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Office Temperature Monitoring System: A Capstone Project

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Division for Experimentation & Lab-oriented Studies Technical Session 3

Tagged Division

Experimentation and Laboratory-Oriented Studies

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Paper Authors


Maher Shehadi Purdue University

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Dr. Shehadi is an Assistant Professor of MET in the School of Engineering Technology at Purdue University. His academic experience have focused on learning and discovery in areas related to HVAC, indoor air quality, human thermal comfort, and energy conservation. While working in industry, he oversaw maintenance and management programs for various facilities including industrial plants, high rise residential and commercial buildings, energy audits and condition surveys for various mechanical and electrical and systems. He has conducted several projects to reduce CO2 fingerprint of buildings by evaluating and improving the energy practices through the integration of sustainable systems with existing systems. Professor Shehadi also has an interest in air pollution reduction and in providing healthier environment by analyzing the various pollutants that are present in outdoor and indoor air. His current research focuses on sustainable and green buildings and energy conservation. He is currently investigating various ways to reduce energy consumption in office buildings.

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Energy consumption in residential and commercial buildings has increased significantly over the last decade contributing to 40% of the US primary energy usage. Heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) for these buildings contribute to more than half this amount. A reduction in the HVAC energy consumption load would reflect a significant reduction in the total energy consumed. Programmable thermostats are used to reduce energy consumption. However, how efficient the thermostats are in terms of representing the room temperature defines the level of comfort for the occupants inside the space. An increase in the variance between the thermostat value and the overall temperature distribution in a space would indicate inefficient representation and would increase occupants’ discomfort.

This capstone project was led by an MET student (Mechanical Engineering Technology) at Purdue Polytechnic Kokomo. The objective of the project was to investigate temperature disturbances across an office space that can help solve temperature non-uniformity that would ultimately help in saving HVAC energy consumption. The project built a temperature monitoring system by freely hanging temperature thermocouples in air throughout an office space. The temperatures at different locations were compared to a common reference point collected by a thermocouple located near the room’s current thermostat. The study investigated the instantaneous changes in temperature readings throughout the room during day and night times under normal conditions. The same conditions were repeated but when a warmer air stream was allowed to enter the office through the door.

The study showed that there exists 2-3 ˚F difference when considering all locations throughout the room under normal operating conditions, when the door was closed and no occupants were present. The system successfully detected changes in room temperatures as a result of door opening with some delay in response time that is a function of the thermocouples type used. Analysis of the results showed a potential 20% savings in energy consumption if proper calibration or adjustments are granted in future thermostats. The project was assessed against ABET learning outcomes and there was significant application and relevance between the students’ learning outcomes and the ABET rubrics.

Shehadi, M. (2018, June), Office Temperature Monitoring System: A Capstone Project Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30846

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