Carbon Neutral Living in Existing Buildings
In collaboration with Z-NET Uralla, ICT International has been working to examine the efficiency by which houses of varying design eras utilise energy inputs to achieve and maintain thermal comfort, compared to those that are thermally improved.
Monitoring and Network solution
The study houses were equipped with sensors to measure energy use (gas, wood, electricity) and to monitor internal temperature gradients and thermal comfort of living areas, and heat loss through structural elements within high-use living areas. This data was collected via a series of loggers and IoT Nodes for transmission to the cloud.
Preliminary results show how effectively energy inputs are being used by the house to maintain heat within the thermal comfort zone. In a thermally unimproved 1915 Federation style weatherboard clad dwelling, energy inputs are rapidly dispersed through external walls and ceilings; temperature gradients of above 20°C were observed between floor and ceiling zones. With further monitoring it is hoped that the best insulation strategies can be identified; thus enhancing measures employed to enhance the efficiency of energy inputs.
Sensors used included: HFP01 for Heat Flux Plates; thermistors; load cells for firewood / gas cylinders; ATH-2S for internal temperature and relative humidity; ATH-2S for external temperature and humidity.
Figure (right) shows the internal temperature changes against gas usage as the residents have been coming and going through the day; as can be seen there are a number of spikes in temperature change, and an associated change in the amount of gas in the cylinder (measured by the load cell under the cylinder).