According to the US Department of Energy, the most significant end use of electricity is central air-conditioning and refrigerators. This idea is to increase efficiency of central air conditioning in homes and offices.
The benefits are cost savings to the end user by reducing the amount of time the air conditioning units are working. Reducing consumption of electricity benefits everybody by freeing resources and reducing pollution from generating electricity.
Today homeowners and office administrators can close vents on rooms and offices that are not used. This is not done because it usually requires a person climbing a ladder. The e-vent can close and open on demand with a wi-fi connection. The e-vent can be programmed by time to the minute so that a room will be heated or cooled only when really needed. The e-vent can be combined with a temperature sensor in rooms that can have slightly different temperatures like hallways, bathrooms and closets.
An e-vent can replace any existing vent where central air-conditioning units are used, cutting energy costs anywhere from 5% to 50% depending on the layout of the buildings and required hours of operation.
Millions of users can benefit from installing an e-vent. Any homeowner can save on electricity installing e-vents in bathrooms, walk-in closets and hallways that can usually be kept at different temperatures than areas of higher traffic.
The design is very simple. It consists of a similar to an existing metal vent, an actuator that closes and opens the vent, a microcontroller and communications unit, a small wind generator and a set of rechargeable batteries. Additionally, a wireless-energy harvesting room temperature sensor with a wi-fi communications system can be part of the kit. The new metal vent allows for mounting an actuator, the communications unit, batteries and the small wind generator that will recharge the batteries using the air flow from the vent.
All the components of the design are existing technologies and can be manufactured with existing methodologies.
I estimate an e-vent can be manufactured in high volume for $15-$30 usdlls, it depends on the volumes produced and the the size of each e-vent. Assuming a 1% of savings on electricity for a home with a monthly bill of $100 usdlls each e-vent pays for itself in one to two years and provides savings for many years after.
Aside of the economic impact on the individual, e-vent will improve the efficiency of the electrical grid and make room for upcoming demand from electrical cars and new gadgets.