As occupancy sensor-driven controls are being more widespread in commercial and residential buildings, our goal is to quantify the energy savings of deep Heating Ventilation and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) through a diversified eight-level protocol and a simulation suite to analyze the possible detection failures and potential energy savings of various types of occupancy sensors. The proposed protocol and simulation suite will be validated in controlled laboratory environments, as well as in four commercial buildings and four residential houses for field trial testing.
- Investigate various types of presence and people counting sensor systems from multiple external collaborators to determine detection failure rates and validate the HVAC energy savings potential in a wide range of real-world applications. This includes sensor systems that utilize machine learning.
- Develop the required testing protocol and simulation suites, then test and validate them in laboratory-controlled environments and field trial testing in no less than four commercial buildings and four residential houses in at minimum two climate zones. This includes at least 6 sensor systems for the lab testing.
- Transfer the testing protocol and key findings for sensor-based HVAC controls through engagements with HVAC standards committees, control consulting, building automation companies, and other SENSOR project teams. Develop validated software simulation package to enable others in the field to simulate the energy impact of their presence and people counting technologies.
- 2023. 09 The project videos are publicly available, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.
- 2021. 05 The team presented video updates of the project during the 2021 ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit.
- 2020. 09 The team presented the update on the simulation suite development at the 2020 Building Performance Analysis Simbuild Virtual Conference.
- 2020. 09 The team presented the update on the simulation suite development at the Occupant Behavior 20 Symposium and IEA Annex 79.
- 2020. 09. The journal which reports the simulation results for office buildings was accepted to Applied Energy (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apenergy.2020.115727).
- 2020. 06. The team presented the progress on the simulation suite development on the ASHRAE 2020 Virtual Conference (which should have been held in Austin, TX).
- 2020. 02. The simulation team presented the progress on the simulation suite development on the ASHRAE 2020 Winter Conference in Orlando, FL.
- 2019. 10. A webinar was co-hosted by our team and Dr. Kristen Cetin at Michigan State University to update the results of the Building Occupant-Centric Management Survey. Contact Dr. O’Neill to know more about this survey.
- 2019. 07. The Texas A&M team took a PNNL Lab Homes tour together with the PNNL team and Taylor Engineering. The labs are located on the PNNL main campus in Richland, WA. Check our visit update.
- 2019. 07. A workshop was jointly hosted by our team and Dr. Kristen Cetin at Michigan State University during the ASHRAE 2019 Annual Conference at Kansas City, MO.
- 2019. 07. Our team participated in the ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit in Denver, CO. Two demos about sensor communication and sensor-driven control will be showcased by then. Welcome to stop by our booth/stand and share with us your opinions on this project.
- 2019. 01. A workshop was jointly hosted by our team and Dr. Kristen Cetin at Michigan State University during the ASHRAE 2019 Winter Conference at Atlanta, GA. Updates on the project progress were provided.
- 2018.04. The Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration NEWS feature our work on Setting the Standard for Sensor-Driven HVAC Control.
- 2017.12. ASHRAE Industry eNewsletter news about our ARPA-E SENSOR project
- 2017.12. IEEE Electronic 360 news about our work on sensor-driven HVAC control
- 2017.12. Heating, Air-conditioning & Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI) news about our ARPA-E SENSOR project
- 2017.12. Japan Air-Condition, Heating and Ventilation news about our sensor-driven HVAC controls
- 2017.12. Fox 6 news on WBRC about our sensor-driven HVAC controls.
- 2017.12. UA news about our ARPA-E SENSOR project
- 2017.11. We were selected for an ARPA-E award (SENSOR).
Zheng O’Neill, Texas A&M University
Dr. O’Neill is an Associate Professor at J. Mike Walker ’66 Department of Mechanical Engineering at Texas A&M University at College Station. She is a registered Professional Engineer and has more than 20 years of experience in building technology covering integrated building energy and control systems design, modeling and optimization, building commissioning, and low- energy/net-zero energy buildings. She has led or been involved with proposals leading to external research awards totaling over $15 million since 2014, and has over 100 journal and conference papers published.
Jian Zhang, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Dr. Jian Zhang is a Senior Research Engineer who has led or contributed to several DOE research projects, including the development of building energy codes and standards, such as ASHRAE Standards 90.1 and 189.1, IECC, and IgCC, and the development of several guides and tools to support energy-efficient building design and retrofits. He has also supported utility companies and stakeholders to improve their building energy efficiency through developing incentive programs and energy efficiency measures.
Bing Dong, Syracuse University
Dr. Bing Dong is an Assosiate Professor in the Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering at Syracuse University since August 2019. Before, he was an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio, and a senior research scientist at United Technologies Research Center. Prof. Dong’s current research goal is to explore how smart buildings play an active role in the urban scale cyber-physical energy system considering human behavior, renewable energy, energy storage, smart grid, health and resilience through physics-based modeling, optimization and controls, heterogeneous sensing and data-driven models.
Hwakong Cheng, Taylor Engineering
As a Principal at Taylor Engineering, Mr. Cheng’s work includes HVAC design, commissioning and energy analysis. He is an expert in HVAC controls and has led and consulted on the controls design on dozens of projects, including laboratories, data centers, ice storage, and large chilled water plants. He has extensive experience commissioning both new construction as well as existing buildings and is highly proficient with energy modeling and analysis. His modeling work includes life cycle analysis, LEED, support of building energy code updates, and tool creation for evaluating advanced energy efficiency measures.
Fei Hu, The University of Alabama
Dr. Hu is currently a professor in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering department at the University of Alabama. His research interets include Wireless Networks, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, and Cyber Security. He has led or been involved with proposals leading to $7M. He has over 200 publications so far, including journal papers, conference papers, book chapters, etc.
Rongpeng Zhang, Delos
Dr. Zhang is a building research scientist at the Well Living Lab in Rochester, MN, where he conducts simulations and experimental studies. He collaborates with scientists from diverse research backgrounds to conduct multi-disciplinary, human-centered research designed to understand the interactions between indoor environments and occupant behavior, health, and wellness. Additionally, he operates the building energy system of the Well Living Lab.