skip to main content

Title: Non-Intrusive Air Leakage Detection in Residential Homes
Air leakages pose a major problem in both residential and commercial buildings. They increase the utility bill and result in excessive usage of Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems, which impacts the environment and causes discomfort to residents. Repairing air leakages in a building is an expensive and time intensive task. Even detecting the leakages can require extensive professional testing. In this paper, we propose a method to identify the leaky homes from a set, provided their energy consumption data is accessible from residential smart meters. In the first phase, we employ a Non-Intrusive Load Monitoring (NILM) technique to disaggregate the HVAC data from total power consumption for several homes. We propose a recurrent neural network and a denoising autoencoder based approach to identify the 'ON' and 'OFF' cycles of the HVACs and their overall usages. We categorize the typical HVAC consumption of about 200 homes and any probable insulation and leakage problems using the Air Changes per Hour at 50 Pa (ACH50) metric in the Dataport datasets. We perform our proposed NILM analysis on different granularities of smart meter data such as 1 min, 15 mins, and 1 hour to observe its effect on classifying the leaky homes. Our results show that disaggregation can be used to identify the residential air-conditioning, at 1 min granularity which in turn helps us to identify the leaky potential homes, with an accuracy of 86%.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
ICDCN '18 Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Distributed Computing and Networking
Page Range / eLocation ID:
1 to 10
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Occupancy detection helps enable various emerging smart environment applications ranging from opportunistic HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning) control, effective meeting management, healthy social gathering, and public event planning and organization. Ubiquitous availability of smartphones and wearable sensors with the users for almost 24 hours helps revitalize a multitude of novel applications. The inbuilt microphone sensor in smartphones plays as an inevitable enabler to help detect the number of people conversing with each other in an event or gathering. A large number of other sensors such as accelerometer and gyroscope help count the number of people based on other signals such as locomotive motion. In this work, we propose multimodal data fusion and deep learning approach relying on the smartphone’s microphone and accelerometer sensors to estimate occupancy. We first demonstrate a novel speaker estimation algorithm for people counting and extend the proposed model using deep nets for handling large-scale fluid scenarios with unlabeled acoustic signals. We augment our occupancy detection model with a magnetometer-dependent fingerprinting-based localization scheme to assimilate the volume of location-specific gathering. We also propose crowdsourcing techniques to annotate the semantic location of the occupant. We evaluate our approach in different contexts: conversational, silence, and mixed scenarios in the presence of 10 people. Our experimental results on real-life data traces in natural settings show that our cross-modal approach can achieve approximately 0.53 error count distance for occupancy detection accuracy on average. 
    more » « less
  2. With commercial and residential buildings accounting for approximately 40% of the energy and 70% of the electricity consumption in the United States, there are substantial opportunities to improve energy efficiency in these buildings. Similarly, buildings also account for the large majority of electricity demand, particularly during peak use hours. As the electric grid becomes increasingly supported by renewable energy, buildings are ideal for supporting demand-side management, allowing for the electricity demand to meet the variable levels of electricity supply. Integrated controls of various building energy system components, including HVAC (Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning), lighting, and shading devices, combined with advanced sensor and control technologies, can help to optimize system operations. This research aims to study the impact of integrated HVAC, lighting, and shading device controls, to estimate energy and demand saving in typical small office buildings in the U.S. This is achieved through a multi-step modeling process, including daylight simulation using Radiance to evaluate available daylight for each zone, then EnergyPlus to develop and implement various controls and estimate energy and demand savings using the Radiance results as input. The result of this work provides insights for a variety of stakeholders in the building, utility and grid operator industries and quantifies the potential benefit of integrated systems. 
    more » « less
  3. To promote energy-efficient operations in residential and office buildings, non-intrusive load monitoring (NILM) techniques have been proposed to infer the fine-grained power consumption and usage patterns of appliances from power-line measurement data. Fine-grained monitoring of everyday appliances (such as toasters and coffee makers) can not only promote energy-efficient building operations, but also provide unique insights into the context and activities of individuals. Current building-level NILM techniques are unable to identify the consumption characteristics of relatively low-load appliances, whereas smart-plug based solutions incur significant deployment and maintenance costs. In this paper, we investigate an intermediate architecture, where smart circuit breakers provide measurements of aggregate power consumption at room (or section) level granularity. We then investigate techniques to identify the usage and energy consumption of individual appliances from such measurements. We first develop a novel correlation-based approach called CBPA to identify individual appliances based on both their unique transient and steady-state power signatures. While promising, CBPA fails when the set of candidate appliances is too large. To further improve the accuracy of appliance level usage estimation, we then propose a hybrid system called AARPA, which uses mobile sensing to first infer high-level activities of daily living (ADLs), and then uses knowledge of such ADLs to effectively reduce the set of candidate appliances that potentially contribute to the aggregate readings at any point. We evaluate two variants of this algorithm, and show, using real-life data traces gathered from 10 domestic users, that our fusion of mobile and power-line sensing is very promising: it identified all devices that were used in each data trace, and it identified the usage duration and energy consumption of low-load consumer appliances with 87% accuracy. 
    more » « less
  4. Reinforcement learning (RL) methods can be used to develop a controller for the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems that both saves energy and ensures high occupants’ thermal comfort levels. However, the existing works typically require on-policy data to train an RL agent, and the occupants’ personalized thermal preferences are not considered, which is limited in the real-world scenarios. This paper designs a high-performance model-based offline RL algorithm for personalized HVAC systems. The proposed algorithm can quickly adapt to different occupants’ thermal preferences with a few thermal feedbacks, guaranteeing the high occupants’ personalized thermal comfort levels efficiently. First, we use a meta-supervised learning algorithm to train an occupant's thermal preference model. Then, we train an ensemble neural network to predict the thermal states of the considered zone. In addition, the obtained ensemble networks can indicate the regions in the state and action spaces covered by the offline dataset. With the personalized thermal preference model updated via meta-testing, model-based RL is used to derive the optimal HVAC controller. Since the proposed algorithm only requires offline datasets and a few online thermal feedbacks for training, it contributes to a more practical deployment of the RL algorithm to HVAC systems. We use the ASHRAE database II to verify the effectiveness and advantage of the meta-learning algorithm for modeling different occupants’ thermal preferences. Numerical simulations on the EnergyPlus environment demonstrate that the proposed algorithm can guarantee personalized thermal preferences with a slight increase of power consumption of 1.91% compared with the model-based RL algorithm with on-policy data aggregation. 
    more » « less
  5. In modern smarthomes, temperature regulation is achieved through a mix of traditional and emergent technologies including air conditioning, heating, intelligent utilization of the effects of sun, wind, and shade as well as using stored heat and cold. To achieve the desired comfort for the inhabitants while minimizing environmental impact and cost, the home controller must predict how its actions will impact the temperature and other environmental factors in various parts of the home. The question we are investigating in this paper is whether the temperature values in different rooms in a home are predictable based on readings from sensors in the home. We are also interested in whether increased accuracy can be achieved by adding sensors to capture the state of doors and windows of the given room and/or the whole home, and what type of machine learning algorithms can take advantage of the additional information. As experimentation on real-world homes is highly expensive, we use ScaledHome, a 1:12 scale, IoT-enabled model of a smart home for data acquisition. Our experiments show that while additional data can improve the accuracy of the prediction, the type of machine learning models needs to be carefully adapted to the number of data features available. 
    more » « less