Intelligent Systems for Energy Management in Wireless Sensor-Based Smart Environments

Intelligent Systems for Energy Management in Wireless Sensor-Based Smart Environments

Blerim Qela (University of Ottawa, Canada) and Hussein T. Mouftah (University of Ottawa, Canada)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 25
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1842-8.ch008
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The purpose of this chapter is to explore and address the issues that are applicable to Smart Environments by encouraging and providing new insights towards the “Sustainable Green Computing” initiatives for “energy aware” applicable solutions. The topics covered in this chapter provide an introduction to future wireless sensor-based smart environments for energy management systems. Introduction to the topic, motivation, and objective are covered in Section 1. A review of the state-of-the-art technological achievements, theory, and applications, related to the energy management systems (wireless sensors and intelligent systems) are covered in Section 2. Whilst, Section 3 covers in detail the authors’ proposed methodological approach and main ideas leading towards the “Intelligent Systems for Energy Management in Wireless Sensor-Based Smart Environments.” Case studies of real-world applications, following the principles of “Green Computing” in intelligent systems are introduced. The authors present the simulation results of an “energy conservation perspective” in smart homes, demonstrating the potential improvements with respect to energy conservation. Moreover, they present examples of large Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) simulations (impact of topology control in network survivability) and hybrid intelligent techniques for energy efficient solutions, i.e. finding optimal solution in a predefined interval. The conclusions and future research directions are provided in Sections 4 and 5, respectively.
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1. Introduction

The need for energy efficient and intelligent systemic solutions has lead researchers around the world to investigate and evaluate existing technologies in order to create solutions that could be adopted for the near future intelligent homes and buildings (Hagras, 2008; Chana, Est’eve, Escriba, & Campo, 2008). The emergence of powerful embedded microcomputer systems and wireless sensor networks provides a good ground for in-depth research and adaptation of the existing intelligent concepts and technologies, whilst exploring the new ones.

Main objective of the above initiatives have motivated and lead to many scientific endeavors and contribution to our societies (Reddy, 2006), where the existing state-of-the-art intelligent technologies and concepts, are used in integration of many intelligent systems towards a new era of ‘Smart Homes and Buildings’ (Ricquenbourg, et al., 2006). The leading edge technology in the area of intelligent systems and smart sensor networks, are an essential part of our everyday life. Their evolution will help us to better utilize our resources and enhance our way of living. In order to more efficiently utilize electricity, many governments and utilities are interested and encourage the initiatives leading towards the development of intelligent systems. As a result, many research groups are closely involved in development of more efficient “Smart home and Building” systems for our living environments, furthering the research in intelligent and automatic control systems.

The programmable thermostats (Douglas, 1994; Douglas, 2009; Meier, 2008) are widely used for automatic control of temperature and humidity, and nowadays extend into Programmable Communication Thermostats (PCT). The PCTs are equipped with LCD user interfaces, push button controls, and wireless interface (communications and network capability) to a multitude of sensors/actuators, offering variety of options for controlling thermal comfort and/or other appliances (Redfern, Koplow, & Wright, 2005; Kushiro, Higuma, & Sat, 2007). Today’s PCT are able to communicate with the home appliances, electricity generating utility meters (i.e. Smart Meters), helping in the peak load control (demand response initiatives), offering efficient use of energy resources, thermal comfort and energy savings. The utilization and integration of PCT devices and multiple wireless sensor networks into Home Automation Systems, contribute in the accomplishment of ‘Smart Homes and Buildings’ (Ricquenbourg, et al., 2006).

Many sophisticated fuzzy control system, wireless sensor networks and devices for ‘Smart Homes and Buildings’ are being investigated and evaluated by researchers. The concepts of intelligent systems are being investigated and tested in many Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) applications; such as, the utilization of sensors and intelligent thermostat systems for multi-zone HVAC control systems (Redfern, et al., 2005).

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