ECN publication
De C-box: een geïntegreerde binnenklimaatregeling gebruik makend van een ICT-netwerk: Architectuur en analyse van realisatiemogelijkheden binnen woningen
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Energy in the Built Environment 1-7-2003
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-C--03-036 ECN publication
Number of pages: Full text:
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This document describes the development of a set of concepts for anintegrated management system for thermal comfort in houses, the C-Box. An information model is given for the C-Box in which, apart from a central heating system, also other components are taken into account, such as ventilation and solar radiation control. Besides integration of components, also control within a wider context is defined. Access to external information, model building information and, especially, the user perception is modelled. The C-Box references the Fanger comfort model in which, besides air temperature, radiation temperature, humidity, air velocity, user activity and clothing level are taken into account. The comfort management model is an adaptive model, thus anticipating and avoiding unwanted effects in the near future (several hours up to one day).

Special attention is paid to the interaction between de C-Box and the occupants of a house. Occupants in a house can have a dynamic behaviour, both in presence and in activities. In many cases the comfort wishes can be derived from a general style of living of the occupants. In order to have a adequate comfort management, temporary changes in the comfort wish need to be detected in time. There is a need for a practical, understandable and simple user interaction, which in may cases is a bottleneck in the development of technical systems. Advances in the area of ?ambient technology? can lead to a new way of integration of technology and user acceptance, which bridges this gap.

In this report a number of simulation calculations have been performed to assess the impact of this new philosophy in terms of cost and comfort. The calculations are performed using representative houses in the Netherlands taking into account the differences in life-style. Occupants who are already efficient in their energy use can gain extra energy savings up to 5%, without little or no comfort reduction. More careless occupants can even gain more. An essential constraint is that information can be obtained on the user profile and user wish.

The information model is worked out further in a number of protocol and interface definitions, which form the basis for an experimental setting. In this experimental setting, a C-Box has three connection types: a connection to the temperature sensor and heating installation, a standard IP-connection and a connection to a home network bus.

Before going into implementation a number of bottlenecks in the C-Box concept have to be solved. Energy saving will nor easily become a major reason for investment in home networks. However, in the near future it might integrate with emerging home network markets for security and care systems and entertainment. Also the cost in money and energy of the hardware are expected to be solved in the near future, since wireless components and sensors are becoming cheaper in cost and energy use (lifetime batteries).. In appendix B a proposal has been defined for a demonstration project for the C-Box concept acting within the constraints identified in this report: technical realisation; integration with security and care systems; proof of cost and energy saving in practice; and the essential user interaction.

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