Articles | Volume 6, issue 1
Regular research article
23 Jan 2017
Regular research article |  | 23 Jan 2017

Sensor solutions for an energy-efficient and user-centered heating system

Moritz Hein, Ralf Stöber, Michael Meiler, Daniel Schaller, Rebecca Zehle, Gerhard Fischerauer, Jochen Bauer, Johannes Bürner, Jörg Franke, Thomas Becher, Martin Feller, and Joachim Maul

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.

Short summary
We have analyzed the requirements of a smart heating system and, in particular, the necessary sensors and their integration in a control system. The system comprises temperature and localization sensors as measuring elements and heating foils as actuators. The system components were studied in a demonstrator room, and the entire heterogeneous system has now been deployed in an apartment for further field studies during the heating season of 2016/2017.