Performance of residential heating and cooling control strategies using distributed wireless sensor networks
Previous work has suggested that residential space heating and cooling control strategies that partition the structure into individual zones using wireless sensor networks might result in lower energy consumption compared to systems using a single-sensor thermostat. Questions have been posed as to whether these strategies can achieve the same level of performance in a variety of geographic locations and climates. This study compared four control strategies that utilized a wireless temperature and humidity sensor network to regulate the comfort of a residence in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States during the summer and winter. In particular, the energy consumption and comfort levels of each multi-sensor strategy were compared to a baseline strategy that mimicked a single thermostat. The difference in energy usage measured by each control strategy was found to be statistically insignificant. However, experiments indicated that these strategies may nevertheless result in improvements in thermal comfort.