ORU Student Helps Develop Energy Saving Equation

Tuesday, August 23rd 2016, 10:54 pm
By: News On 6

A program developed by a local college student could revolutionize the way we use energy across the country.

The Oral Roberts University student hasn't even graduated yet, but companies are already taking an interest in his research, which combines math and meteorology.

While the math may be hard to understand, the results are not; and the research has already garnered interest from local companies, and even the U.S. government.

Michael Buonaiuto is a senior at ORU majoring in math. He's back on campus after spending the summer in a prestigious internship at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.

"It ended up they needed someone to do similar research like I'd done with Dr. Lang," he said.

The research was predicting energy usage based on weather conditions.

“They could just input the weather forecast for the next 84 hours and this would just shoot out the energy predictions," Buonaiuto said.

And the math is pretty spot on. Buonaiuto's original experiment was done at the ORU Hamill Student Center, where energy use is plenty and varied.

"This is a great way to save energy without really any extra work, except for implementing these models," he said.

His research is already getting interest; THG, an Austin-based energy company, has already started using Buonaiuto's math models to see how it could help them.

Buonaiuto said, “They had a use for this kind of information on how they can predict energy and relay that to their customers and help them utilize their energy more efficiently."

He said the algorithm could also help with the development of "smart appliances" that save energy while they run.

And, while the college senior isn't sure what his next move is after graduation, if this is any indication, there are bright things ahead.

Buonaiuto said he'll most likely look into some Ph.D. programs, but, at this point, he's not ruling anything out.