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Towards utilizing internet of things (IoT) devices for understanding individual occupants' energy usage of personal and shared appliances in office buildings

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Journal Article

Rafsanjani, Hamed Nabizadeh, and Ali Ghahramani. 2020. “Towards utilizing internet of things (IoT) devices for understanding individual occupants’ energy usage of personal and shared appliances in office buildings.” Journal of Building Engineering 27: 100948.

Energy consumption in office buildings highly depends on occupant energy-use behaviors and intervening these behaviors could function as a cost-effective approach to enhance energy savings. Current behavior-intervention techniques extensively rely on occupant-specific energy-use information at the workstation level and often ignore shared appliances. It is because an occupant typically has full responsibility for her workstation appliances energy consumption and shares the responsibility of the shared appliances energy consumption. However, understanding energy-use behavior of both workstation and shared appliances is necessary for applying appropriate behavior-intervention techniques. Despite this importance, there is still no practical and scalable method to capture personalized energy-use information of workstation and shared appliances since the conventional methods use plug-in power meters that are extremely expensive and difficult to maintain over long period of time. To address this gap, we propose a comprehensive occupant-level energy-usage approach which utilizes the data from the internet of things devices in office buildings to provide information related to energy-use behavior of workstation and shared appliances of each occupant in an economical and feasible manner. In particular, we introduce an energy behavior index which quantitatively compares individual occupants’ energy-consuming data to identify high energy consumers and inefficient behaviors. Results from an experiment conducted in an office building equipped with internet of things devices demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed approach to classify occupants to different energy-usage categories. Our proposed approach along with appropriate behavior-intervention techniques could be used to impact occupant energy-use behaviors.

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