(This is a continuation of a research project from the previous semester.)
The objective of this research is to investigate and optimize energy usage in buildings through use of wireless sensor networks. Wireless sensor networks provide a cost-effective solution for outfitting existing buildings with sensors and actuators thereby monitoring exactly where, when and how much energy is consumed. Energy sensors and remotely controlled switches connected to appliances can provide users with a detailed breakdown of individual appliance energy consumption while at the same time giving them the ability to disable devices that are not being used. One of the main challenges in achieve this goal is to design a visualization portal for non-technical operators. This front-end should enable users to configure, monitor and control a variety of sensors and actuators deployed across the building. It should locally store sensor data and highlight various trends at different timescales giving insight into daily usage patterns. Organization of sensor information should be customizable based on the logical functionality from the user's perspective independent of the underlying network's physical topology. Our envisioned system will provide policies for energy reduction that can be customized, remotely configured, or optimized based on user needs. To enable wide-scale deployment, this interface will be built to run as a web application on a low-cost embedded platform. Ultimately, we intend to use this infrastructure to collect both fine-grained and aggregate energy consumption information, and to determine practical and automated techniques that can be later used to conserve energy.