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Air conditioners possess a large proportion of the energy consumption in a building for both heating and cooling functions. The purpose of this paper is to present the work in progress which uses simple and cheap sensor nodes mounting on the external unit of air conditioners to automatically sense the usage pattern. This work is part of the project called Cyber IVY, which provides means of building surveillance using Surface Mounted and Energy-harvesting Wireless Sensor Networks. By this implementation, the precise working status of air conditioners can be monitored. The paper describes the hardware design, node deployment, and networking issues of this wireless sensor network. The performance of practical experiments shows that our system is applicable and robustness for the purpose of energy waste monitoring. Usage pattern, unusual behavior and other issues can be detected.
Date of Conference: 10-15 April 2011