Energy Utilization Legacy

Researchers in the Iowa NSF EPSCoR energy utilization platform investigated human behavior in energy consumption. The platform completed social science research with community participants as well as design research on building envelopes, materials, incorporation of renewable energy technologies into design, and passive solar.

[Photo] Solar House
2012 Iowa NSF EPSCoR summer interns stand on the deck at the Interlock Solar House located at Honey Creek State Park.

Accomplishments

[Photo] Campaign flyer
The Green Community Campaign flyer was used in targeted communities.
The Green Community Campaign evaluated the impact of different intervention strategies on community energy consumption.Innovative building design strategies were developed to optimize energy efficiency.

Research into high performance building envelopes combined onsite measurements and experiments together with simulation based studies.

Existing school buildings were retrofitted with renewable energy technologies as well as sensors to monitor energy usage and a user interface for engaging students and community members in energy utilization awareness.

The plank furthered understanding of human behavior relative to energy decision-making both in design decisions as well as everyday actions.

Sustainability

Partnerships between Iowa NSF EPSCoR researchers and other energy stakeholders will continue, for example desiccant system research has relocated to the Iowa Energy Center BECON Lab and deployment of the Imagine Energy Traveler will be handled by the Iowa Renewable Energy Association.

Energy utilization research and outreach will continue at Iowa NSF EPSCoR supported community labs.

Green community campaign data will continue to be analyzed for insights into energy intervention strategies.

Professional Development

Click on a person to read about the role these researchers played in Iowa NSF EPSCoR and how the program helped develop their careers and further their research.

  • Ted Heindel
    Bergles Professor of Thermal Science in Mechanical Engineering
    Iowa State University
    Ted Heindel
    Bergles Professor of Thermal Science in Mechanical Engineering

    Heindel serves as both the Energy Utilization Platform Leader and the Project Director for Iowa NSF EPSCoR.

    Heindel is Director of Graduate Education for the Masters of Engineering degree in Energy Systems which leverages Iowa NSF EPSCoR expertise at Iowa State University. He also holds a courtesy professor appointment in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering.

    Heindel's research focuses on visualizing and characterizing multiphase flow hydrodynamics. Applications for this work include bio-based chemical and fuel processing, energy generation, and other processing and treatment functions.

  • Mary Losch
    Director of the Center for Social and Behavioral Research, Professor of Psychology
    University of Northern Iowa
    Mary Losch
    Director of the Center for Social and Behavioral Research, Professor of Psychology

    As Director of the Center for Social and Behavioral Research, Losch has been Principal Investigator for numerous grants, contracts, and investigations of public policy, public health, and other topics.

    Her main Iowa NSF EPSCoR-related work looked to strengthen existing energy saving behaviors. She participated in several teams that conducted community-marketing campaigns as part of the “Green Community Campaign.” These projects created collaborations with local industry and a community college.

  • Ulrike Passe
    Director of the ISU Center for Building Energy Research, Associate Professor of Architecture
    Iowa State University
    Ulrike Passe
    Director of the ISU Center for Building Energy Research, Associate Professor of Architecture

    Passe led the ISU Solar Decathlon team to build a solar-powered house in Fall 2009. Her Iowa NSF EPSCoR research primarily involved the legacy of this house at Honey Creek State Park, where Passe’s team wired it with sensors to research building envelopes, passive solar technologies, passive cooling and natural ventilation, green design, thermal comfort, and bio-composite materials, among other green building concerns.

  • Jack Yates
    Professor of Psychology
    University of Northern Iowa
    Jack Yates
    Professor of Psychology

    Yates uses cognitive psychology and psycholinguistics methods to perform qualitative analysis. His Iowa NSF EPSCoR-related work focused on analyzing data collected during community-marketing campaigns to understand how community members made decisions about renewable and sustainable energy practices.

  • Junyong Ahn
    Assistant Professor of Construction Management
    University of Northern Iowa
    Junyong Ahn
    Assistant Professor of Construction Management

    Ahn’s Iowa NSF EPSCoR-related research and outreach is connected to building energy systems. He focuses on green construction, energy saving environments, and energy consumption.

  • Baskar Ganapathysubramanian
    Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering
    Iowa State University
    Baskar Ganapathysubramanian
    Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering

    Ganapathysubramanian leads a curiosity-driven research group that specializes in computational science and engineering. This research group has two parts – developing novel techniques and applying those methods to solve energy-related problems.

    Ganapathysubramanian was a member of both the wind energy and energy utilization platforms. He used computational modeling to work with the energy utilization platform’s research into green buildings by finding optimal locations for sensors and actuators.

