of smart technologies in Ireland’s buildings.
The project was launched this Wednesday at the Citizen Innovation Lab, a collaborative space hosted by Limerick City and County Council (LCCC) and UL at the UL City Centre Campus.
The initiative will test new ways to make buildings smart-ready, so they can better respond to the needs of occupants, cost less to run, and be ready to interact with a future decarbonised energy grid.
Local building owners and occupants are invited to join the project, receiving free energy monitors and environmental sensors to install in their buildings, and free expert analysis of how healthy and energy efficient their building currently is.
Up to 100 building owners and occupants in Limerick city will be installing sensors provided by SmartLab to monitor their building’s temperature, humidity, and carbon dioxide levels.
The project team will support participants to understand far more about how their buildings use energy, giving them more power to lower energy costs and make good decisions about their building’s future.
“This is a cutting-edge project that places Limerick at the forefront of collaborative approaches to empowering smart energy citizens,” said Professor Kinsella at the launch.
“We are looking forward to working with people in Limerick city centre to explore how they can use smart sensor technology in their buildings and be part of the clean energy transition. The knowledge we develop together will be shared widely with policymakers at national and international levels,” Professor Kinsella said.
Head of Climate Acti Innovation at LCCC Rosie Webb also commented: “As we embark on preparing a Climate Action Plan for Limerick it is important that we empower owners and occupiers to understand how they can reduce their energy use immediately by using sensor data through behavioural change in the first instance and then energy retrofitting subsequently.
“This project will provide participants an opportunity to explore where the best opportunity lies,” she added.
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