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Proceedings Paper

Design architecture for multi-zone HVAC control systems from existing single-zone systems using wireless sensor networks
Author(s): Andrew Redfern; Michael Koplow; Paul Wright
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Paper Abstract

Most residential heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems utilize a single zone for conditioning air throughout the entire house. While inexpensive, these systems lead to wide temperature distributions and inefficient cooling due to the difference in thermal loads in different rooms. The end result is additional cost to the end user because the house is over conditioned. To reduce the total amount of energy used in a home and to increase occupant comfort there is a need for a better control system using multiple temperature zones. Typical multi-zone systems are costly and require extensive infrastructure to function. Recent advances in wireless sensor networks (WSNs) have enabled a low cost drop-in wireless vent register control system. The register control system is controlled by a master controller unit, which collects sensor data from a distributed wireless sensor network. Each sensor node samples local settings (occupancy, light, humidity and temperature) and reports the data back to the master control unit. The master control unit compiles the incoming data and then actuates the vent resisters to control the airflow throughout the house. The control system also utilizes a smart thermostat with a movable set point to enable the user to define their given comfort levels. The new system can reduce the run time of the HVAC system and thus decreasing the amount of energy used and increasing the comfort of the home occupations.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 January 2007
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 6414, Smart Structures, Devices, and Systems III, 64140Y (11 January 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.695963
Show Author Affiliations
Andrew Redfern, Univ. of California at Berkeley (United States)
Michael Koplow, Univ. of California at Berkeley (United States)
Paul Wright, Univ. of California at Berkeley (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6414:
Smart Structures, Devices, and Systems III
Said F. Al-Sarawi, Editor(s)

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