Sensor solutions for an energy-efficient and user-centered heating system
Abstract. In contrast to conventional hydronic heating systems, in which the air is used as a medium for the convective heat transfer, an alternative approach is based on the usage of infrared (IR) radiant heating foils. These foils, which are applied to the walls and the ceiling of a laboratory, can be controlled individually. This leads to the possibility of heating the room zonewise and only when a person is present in a zone. A local comfortable climate is provided only in occupied zones, with the remaining zones being kept at a lower base temperature. Consequently, the measurement system has to detect persons in each zone and to determine the putative thermal comfort at relevant locations in the room. For the first problem, we examined and evaluated different sensor types capable of localizing persons without infringing on their anonymity. For the second problem, we used the fact that the thermal comfort mainly depends on the operative temperature (Li et al., 2010; DIN EN ISO 7730, 2006; de Dear and Brager, 2002). According to Simone et al. (2007), this temperature can be measured directly by an easily producible, planar sensor. The sensors were integrated in a wireless sensor network which consists of Wi-Fi-capable microcontroller boards, wireless smart home equipment, a Wi-Fi router, and a server.