Paper Conference

Proceedings of eSim 2022: 12th Conference of IBPSA-Canada


Continuous sensing to quantify spatial and temporal variability in thermal environment

Jake Gu, Dixon Leung, Joyce Kim
University of Waterloo, Canada

Abstract: Nearly 60% of building energy is used for space heating and cooling; yet, 40% of occupants are dissatisfied with their thermal environment. There are many reasons for such dissatisfaction, but a fundamental cause is the reliance on a single temperature sensor to provide comfort for all. This paper uses 6-month field experimental data to analyze the spatiotemporal variations in occupied spaces. Our results show that local temperature can vary as much as 2°C from the zonal thermostat readings, especially in south-facing perimeter areas. Hence, relying on a single thermostat to represent the entire zone creates blind spots in temperature monitoring within the building. Strategic placement of additional sensors can help to better represent individuals' thermal conditions and optimize HVAC control. Given that temperature variations highly depend on well-known parameters, such as building design and solar geometry, future studies should explore their use to predict local temperature of the building occupants.
Keywords: thermal comfort, indoor environment, spatiotemporal variations, Internet of Things, big data