Where Innovators are Inventing the Future

Companies working on water, energy and connected home products and services struggle with finding the right space to perform product development and testing. Pecan Street’s product testing lab supports any size company with projects for the residential through small commercial space. The lab’s capabilities are specially configured for testing hardware or software that generates or manages power at the building or device level, communicates wirelessly or integrates energy use data into its operations – including water measurement and metering products and technology.

Pecan Street also offers field testing for UL-certified, or similar certification, products that have previously been evaluated for performance in our lab. Field testing capabilities include both water and energy. For water conservation technologies, products can be deployed in our Leak Detection, Measurement and Verification (LDMV) Platform encompassing homes in the Austin, Houston and San Antonio areas outfitted with high-resolution water monitoring equipment that reports household water consumption at the sub-minute, sub-gallon level. This data resolution enables Pecan Street to identify leaks in the home, disaggregate water use into major appliances, and evaluate the impacts of conservation products and services. For energy products, our field testing capabilities include 800 homes spread across the country, with concentrations in Austin, San Diego and Boulder. These homes are outfitted with high-resolution energy-monitoring equipment that reports circuit-level data at 1-second to 1-minute intervals. Approximately 50 of our field testing households contain both the energy- and water-monitoring instrumentation, enabling unique evaluation of energy-water nexus technologies.

Led by engineers and filled with sophisticated testing equipment, Pecan Street’s lab offers specialized capabilities for developing, testing and validating consumer electronics and applications that incorporate metrology, building controls, solar PV, natural gas fuel cell, machine-to-machine, vehicle charging and disaggregation technologies.

The 3-story, 3,800 square-foot facility is equipped with multiple workstations and testing configurations. It has a split phase 800A electrical service, south- and west-facing solar arrays, multiple conduit raceways, AC and DC distribution buses, all LED lighting, a full building automation system and zonal refrigerant air conditioning.

With a full set of appliance stub-outs on every floor, the lab can simulate three residential structures for demand response, fuel cell and building management scenario testing. Every outlet on every floor is measurable. The lab can also test natural gas fuel cell or combined heat and power micro-turbines up to 10-15kWp output.

These capabilities provide companies with a unique venue to simulate thousands of real world use cases and to test, develop and verify the performance of customer products and services including:

  • Smart meters and meter components
  • Natural gas fuel cells
  • Energy management
  • Energy monitoring
  • Building control and appliance control systems
  • Disaggregation algorithms
  • Solar panels and solar inverters
  • Customer HAN devices
  • Software applications using Green Button and customer HAN device data
  • Demand response
  • Electric vehicle charging
  • HVAC
  • Ancillary services
  • Lighting
  • Endpoint communication testing for water utility meters in lab and field settings
  • Water meter flow rate accuracy testing
  • Irrigation system flow rate, valve control, communications and user interface testing
  • Water meter backhaul identification and testing
  • Sensor network development and testing
  • Multi-fuel microgrid
  • Electric utility grid emulation

If you would like to test or develop your product or service at Pecan Street’s lab please provide some information about your company and product here. If you would like to test or develop your product in Pecan Street’s LDMV platform please complete this brief questionnaire and a staff member will contact you.

For general information about Pecan Street’s commercialization work, contact Pecan Street’s lab director, Scott Hinson, at shinson@pecanstreet.org.

Installed Equipment

Pecan Street’s lab offers an equipment access program through which companies who would like to test their products or services can reserve lab workspace to set-up and use the following lab equipment:

14 Dell Workstations and 4 Dell Servers with Network and Direct Attached Storage

NI PXI Chassis Equipment

  • 7.5 Digit DMM
  • Vector Signal Transceiver
  • 6 GHz Vector Network Analyzer
  • 8 GHz Programmable Amplifier
  • Modulation Toolkit
  • Wireless Test Software Suite
  • 64 Channels 50MHz Digital I/O
  • Qty. 2 6.5 Digit DMM
  • 2Gs/S 500MHz Digitizer
  • 1 TB Signal Storage

NI cRIO Chassis Equipment

  • 128 Channels 250kS/S Analog I/O
  • 128 Channels Thermocouple Measurement
  • 16 Channels 100 Ohm RTD 24bit 100S/s
  • 24 Channels 300V High Voltage Measurement
  • 32 Channels High Isolation 100S/S Analog Input
  • 24 Channels 5A Current Input 24 bit
  • 16 Channels +/- 10V 25kS/s 16 bit Analog Output
  • 16 Channels 20mA 100kS/S Analog Output
  • 16 Channels Relay Isolation Modules
  • 32 Channels Digital I/O
  • CAN Interface, Low and High Speed
  • RS-232/RS-485 Interface
  • Single Axis Brushed DC Servo Drive
  • Ethernet Communication

Multiple LabView and MultiSim Development Seats with most plug-in options

Oscilloscopes

Spectrum Analyzer

Power Quality Analyzers

Programmable AC and DC Loads and Supplies

Hot Air Solder Rework Stations

Stratasys UprintSE 3D Printer

Epilog Mini Laser Etcher

ManCorp. SMT2000 manual pick & place

TWS Automation OV850 reflow oven

Infrared Temperature Scanner

Blower Door Tester

Duct Leakage Tester

Botfactory Squink, Desktop Electronic Circuit Factory