NASA Astronaut Now Working on Google Energy Effort

Former NASA astronaut Ed Lu
Former NASA astronaut Ed Lu

Astronaut lands as Google’s ‘energy nerd’
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On the spacecraft, [Ed] Lu had to monitor its energy use closely and shut things down immediately after they were no longer needed. But that is not the direct reason he turned into an “energy nerd”, as his colleagues are calling him.

It all started when Lu bought a hybrid car that has a meter telling him how many miles per gallon he’s getting at any moment. “I noticed that my driving efficiency was getting better as weeks and months went by. Then I thought it would be great if I had the same information about my house,” he said.

With sponsorship from Google.org, the philanthropic arm of Google, Lu began a year ago to transform the inspiration from his car into real technology. He now leads a team of Google engineers working on the Google PowerMeter, software that analyzes energy consumption data captured by “smart meters” and translates that into easy-to-understand information so people see where they can reduce energy use.

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