Behavioural monitoring, itemised billing, carbon trading, smart grid, building information management and retrofit are all key agendas at present yet all of these have at their core a need for the ability to monitor a building and in some cases, the occupants within it. Therefore a starting point with all of these is an in-building network that can provide sensing and control functions.
However, building such a network brings new research challenges:
There is clear evidence that battery powered sensors soon become ineffective when people lose the motivation to replace batteries. Therefore any in-building network must not be reliant on batteries. This brings into play energy scavenging/harvesting techniques which allow sensors to be completely autonomous.
The intention is that the Salford Energy House will provide and environment in which to carry out technical trials and to evaluate the performance and sustainability of the sensing system. Our industrial partner is Salford Electronics who have been working with the University on an EU project (Dehems) to develop a range of sensors to monitor gas consumption within houses. This experience plus their general expertise in electronics design, and specifically wireless based monitoring systems will be invaluable to the research and provide a route to impact after the work is completed.
The closing date for applications is 23rd September 2011.
More info here.