Testing the accuracy of low-cost data streams for determining single-person office occupancy and their use for energy reduction of building services

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  1. Available on November 20, 2017
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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.enbuild.2016.11.029
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TypeArticle
Journal titleEnergy and Buildings
ISSN0378-7788
1872-6178
Volume135
Pages137147
Subjectoccupancy; sensors; office buildings; lighting; HVAC
AbstractWe explored methods of detecting occupancy in single-person offices using data already collected by the occupant’s PC, or data from relatively cheap sensors added to the PC. We collected data at 15-s intervals for up to 31 days in each of 28 offices. A combination of low/no cost sensors (webcam-based motion detection, and keyboard and mouse activity) was much more accurate at detecting occupancy than a commercial ceiling-based passive infrared (PIR) sensor, and provided overall daytime accuracy >90%, with very low false negative rates. This enhanced detection performance would enable a reduction in the timeout periods for building service curtailment on space vacancy. For example, lighting switch-off timeout could be reduced from the current energy code standard of 20 min to less than 5 min, increasing energy savings potential by 25–45%. We then deployed this system in a proof-of-concept demonstration, using it to control lighting, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), and plug loads in a mock-up office environment. Tests were run over nine occupied days (six in cooling season, three in heating season). The system delivered energy savings of 15–68%, with no reported false negative errors.
Publication date
LanguageEnglish
AffiliationConstruction; Information and Communication Technologies; Aerospace; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number23001177
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Record identifier8dd905f5-6b28-4f14-9119-6435285da6a7
Record created2016-12-22
Record modified2017-04-05
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