Buildings are one of the primary consumers of energy. In addition to the electricity grids, renewable energies can be used to supply the energy demand of buildings. Intelligent systems such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and wireless sensor technologies can also be applied to manage the energy consumption in buildings. Fortunately, integrating renewable energies with these intelligent systems enables creating nearly zero-energy buildings. In this paper, we present the results of our experimentation to demonstrate forming such a building and showing the benefits for building users and the society. We create a system by integrating photovoltaic (PV) technology with an IoT-based control mechanism to supply and consume energy. We further illustrate “how the integration of IoT and PV technology can bring added value to the users?”. To this end, we evaluate the performance of our system against conventional ways of energy supply and consumption for a lighting use case in a dairy store. We also investigate the environmental and economic impacts of our system. In our implementation, for the IoT-based control system, we have used a set of sensors, a server, and a wireless network to control the energy consumption. We developed a web application for user interaction and software-based settings. To control the lighting system, we developed an algorithm that utilizes the ambient light, users’ movements inside the store and a historical dataset. The historical dataset was collected from the users’ behaviour as a training set for the algorithm for turning on and off the lights. We also designed an electricity management system that computes the energy generation by the PV panels, controls the energy supply, and imports and exports electricity to the grid. The results show that our system is an efficient approach for creating energy-independent buildings by integrating renewable energies with IoT-based control systems. The results also show that our system not only responds to the internal demand by using domestic supply, but it also (i) offers economic benefit by exporting extra renewable electricity to the grid, and (ii) prevents producing huge amounts of CO
. Our system is one of the first works to achieve a nearly zero-energy building in the developing countries with low electricity accessibility.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited