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A Sence-Think-Act methodology for intelligent building energy management

: Rovas, Dimitrios V.; Katsigarakis, Kyriakos I.; Kontes, Giorgos D.; Giannakis, Georgios I.; Lilis, Georgios N.

Tsinghua University, Beijing:
30th CIB W78 International Conference on Applications of IT in the AEC Industry 2013. Proceedings : 9-12 October, 2013, Beijing, China
Beijing: Tsinghua University Press, 2013
International Conference on Applications of IT in the AEC Industry <30, 2013, Beijing>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IBP ()

The realization of smart and energetically-efficient buildings is contingent upon the successful implementation of two tasks occurring on disparate phases of the building lifecycle: in the design and subsequent retrofitting phases, the selection and implementation of an effective energy concept; and, during the operation phase, the actuation of available energy-influencing systems and devices to ensure parsimonious use of resources while retaining thermal comfort at acceptable levels. Building Energy Management Systems are tasked to continuously implement a three-step Sense, Think, Act (STA) process: Sense, using sensing modalities installed in the building; Think, utilizing, typically a rule-based decision system; and Act, by sending actuation commands to controllable building elements. Providing the intelligence in this STA process - justifying in that sense the epithet "smart" in smart buildings - can oftentimes be a formidable task due to the complex interplay of many parameters and uncertainties. In this paper, a methodology developed within the European FP7-ICT Project PEBBLE, is presented to streamline the effective implementation of such STA processes. The ingredients of the proposed architecture are: (S) a middleware component capable of collecting and aggregating information from a number of inhomogeneous sources (sensors, weather stations, weather forecasts); (T) a model-based optimization methodology to automatically generate intelligent decisions; and (A) the Actuation layer, which communicates the decisions to the building. Information provided through graphical user interfaces, aims at enhancing user energy-awareness and at making building users proactive Actors in the process. The ICT components implementing the methodology are presented and evaluated with corroborating experiments conducted in an office building of the Technical University of Crete.