NYIT Vancouver Awarded BC Housing Grant to Promote Smart Home Technologies

NYIT School of Engineering and Computing Sciences Associate Professor Remi Charron, Ph.D., an expert in high performance homes, has been granted $40,000 by BC Housing’s research and education wing to create an energy management lab. Called a “test bench,” the lab will work with the latest energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. In addition to designing and building the test bench, Charron and his team will use it to educate NYIT-Vancouver graduate students, local builders, and interested consumers. A number of BC industry partners are contributing equipment for this project.

The bench will include equipment and instruments designed to take various performance measures; students in NYIT’s Master’s in Energy Management program will use the instruments to carry out hands-on measurements and performance analyses based on theories learned in the classroom. The lab will also appear in a series of short instructional videos targeting local builders and consumers.

With the new test bench as a centerpiece, NYIT master’s students in energy management, an engineering field, and instructional technology, in the field of education, will work together to produce five videos. The brief videos will explain the basics of five key emerging technologies: solar electric systems; battery backup systems; heat pump systems; Internet of Things smart home devices; and energy monitoring devices.Building on the videos, NYIT will offer a series of evening workshops at its downtown Vancouver campus for builders and others interested in learning more, with the test bench as a demonstration tool.

“There have been many instances where well-meaning builders have implemented new technologies that have failed to meet performance expectations, either through a lack of training on their part or because consumers didn’t know how to use the technologies,” Charron said. “This project will help train professionals in this field while also teaching community members how to enjoy the benefits of energy efficiency and renewable energy.”NYIT’s master’s graduates in energy management are qualified for careers in energy and facilities management, with knowledge of green buildings, power systems, and related environmental issues.

In addition to graduate students, Charron will work on this project with NYIT Vancouver Campus Dean Irene Young; and Eric Mazzi, Ph.D., an experienced instructor, researcher, and consultant on energy retrofit projects.