Sensors and Controls R&D

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About the Portfolio

The goal of the Sensors and Controls sub-program is to improve building energy management and optimize building operating conditions (i.e., heating, ventilating, and air conditioning [HVAC], lighting, and plug loads) through the development of low-cost and fully automated building sensors and controls systems that will improve data collection, monitoring, and optimization of building energy use, as well as effectively integrate building energy loads with the rest of the electric grid and support energy-related transactions outside the building envelope. The sub-program is organized around the following four technology areas:

  1. Multifunction plug-and-play wireless sensors – fully automated and self-power sensing node packages that can be easily installed, operated, and maintained.
  2. Occupant-centered and -comfort sensors and controls – at the zone or subzone level to enable accurate, real-time feedback on individual and group-level occupant presence and/or comfort.
  3. Whole-building submetering – pervasive and granular submetering such that all equipment and plug loads are being metered with sufficient accuracy for unique identification and monitoring-based commissioning.
  4. Adaptive and fault tolerant controls – Ongoing, automated commissioning that compares top-level or submeter information about building energy consumption to an appropriate baseline to automatically identify and diagnose operational faults.

Advancements in these sensor and control strategies will improve the efficiency and enable energy savings for other building technologies (i.e., HVAC, water heating, lighting, and building envelope and windows).