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Sensors 2016, 16(12), 2028;

Enabling Smart Air Conditioning by Sensor Development: A Review

Department of Energy and Refrigerating Air-Conditioning Engineering, National Taipei University of Technology, Taipei 10608, Taiwan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vittorio M. N. Passaro
Received: 25 August 2016 / Revised: 17 November 2016 / Accepted: 18 November 2016 / Published: 30 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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The study investigates the development of sensors, in particular the use of thermo-fluidic sensors and occupancy detectors, to achieve smart operation of air conditioning systems. Smart operation refers to the operation of air conditioners by the reinforcement of interaction to achieve both thermal comfort and energy efficiency. Sensors related to thermal comfort include those of temperature, humidity, and pressure and wind velocity anemometers. Improvements in their performance in the past years have been studied by a literature survey. Traditional occupancy detection using passive infra-red (PIR) sensors and novel methodologies using smartphones and wearable sensors are both discussed. Referring to the case studies summarized in this study, air conditioning energy savings are evaluated quantitatively. Results show that energy savings of air conditioners before 2000 was 11%, and 30% after 2000 by the integration of thermo-fluidic sensors and occupancy detectors. By utilizing wearable sensing to detect the human motions, metabolic rates and related information, the energy savings can reach up to 46.3% and keep the minimum change of predicted mean vote (∆PMV→0), which means there is no compromise in thermal comfort. This enables smart air conditioning to compensate for the large variations from person to person in terms of physiological and psychological satisfaction, and find an optimal temperature for everyone in a given space. However, this tendency should be evidenced by more experimental results in the future. View Full-Text
Keywords: thermo-fluidic sensors; occupancy detector; smart air conditioning; energy saving; thermal comfort thermo-fluidic sensors; occupancy detector; smart air conditioning; energy saving; thermal comfort

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Cheng, C.-C.; Lee, D. Enabling Smart Air Conditioning by Sensor Development: A Review. Sensors 2016, 16, 2028.

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