Title: Non-Intrusive Interpretation and Improvement of Multi-Occupancy Human Thermal Comfort through Analysis of Facial Infrared Thermography
Funding Source: National Science Foundation
In the U.S., heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are the biggest energy end use in buildings, which accounts for 48% and 53% energy consumption in residential and commercial buildings respectively. Despite the significant energy footprint of HVAC systems, occupants in the built environment are often less than satisfied with their thermal comfort. This research will investigate methods to replace the current user-initiated passive and cumbersome thermal comfort feedback and control mechanism with a new non-intrusive and synchronous approach that can result in a comfortable, data-driven thermal environment without encumbering any proactive occupant feedback. The resulting new knowledge has the potential to transition the building HVAC control from a passive and user-empirical process to an automated, user-centric and data-driven mechanism that can simultaneously improve occupant satisfaction in indoor environments while reducing energy consumption. This is a joint research project with Professors Carol Menassa and Vineet Kamat in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department.