Ideation

Ideation

The ideation contest focuses on generating and aggregating pressing U.S. renewable and energy efficiency market needs and problem statements that can be solved through automation, algorithms, data, and software, especially by leveraging available data assets, tools, capabilities, and resources. Anyone can participate by submitting problem statements online or by voting on problem statements submissions from others. A contestant with a problem statement may win $1,000 in cash prizes when a team, who adopted this problem statement in their business solution, has been selected among top five winners by a panel of judges in accordance with the rules of the incubation contest.

Ideation

Zillow for Solar: Mapping the Economics of Residential Systems

There are millions of households today who would irrefutably economically benefit from installing solar panels, but who have not yet done so. If every household for whom solar was already a viable economic option could be catalyzed into taking action, not only would the size of solar's footprint grow, but the resulting increase in volumes would likely drive costs (for installation, maintenance, etc) further down the curve. ...more »

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20 votes
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Ideation

Making Renewable Portfolio Standards as Easy As Investment Portfolios

Municipalities and large institutional campuses carefully build investment portfolios to protect and grow their financial assets. When it comes to their energy use, however, almost none of them use a portfolio approach, despite the fact that they often have the opportunity to negotiate a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) with the local utility. One key barrier is the lack of easy-to-access information on fuel source ...more »

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20 votes
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Ideation

Scalable methods for analyzing buildings data are needed

Data manipulation methodologies that might combine statistical analysis, pattern recognition, and data visualization using disparate but potentially related data sources to provide innovative insights for building control systems operation do not exist. Such insights might include, for example, the identification of fault conditions, their causes and predicted time periods via correlations between various information ...more »

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19 votes
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Ideation

Integrated Home Energy and Budget Management Tool

Homeowners with solar roofs typically have access to tools allowing them to see their solar production in real-time along with production history. However, tools to integrate the solar output and remaining use of conventional electricity into household budgeting practices still lack. By linking solar output, electric and gas consumption and utility tariffs into home budgeting tools such as Mint or bank’s budgeting systems, ...more »

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18 votes
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Ideation

How can I be sure that I'm purchasing solar at the right time?

National, state and local solar incentive programs fluctuate in availability and value. How can I be sure that I'm timing my install to maximize incentive program savings? How do I know if an install estimate is competitive?

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18 votes
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Ideation

Islandable Grid-Tied PV Systems

I wish there were a tool or product that allowed me to use electricity from my grid-tied PV system when the grid goes down. Currently, if the grid goes down, my PV system also goes down (to prevent injury to utility workers fixing the power outage). Is it possible to easily and cheaply redirect electricity from my grid-tied modules directly to the loads in my home during a power outage while preventing risk to utility ...more »

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17 votes
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Ideation

Solar For Everyone- Solar Power Plants

A major problem with solar is that only about 25% of residential rooftops are capable of hosting solar panels. This is due to shading, structural issues, or ownership- many people live in apartments, or rent space, and do not own their roof. These issues should not prevent them from purchasing solar energy. Unfortunately there are some legislative barriers that prevent this from happening. Fortunately, about 7 states ...more »

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17 votes
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Ideation

Energy Storage and Solar PV

Energy storage is increasingly important driver of the growth of distributed generation systems powered by solar PV. Energy storage can enable both demand charge mitigation and grid reliability and stability that will be critical as solar PV deployments continue to grow. There is a need to efficiently integrate energy storage with solar PV installations.

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17 votes
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Ideation

How do I minimize soft costs?

Hardware costs have essentially bottomed out while soft costs remain sky-high in the US residential install market. If I know the array design and product I want, how can I bypass all the customer acquisition, marketing and overhead costs and simply pay for a product and a reasonable install cost?

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17 votes
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Ideation

Building Information Modeling (BIM) for building occupants

Currently, it is difficult to represent occupants in buildings, limiting our knowledge of (1) their impact on building energy consumption, (2) their presence during a disastrous event, or even (3) their comfort preferences. The goal of this project is to create an occupant information modeling (OIM) portal, leverage an existing occupant behavior Extensible Markup Language (obXML schema). Similar to BIM, the OIM will be ...more »

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17 votes
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Ideation

Time Of Use Marketplace for Solar Power

Why shouldn't solar power farmers get more bucks for their surplus produce during the peak hours? Electric energy is best used when its produced because no storage system can save it with 100% efficiency. The heavy use of electric energy for most residential consumers is during peak sunlight hours which also is the time of peak solar power production. A market place solution which connects the solar energy producers, ...more »

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16 votes
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Ideation

Connecting occupant behavior and real-time operations to Building energy model calibration

A detailed building energy model can be the best benchmark indicator of whether a building is meeting energy efficiency performance goals. With modern computing power, it is possible to use such a model on a periodic basis to make such an assessment. One of the biggest challenges of calibrating such a model is parametric input uncertainty. There are hundreds of model parameters that are uncertain to some degree and have ...more »

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16 votes
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