In conjunction with ACM SenSys 2009, Berkeley, CA
Buildings use around 40% of all energy and more than 30% of all greenhouse gas emissions can be attributed to buildings. This means buildings can make a major contribution to tackling climate change and energy use. Energy consumption depends on the use of the building, for example IT companies spent an estimated $26.1 billion to power and cool servers worldwide in 2005.
Sensing, monitoring and actuating systems are expected to play a key role in reducing buildings overall energy consumption. Leveraging sensor systems to support energy efficiency in buildings poses novel research challenges in monitoring how the space is used, controlling devices, interfacing with smart energy meters and communicating with the energy grid. This includes developing energy efficient algorithms of control systems, integrating heterogeneous devices, personalizing and presenting data to generate energy awareness. These challenges include making sensed data available to any connected device, facilitating reasoning from multiple sources of data achieving global energy conservation over a combination of different systems, and devising control systems that support a multitude of network actuators.
Recent standardization efforts have generated an increasing trend towards the integration of sensor systems in Building Automation Systems. 802.15.4, ZigBee, WirelessHart and 6LowPAN are key enabling technologies for energy management by making it practical to embed wireless communications into energy saving systems from smart meters to lighting ballasts to climate/CO2 controls. Protocols for low-power wireless networks enable the seamless connection and integration of sensors into existing infrastructure. Smart grids will be interconnected to appliances and sensor systems to provide a more effective energy distribution including energy peak leveling and real time sharing of alternative energy sources.