One research project being worked on within Dakota State University’s new MadLabs facility in Madison is exploring technologies that will be included in the next generation rural home. The Connected Home research project is a partnership between East River Electric Power Cooperative, DSU, and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. The project will also work to find solutions that will allow electric cooperatives to play an integral role in helping consumers optimize their energy use.
Researchers will investigate current products on the market and determine how utilities could potentially utilize existing technologies to control appliances and connected technologies within a home. They will also research the potential to build utility-specific technologies, both hardware and software, that could be used in homes to optimize energy usage and control power costs. A final phase of the research project could include field testing of potential products in end consumer homes to determine the viability of any hardware and software that is developed.
The project’s research space resembles a smart home kitchen with additional appliances including a washer, dryer and water heater. Many of the products included in the space came from local companies.