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Self Powered Wireless Sensor Network for HVAC System Energy Improvement - Towards Integral Building Connectivity (TIBUCON)
Start date: Sep 1, 2010, End date: Oct 31, 2013 PROJECT  FINISHED 

In the current European Energy Scenario, the building sector is responsible for 35-40% of the total energy consumption, and space heating is the largest component of that energy use in virtually all member states, accounting for 67% at the level of EU-15 till 2005.The current project focuses on the space heating and cooling aspects, proposing a solution beyond the existing wireless based HVAC control systems, derived from the use of Self Powered Multi Magnitude Wireless Sensor Network (SP-MM-WSN) for building thermal condition monitoring. The SP-MM-WSN completely avoids the use of cables and removable batteries, thanks to the combination of extremely energy efficient wireless communication technology, ultra low power electronics, and the power harvesting concept. The wiring and battery removal is a real breakthrough, considering that:• Wiring can represent up to 80% of the total cost for a control point in an HVAC system• There could be hundreds of sensors in a newly deployed wireless based HVAC control system for a mid-range commercial building, generating hundreds of used batteriesThe use of SP-MM-WSN therefore results in an easy-to-deploy and maintenance-free building monitoring system that makes it the ideal candidate for either new or existing HVAC installations. The advantages of the system lie in the level of automation you get and the efficiency improvement you achieve by implementing this solution, TIBUCON, in either existing or new installations.The aim of the TIBUCON project is to develop SP-MM-WSN technology that will be used in building thermal condition monitoring for either new or existing HVAC installations. SP-MM-WSN along with an actuating scheme will allow optimized real time control, or at least automatic monitoring and user energy awareness for the retrofit cases. The project will result in:• A more cost effective and less invasive tool for HVAC control system retrofitting• More efficient HVAC structure in terms of energy consumption and thermal comfort for new installationsIn both situations TIBUCON will have an important impact on the energy consumption and CO2 emission of the HVAC systems, and due to the wire and battery reduction the use of limited resources (copper, PVC, heavy metals, etc) and waste generation (used battery disposal) will be abated.The project outcomes will be evaluated on two demo buildings through a one year period. The selected pilot test beds are a new multi-tenant office building in Poland and an existing group of apartment buildings in Spain.Regarding technological improvements proposed by TIBUCON, they are based on the Multi Magnitude and Hybrid Power harvesting approaches. The multi magnitude sensor platform will allow measuring of all relevant information with a single device; and the parallel energy harvesting will allow the correct sensor node performance even if one of the energy sources is temporarily not available (e.g. light).
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