Daily 49er

CSULB Research Foundation receives $2.5 million grant

The engineering and computer science building will be getting a ‘smart’ makeover.

Sol Mendez, Staff Writer

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The California Energy Commission awarded a $2.5 million grant to the Research Foundation of Cal State Long Beach to modernize the Engineering and Computer Sciences building.

Announced last week, the grant will be used to make the 28-year-old building a “smart” building, which would reduce energy cost of the facility and be energy efficient, according to the Public Affairs office of CSULB.

Electrical engineering professor Masoud Anzari, Paul Wingco from Facilities Management and other industrial partners submitted the grant proposal with one task in mind: to make one of the engineering buildings “smart.”

“I spent more than two months to put together a very strong team and come up with a great idea,” Anzari, who was co-principal investigator for this project said. “So, we applied to open solicitation for new technology for university buildings.”

The CEC stated that CSULB’s research foundation had been given the grant in order to “develop and demonstrate an innovative, pre-commercial energy management system for control of lighting, HVAC and plug loads to reduce energy use and be capable of anytime demand reduction during demand response events.” These are the specifications that will make the building “smart.”

The Energy Almanac of the CEC, who awarded the grant, states that its primary focus is identifying major energy trends and issues in California. Its responsibilities are to collect California data on all forms of energy, supply, demand, conversation, public safety and other closely related subjects.

The proposal was approved in late 2016, and the project will begin in late March and culminate in 2020.

The grant itself has four main tasks: designing the smart building, implementing new technology, evaluation and, eventually, transferring the knowledge.

With over 80 structures on the CSULB campus, the College of Engineering holds one of the most high-energy intensity buildings on campus. According to Anzari, though, the modernization of the engineering building would “show the impact beyond this building, even beyond Cal State Long Beach.”

Furthermore, he stated that the set goal of this project would be demonstration, if not pre-commercial technology evaluation.

Additionally, CSULB spokesperson Susan C. Mills gave her input on what the grant meant for the school.

“This would provide important cost savings and could lead to similar smart buildings on campus,” Mills said. “The California Energy Commission likely sees this as a model for buildings not just here, but throughout the state.”


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