Three California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) industrial design students—J. Scott Lee, Prisca Bae, and Sam Sauceda—were awarded $2,000 for placing second in the prevention category of the 2012 International E-Waste Design Competition.
“Our design students continue to do an amazing job. Competitions such as these help promote to the entire globe the great work our design students are doing here at CSULB’s Design Department. It has been a true pleasure to have students with the eagerness and talent of Scott Lee, Prisca Bae, and Sam Sauceda” said Wesley Woelfel, assistant professor of design. “I am very proud of their accomplishment of taking second place at the 2012 International E-Waste Student Design Competition. It is encouraging to our faculty, department, and their fellow classmates.”
Their design—E3: Energy Efficient Electricity—is a home monitoring and manually controllable energy system. Owners of this device have the ability to lower their energy bill while simultaneously prolonging the life of their appliances and electronics. The lifespans of electronic devices are often shortened through overcharging and associated overheating. This is frequently the case with cell phones, for example. E3 would allow power to be turned off to a charger, eliminating overcharging and phantom energy use.
Phantom energy is used by devices that are plugged in and drawing power even when the consumer is not using them. The E3 can be implemented in new buildings and retrofitted to older buildings. By installing a home meter and specialized outlets made of recycled plastic and electronic components, the E3 can monitor home devices' energy usage.
By using a smartphone application, the owner may choose devices to disconnect when not in use to avoid phantom energy use, thus reducing CO2 emissions. The application can also determine the best times to use an appliance or device to avoid peak hours. Continued use of the E3 can reduce energy consumption and costs to consumers.
“I feel a great sense of fulfillment when I see all of my hard work finally being recognized and shown for others to see. As far as my experience during the competition I see it as a journey, exploring all the possible avenues that my mind can conjure up and selecting the best possible answer and finally executing it with all my force,” said Sauceda.