What is it about?

Application of wireless sensor networks in a medium sized apartment complex, to study network characteristics and ability to contribute to energy studies. Two different communication protocols were studied in addition to mote placement to effectively distribute communications and the collection of fundamental built environment parameters such as temperature, humidity and occupancy.

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Why is it important?

SMART building systems would be ideal given that energy use in the built environment. However, rapidly deployable and reliable systems that can be broadly applied do not exist. Fundamental studies like this are required to design networked and SMART systems. More specifically, the use of a central swamp cooling unit is common in the West/South West. However, the management of cool air or slight increase in the size of a unit to best optimize occupant comfort have not been studied. The study clearly show that in the extreme case, occupants with central swamp cooling units utilize energy beyond that of those with access to a central cooling unit. Results call for deeper and much more detailed energy efficiency studies.


The hardest part of this study was trying to convince ownership that retrofits and energy incentives for solar power (at the time) would be beneficial, and should be adopted. The market incentives at the time allowed for the project to pay itself off. Also at the time, there was a need for actual studies in the built environment beyond residential homes of individual researchers. A related data set is in preparation that could be adopted in an energy study.

Cory D Jensen
Colorado School of Mines

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Engineering sensor networks for energy studies of the built environment, Environmental Progress & Sustainable Energy, November 2016, Wiley,
DOI: 10.1002/ep.12497.
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