Aggressively Duty-Cycling Buildings: The Next Frontier in Energy Efficiency

Sustainable buildings represent a major paradigm shift from current practice. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, buildings accounted for near 40% of US primary energy consumption in 2006, 75% of which is electrical energy. At the same time, energy and performance ratings are becoming more actively pursued and new methods are being sought for performance certification based on operational measurements. This defines a need to combine state of the art sensor network technology with novel processing and control algorithms in order to determine the distribution of people inside buildings and actuate the HVAC system using this information. Researchers plan to use an existing wireless sensor test bed of micro-cameras deployed on the SE1 Building at UC Merced in order to measure real-time occupancy. Further, they plan to develop a system to take the real time occupancy data from the testbed and interface with the EMS system in order to actuate part of the building. They plan to run control experiments obtaining quantitative and qualitative data of energy savings and levels of thermal comfort for the users.

Alberto Cerpa