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Intelligently controlling HVAC with IoT technology

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Title: Intelligently controlling HVAC with IoT technology
Author(s): Rinta-Homi, Mikko
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Science, none
Discipline: none
Degree program: Master's Programme in Computer Science
Specialisation: Networking and Services
Language: English
Acceptance year: 2020
Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems consume massive amounts of energy. Fortunately, by carefully controlling these systems, a significant amount of energy savings can be achieved. This requires detecting a presence or amount of people inside the building. Countless different sensors can be used for this purpose, most common being air quality sensors, passive infrared sensors, wireless devices, and cameras. A comprehensive review and comparison are done for these sensors in this thesis. Low-resolution infrared cameras in counting people are further researched in this thesis. The research is about how different infrared camera features influence counting accuracy. These features are resolution, frame rate and viewing angle. Two systems were designed: a versatile counting algorithm, and a testing system which modifies these camera features and tests the performance of the counting algorithm. The results prove that infrared cameras with resolution as low as 4x2 are as accurate as higher resolution cameras, and that frame rate above 5 frames per second does not bring any significant advantages in accuracy. Resolution of 2x2 is also sufficient in counting but requires higher frame rates. Viewing angles need to be carefully adjusted for best accuracy. In conclusion, this study proves that even the most primitive infrared cameras can be used for accurate counting. This puts infrared cameras in a new light since primitive cameras can be cheaper to manufacture. Therefore, infrared cameras used in occupancy counting become significantly more feasible and have potential for widespread adoption.
Keyword(s): IoT HVAC Infrared cameras

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