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Inferring Knowledge from Building Monitoring Systems: the Case for Wireless Sensing in Residential Buildings

E. Gaura, J. Brusey, Ross Wilkins
Cogent Computing Applied Research Centre, UK

Keywords: WSN, green homes, residential buildings, retrofit, comfort, energy, in-field evaluation


Following more than a decade of intensive research work, Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) are commonly acknowledged today as proven research instruments for several application domains. In particular, they have made notable contributions to the understanding of our natural environment and habitats (through detailed monitoring of glaciers, forests, rivers and volcanoes). WSNs strengths are derived from their ability to unveil spatio-temporal patterns and thus enable both global and detailed interpretation of complex environmental phenomena. The built environment has been, till recently, one of the least explored application domains for WSNs, in spite of their obvious suitability: i.e low data rates, friendly deployment environment, physical sensors availability, mains power for servers, energy harvesting opportunities (solar) for sensors powering. The authors will share findings and work towards holistic performance metrics based on 11 data sets obtained during a total of 2.5 years of deployed monitoring in 10 homes (with an average of 50 sensors per home). The homes exhibited large variations in their energy and environmental performance, were heated by a variety of mechanical systems and occupied by several family archetypes.
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