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WESBES: A wireless embedded sensor for improving human comfort metrics using temporospatially correlated data

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3 Author(s)
Joel D. Hewlett ; Department of Computer Science, University of Idaho, Idaho Falls, USA ; Milos Manic ; Craig G. Rieger

When utilized properly, energy management systems (EMS) can offer significant energy savings by optimizing the efficiency of heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems. However, difficulty often arises due to the constraints imposed by the need to maintain an acceptable level of comfort for a building's occupants. This challenge is compounded by the fact that human comfort is difficult to define in a measurable way. One way to address this problem is to provide a building manager with direct feedback from the building's users. Still, this data is relative in nature, making it difficult to determine the actions that need to be taken, and while some useful comfort correlations have been devised, such as ASHRAE's Predicted Mean Vote index, they are rules of thumb that do not connect individual feedback with direct, diverse feedback sensing. As they are a correlation, quantifying effects of climate, age of buildings and associated defects such as draftiness, are outside the realm of this correlation. Therefore, the contribution of this paper is the Wireless Embedded Smart Block for Environment Sensing (WESBES); an affordable wireless sensor platform that allows subjective human comfort data to be directly paired with temporospatially correlated objective sensor measurements for use in EMS. The described device offers a flexible research platform for analyzing the relationship between objective and subjective occupant feedback in order to formulate more meaningful measures of human comfort. It could also offer an affordable and expandable option for real world deployment in existing EMS.

Published in:

Resilient Control Systems (ISRCS), 2012 5th International Symposium on

Date of Conference:

14-16 Aug. 2012