We like to dabble in other neat research projects as well. For example:
Model predictive control of window blinds. Along with Prof. Ian Beausoleil-Morrison and his group, we are developing MPC for window blinds on the CHEeR house (a large experimental house on campus). Modern buildings with large windows are prone to overheating when it is sunny. If traditional controls for blinds are used, the blinds are closed once overheating has occurred; but this is too late because buildings have an inherent thermal lag. But if we anticipate overheating using weather forecasts and simplified building thermal models. The blinds for the house were generously donated by Altex.
Investigation of the impact of electricity submetering on residential building heating use habits. Inspired by noting that Burak Gunay’s friend kept their temperature uncomfortably low, we investigated 40 apartments to assess the heating using behaviour of occupants whether they had submetering (pay for their heating) or bulkmetering (heating included in recent). After 6 months of monitoring and a comprehensive survey, it was evident that occupants in submetered apartments keep their temperature considerably lower than their counterparts (about 2.5C). Prof. O’Brien appeared on CBC Radio to discuss these results.