The U.S. Department of Energy is now supporting energy innovation at the university level, and a team from the University of Pennsylvania has won the first competition in this region. Carnegie Mellon University, which hosted the Allegheny Region Cleantech University Prize earlier this month, awarded DR-Advisor the top prize of $50,000 last week. The Allegheny Region is one of eight regional Cleantech University Prizes (formerly known as the National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition), all with the goal of connecting promising startups with advanced resources and training.
DR-Advisor, created by Professor Rahul Mangharam, Dr. Madhur Behl and Kuk Jiang, is a data-driven demand response recommendation system that uses historical and weather data to project the power consumption of a building and create a modeling plan. Since DR-Advisor works without having to learn detailed information about the building in advance, it represents a more affordable solution for gauging energy usage. A startup from neighboring Drexel University called Windigo Turbines won a $5,000 prize as well as an additional $5,000 for earning fan favorite. Windigo Turbines, a student-run startup, fabricated a wind energy turbine to create an efficient, affordable and scalable renewable energy source.
This article on Breaking Energy has more information about the prize and Carnegie Mellon's interest in hosting the Allegheny Region competition.