ECN publication
Computerised intelligence in small scale home networks and beyond : opportunities for energy efficiency
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Energy in the Built Environment 1-11-2001
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-I--01-005 Other
Number of pages: Full text:
92 Download PDF  

In this report the possibility of realising smart applications usingmodern information and communication technologies on the residential scale is investigated from a number of viewpoints. The first viewpoint is a technological one emphasising the electronic hardware. Various possible processor and network architectures are discussed and connection schemes and protocols are presented to establish a platform for intelligent software applications in residential buildings. The second viewpoint concerns the software architecture. Using three different types of applications, requirements are defined and functional roles are attributed to individual sub-processes in the software. Current developments in standardising this software architecture, especially using residential gateways, are also discussed. The largest energy saving potential of using intelligent technology in buildings is in the control strategy of the combined air ventilation and heating system. Several scenarios are studied using a prototype comfort management system, in which thermal comfort is dynamically optimised against energy prices, which vary over time. Fanger?s composite comfort index is used to measure comfort. From a hardware point of view the individual components and nodes in the network have reached a mature implementation stage. A consistent interconnection architecture, based on standard Internet technology, is currently evolving. Current pricing levels of the technology at the moment hinder implementation on a wider scale. From a software-architectural point of view current standardisation efforts are leading to a transparent, portable platform for a number of application types. With the advent of an increasing number of always-on, broadband Internet connections to homes, computational resource demanding energy management applications wil1 be more easy to realise using distributed computing capacity. From the comfort management strategy calculations a consistent picture of a clear, lifestyle, dependent, cost and energy usage reduction benefit of 10-30 percent can be derived. A similar benefit can be found for utility buildings.

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