Building Energy Management

Tyndall BEM1 platform (modular) - available
Tyndall BEM1 platform (modular) - available

Buildings account for approx 40% of Ireland’s and the EU's energy demands and 30% of CO2 emissions. Tyndall’s Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) mote is used as a hardware research platform for improving energy efficiency for Building Energy Management (BEM) applications.

The BEM applications are numerous:-

1. Retrofitting of wireless sensors into existing buildings to gather data such as temperature, light, humidity, occupancy, user preferences, etc and feeding it to a smart building management system (BMS) enables energy efficiency decisions to be taken as well as incorporating user preferences to ensure comfort is not compromised.

2. Installation of wireless sensors into new buildings to gather inforation to validate simulation models and improve their accuracy. The sensors can be installed with a high density in a given area for a short time to facilitate this and then be re-used elsewhere. (This of course can be done for existing buildings if sufficient information is available or if it is necessary to gather data to create an empirical model).

3. Installation of wireless sensors for conditional monitoring of systems, machines, etc. The benefits of this are two-fold:-

(i) the system can detect when a machine is not operating efficiently and report back to the BMS for corrective action

(ii) overall system efficiency and reliability can be enhanced by the detection of machine operating anomalies and increasing the likelihood of preventative maintenance and reducing system downtime 

From a technology aspect Tyndall is exploring 3 research strands:-

1. Miniaturization of the WSN nodes offers better performance in the aspects of size, weight, power, robustness, noise, speed, etc.

2. Energy harvesting where applicable renders the mote self powered, eliminating the need for batteries and maintenance, also reducing overall size and cost.

3. Actuation and control capability is critical to ensure the sensed information can be put to good use by the BMS to execute energy efficiency improvements on the energy consuming devices.

A key element in this work is the scalability of the solutions devised so that large scale deployments can be easily achieved in a cost effective manner within buildings and for multi-building scenarios.

For further details contact Mike Hayes at , +353 21 4904328.



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