POEM: Power-efficient Occupancy-based Energy Management System

Varick Erickson, Stefan Achleitner, Alberto E. Cerpa


Buildings account for 40% of US primary energy consumption and 72% of electricity. Of this total, 50% of the energy consumed in buildings is used for Heating Ventilation and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) systems. Current HVAC systems only condition based on static schedules; rooms are conditioned regardless of occupancy. By conditioning rooms only when necessary, greater efficiency can be achieved. This paper describes POEM, a complete closed-loop system for optimally controlling HVAC systems in buildings based on actual occupancy levels. POEM is comprised of multiple parts. A wireless network of cameras called OPTNet is developed that functions as an optical turnstile to measure area/zone occupancies. Another wireless sensor network of passive infrared (PIR) sensors called BONet functions alongside OPTNet. This sensed occupancy data from both systems are then fused with an occupancy prediction model using a particle filter in order to determine the most accurate current occupancy in each zone in the building. Finally, the information from occupancy prediction models and current occupancy is combined in order to find the optimal conditioning strategy required to reach target temperatures and minimize ventilation requirements. Based on live tests of the system, we estimate ~30.0% energy saving can be achieved while still maintaining thermal comfort.




Varick Erickson, Stefan Achleitner, Alberto E. Cerpa, "POEM: Power-efficient Occupancy-based Energy Management System," Proceedings of the Twelfth ACM/IEEE International Conference on Information Processing on Sensor Networks (IPSN 2013), pp. 203--216, ACM/IEEE, Philadelphia, PA, USA, April, 2013.


  author =       "Varick Erickson and Stefan Achleitner and Alberto E.
  booktitle =    "Proceedings of the Twelfth ACM/IEEE International
                 Conference on Information Processing on Sensor Networks
                 (IPSN 2013)",
  title =        "{POEM}: Power-efficient Occupancy-based Energy
                 Management System",
  year =         "2013",
  month =        apr,
  pages =        "203--216",
  publisher =    "ACM/IEEE",
  address =      "Philadelphia, PA, USA",
  keywords =     "ASHRAE comfort standards;HVAC energy;POEM;building
                 conditioning system;energy savings;energy
                 usage;occupancy-based system;real time occupancy
                 data;usage based demand control conditioning
                 strategies;wireless sensor network occupancy model
                 predictions;HVAC;wireless sensor networks;",
  URL =          "http://www.andes.ucmerced.edu/papers/Erickson13a.pdf",
  accept =       "21",
  cited =        "8",


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