Stanford students monitor dorm energy use

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The dozen students in “plugVIEW” ultimately hope to create a sophisticated system to monitor electricity, all the way down to individual dorm rooms. The group would then take that data and give it back to students through devices like the light switch. The approach would provide detailed information that is also straightforward, visual and immediate — to encourage students to conserve.

“It’s great being able to make little circuits or machines,” said outgoing freshman Kevin Mori. “But you’re always looking for a bigger picture. Why does this thing matter?”

Mori, Ben Kallman and Matt Crowley began work on the endeavor last fall, for a final project in a freshmen seminar.

“When we left that class, I was thinking that I wanted to do something to make this happen in real life,” Kallman said.

They recruited more students, located Stanford grant funding and began developing a system to monitor usage in Stanford dorms.

This sort of device is available for home use.

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