  • Craig Just
    Coordinator of Sustainability Programs, Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
    University of Iowa
    Craig Just
    Coordinator of Sustainability Programs, Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

    In his research and engagement, Just strives to facilitate sustainable communities. For Iowa NSF EPSCoR he oversaw the implementation of community labs that integrated sustainable building practices and public education. He also spearheaded the design of the energy education trailer, the Energy Traveler.

     

  • Nick Terpstra-Schwab
    Associate Professor of Psychology
    University of Northern Iowa
    Nick Terpstra-Schwab
    Associate Professor of Psychology

    Schwab’s research involves social group processes and relations. He was involved with the implementation of community-marketing campaigns and analysis of their results.

  • Andrea Wheeler
    Assistant Professor of Architecture and Sustainable Environments
    Iowa State University
    Andrea Wheeler
    Assistant Professor of Architecture and Sustainable Environments

    Wheeler’s Iowa NSF EPSCoR-related research focuses on the relationship between sustainable design and environmental quality in classrooms, educational performance, and student well-being.

  • Carole Yates
    Program Manager, Center for Energy and Environmental Education
    University of Northern Iowa
    Carole Yates
    Program Manager, Center for Energy and Environmental Education

    Yates helped organize the 2012 “Get Energized, Iowa!” electricity-reduction competition as part of the Green Community Campaign plank. She was also involved in communications for the other community marketing campaigns.

cog

Infrastructure Investments

Click on an image to learn more about the equipment and how it improves research.

  • Imagine Energy Traveler
    Imagine Energy Traveler

    The Imagine Energy Traveler is a demonstration trailer project funded through Iowa NSF EPSCoR. The trailer features and demonstrates a number of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.

    The Imagine Energy Traveler has been deployed across the state of Iowa at various events. The trailer will continue to be upgraded and deployed by the Iowa Renewable Energy Association.

  • Infrared Camera
    Infrared Camera

    Thermal imaging camera captures information about infrared radiation.

    Energy utilization researchers use the camera to identify temperature variations in buildings. These images help researchers characterize building materials as well as the affect of architectural features on passive heating and cooling. The camera was used at the Interlock Solar House at Honey Creek State Park as well as other locations for Iowa NSF EPSCoR-related research.

  • Interlock Solar House
    Interlock Solar House

    Iowa State University's entry into the 2009 U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, the Interlock Solar House, is now located at Honey Creek State Park, Iowa.

    Iowa NSF EPSCoR supported the use of the house as a "community laboratory" to educate the public about energy efficiency and renewable energy as well as be used as a building science research lab. 

  • MIDAS System
    MIDAS System

    Mobile Data Acquisition System installed in the Interlock Solar House at Honey Creek State Park, IA.

    Energy Utilization researchers use the data acquired from MIDAS sensors to validate computational fluid dynamics models for passive heating and cooling simulations. Particularly, Iowa NSF EPSCoR researchers investigated indoor air temperature stratification and air velocity.

  • Mobile Museum
    Mobile Museum

    RV equipped with wind energy materials.

    The Mobile Museum RV travels to local Iowa events to provide outreach, STEM education, and attract interest in UI research. Inclusion of wind energy materials broadened the impact of and increased interest in EPSCoR’s wind energy research.

  • Solar House Touchscreen and Software
    Solar House Touchscreen and Software

    Quality Attributes Software 42x32 inch flat panel touchscreen mobile interface system installed as part of the “Interface Project” to showcase the smart design and performance of newly built sustainable buildings. The flat screen displays air flows and energy usage data in real time.

    System installed in the Interlock House, used as a working research building at Honey Creek State Park, IA, to help occupants use the house’s unique heating and cooling systems and to serve as public outreach and education.

  • TSI, Inc. Anemometers
    TSI, Inc. Anemometers

    Thermal anemometers accurately measure air velocity. They respond with a high enough frequency to be useful for measuring turbulent air flows.

    Energy Utilization researchers use these anemometers to track air velocity in the Interlock Solar House at Honey Creek State Park as well as other locations. Understanding the air velocity of a building is key to better design for passive cooling and heating.

Broader Impacts

The Building Science team developed a series of videos, “Living with the Sun,” based on the Interlock Solar House to help teach energy efficiency concepts to high school physics classes.

[two people enter the trailer while two more sample popcorn
Visitors enter the Energy Traveler during its Central Iowa Grand Opening at the Science Center of Iowa, Des Moines.
The Interlock Solar House was used as an outreach platform for events at Honey Creek State Park.Community Laboratories were used as building and energy science outreach and educational platforms in middle and high schools.

K-12 curricula were developed around building science concepts and energy conservation.

For More Information

[POSTER]Iowa NSF EPSCoR energy utilization
This poster highlights a few of the success stories from the Iowa NSF EPSCoR energy utilization platform.
This page represents only a few highlights of the Energy Utilization platform. See the Energy Utilization main page.

Contact researchers who worked on the Iowa NSF EPSCoR Energy Utilization platform.