Publication: Smart Building: Decision Making Architecture for Thermal Energy Management
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Smart applications of the Internet of Things are improving the performance of buildings, reducing energy demand. Local and smart networks, soft computing methodologies, machine intelligence algorithms and pervasive sensors are some of the basics of energy optimization strategies developed for the benefit of environmental sustainability and user comfort. This work presents a distributed sensor-processor-communication decision-making architecture to improve the acquisition, storage and transfer of thermal energy in buildings. The developed system is implemented in a near Zero-Energy Building (nZEB) prototype equipped with a built-in thermal solar collector, where optical properties are analysed; a low enthalpy geothermal accumulation system, segmented in different temperature zones; and an envelope that includes a dynamic thermal barrier. An intelligent control of this dynamic thermal barrier is applied to reduce the thermal energy demand (heating and cooling) caused by daily and seasonal weather variations. Simulations and experimental results are presented to highlight the nZEB thermal energy reduction.