Wireless energy behaviour monitoring (Wi-be) for energy management

Project Overview

The availability of low power wireless sensors, networks and personal communication devices, provides the opportunity to explore the use of wireless behaviour information (Wi-be) systems for monitoring personal energy use, building user locations and delivering personalised energy feedback information. This project investigates the feasibility of using Wi-be technologies in domestic and non-domestic buildings. In comparison to the domestic sector, little research into the use of energy feedback has been undertaken in the workplace. This work evaluates behavioural aspects of the use of Wi-be systems within non-domestic buildings through case studies that combine experimental monitoring with behavioural research techniques.

Background

There has been increasingly strong evidence of the major energy saving potential of energy monitoring and management, based on latest ICT and control technologies, which integrates holistically the optimisation of building energy systems, and the engagement of users and FM in the process. The cost of its implementation is often an order of magnitude lower compared to fabric- or HVAC-based building retrofit solution. Building user engagement facilitated by the ICT feedback is a further valuable feature as it deals with the source of energy use and waste much more effectively. The work reported here feeds into the on-going development of the energy monitoring and management. 

Key Objectives

  • To investigate the effectiveness of the Wi-be system to reduce energy consumption in (non-domestic) buildings
  • To assess the user perception and uptake aspects of the technology
  • To investigate more appropriate wireless sensing and transmission technologies appropriate for (non-domestic) building applications

 

Partners

The Wi-be project is funded by the EPSRC (EP/I000259/1) and the consortium is led by Professor Shao with the following academic and non-academic partners:

De Montfort University

University of Nottingham

Queen Mary, University of London

Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers

Philips

MicroWatt

Leicester City Council

Interim findings

Disaggregated data, at personal and device levels, of energy consumption is crucial for understanding users' energy behaviours and for developing energy management interventions.

The small number of case studies carried out have shown that significant energy saving (up to 77% in specific areas) can be achieved.

However, sustained feedback is needed for lasting energy consumption reductions.

The Wi-be technology complements the traditional behavior evaluation by allowing behavior patterns and insights to be obtained through sensor based data collection.

However, social factors such as levels of control and ethical and privacy issues could undermine its deployment and would require more comprehensive study.

Outputs

M Coleman; K Irvine; M Lemon; LShao (2013); "Promoting behaviour change through personalised energy feedback in offices" Building Research & Information DOI:10.1080/09613218.2013.808958

Li Shao, Michael Coleman, Robert Foster, Robert Shipman, Mark Gillott Yang Hao, Kate Irvine, Mark Lemon, Max Munoz, (2013) "Reduction of energy demand in buildings through optimal use of wireless behaviour information (Wi-be) systems" International Conference on Applied Energy, ICAE 2013, Jul 1-4, 2013, Pretoria, South Africa

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