A Scalable Personalized Thermal-Comfort Platform for Building Energy Conservation

October 04, 2017 10:19 AM EST By: Regina Ramazzini

Buildings commonly choose conservative temperature setpoints. This leads to huge energy wastes. We develop scalable personalized thermal-comfort (SPET) platform that can quantitatively estimate thermal comfort of any occupants in daily operations. Consequently, our platform can provide building operators a proactive temperature setting mechanism that optimizes both thermal-comfort and energy conservation.

Buildings are top energy consumers worldwide, and the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) system accounts for more than half of building energy consumption. Buildings commonly choose conservative temperature setpoints. Offices in Hong Kong are typical examples, where the indoor air-temperature is routinely set very low. This leads to huge energy wastes. The reason is that there is no available product that can quantitatively estimate the thermal comfort, i.e., whether one feels hot or cold, of individual occupants in daily offices. To minimize complaints, building operators choose uniform and conservative temperature setting mechanisms.    We develop a scalable personalized thermal-comfort (SPET) platform. The core innovation of the SPET platform is a model that can quantitatively estimate the thermal comfort of any individual occupants or groups in daily operations. Consequently, our platform can provide building operators a proactive temperature setting mechanism that optimizes both thermal comfort and energy conservation. Our research results have shown a preliminary version of our model can save energy for 18% and improve thermal comfort for 33.8%.


 

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